Zinc Sports COO Chirag Shah

Catching up with Chirag Shah of Zinc Sports

Zinc Sports is one of the biggest micromobility brands in the UK, but COO Chirag Shah believes the Government can do more to support sustainable transport. Rebecca Bland finds out more   

More and more companies are joining the micromobility fold and looking to increase their consumer reach throughout the UK, but few are doing it as successfully as Zinc Sports and Flyte. One of Britain’s biggest e-scooter brands, they’ve even recently launched into the kid’s sector, with Chirag Shah at the helm. 

As chief operating officer, working in commercial roles has always been part of his passion, previously working for Tesco, Argos and Sainsbury’s in senior commercial and marketing roles. Most recently, he joined Hy-Pro, to help develop its Zinc and Flyte brands and to become one of the biggest e-scooter brands in Europe. MMB sat down with him to find out what his plans are for the company, and how legislation changes are needed to encourage more micromobility usage. 

What is unique about Zinc e-scooters and bikes?

CS: Giving parents value for money, and something that will last, is more important than ever given the current economic challenges many families are facing. Scooters and bikes not only have to show value and practicality, but also that there has been a diligent thought process behind it. There has to be an alternative to the main competitors. Our mission is to be Europe’s number one brand in the next three years. Two key markets for business growth are the US and France, and we have already recruited people in the US to start distributing our models as well as having an online presence in those regions.

What other plans do you have for the brand?

CS: Well we’ve recently launched a partnership with Formula E which is really exciting. We’re using our 15 years of scooter manufacturing experience to create and launch a range of micromobility products that share the same mission as Formula E.

It’s really closely aligned with their purpose of accelerating the uptake and development of electric mobility solutions. The products will help decarbonise transport in urban areas while giving consumers alternative modes of transport.

We launched one model a few months ago and plan to launch six further models including e-scooters, e-bikes and scooters over the coming 12 months.

We have also combined two of our IPs, to launch Zinc Flyte, a new range of three wheeled scooters. The range brings together the Zinc and Flyte brands for the first time ever and has resulted in a three-wheeled scooter that was two years in the making. It launched at Nuremberg Toy Fair, and was born from the observation that kids work too hard to push and kick scooters and weren’t really enjoying themselves.

What legislation changes would you like to see for e-scooters in the UK?

CS: We think people should be free to use e-scooters on the UK’s roads if they do so safely and adhere to the law. The current blanket ban should be ended and legislation brought forward. As one of the UK’s biggest scooter brands, we know consumers want change and we have seen a significant increase in consumer interest in e-scooters over the last 12 months. 

Many customers are surprised at the UK laws and think they are not as in sync with the rest of the world – many travel abroad and see that e-scooters are allowed in the US, Singapore and many others. The Government needs to modernise the law and respond to consumer demand and setting out clear and enforceable e-scooter usage rules would help and protect more people. It will also tackle the problems of congestion and pollution too.

When they are used with care, e-scooters are a safe method of transport. We believe everyone needs to take care on the roads or on private land. We believe change must be pursued in a responsible manner, with priority given to protecting current and future users’ safety. Regulatory change which allows e-scooters to be used on roads, while also imposing a strong regulatory framework on their production, sale and usage, is essential as we push to make the way we travel more sustainable and convenient for all.”

Read more: Nominations are open for micromobility category in BikeBiz Awards 2023 

And what about legislation e-bikes?

CS: E-bikes are a fantastic route into cycling for beginners, or for those returning to cycling, as these provide a helping hand when it comes to conquering physical fitness challenges that would have remained a barrier with a normal bike. Lots more people and families will be able to get out and have fun on bikes, whether they’re for leisure or a more ambitious cycling challenge abroad. The great thing is that you still get the burn and benefit from cycling but now with an added boost. And for commuters, there’s no need to change your clothes, so it’s perfect for cycling to work. Anything like subsidies or grants that will allow more people to afford an e-bike and therefore make a healthy choice is worth doing.

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