Leading European coach company FlixBus has teamed up with Bouden Coach Travel, offering daily travel between Birmingham and London.
After teaming up with Stanley Travel last week – enabling transport between Newcastle, Leeds, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Manchester – the family-owned company has secured the new partnership to expand their routes. As part of the deal, Bouden will be adding a 59-seater to the FlixBus network, rebranded in Flix’s signature green shade.
Adel Bouden, Managing Director of Bouden Coach Travel, said:
“We see joining the FlixBus network as an opportunity to work with another forward-thinking company offering a fresh approach to a traditional industry.”
FlixBus will also be launching new cross-country lines with long-term partner McGill’s today, between Dundee and Bristol. This will add services from Perth, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham, adding Carlisle as a new destination on the network.
Additional lines will also begin to and from Perth Bus Station, connecting passengers to Glasgow, Stirling and Perth Park and Ride, as well as Edinburgh and Dunfermline.
FlixBus, as a widespread travel options in over 40 countries, is also launching their business in India. As home of one of the largest bus markets in the world, will launch their service in India in 2024.
André Schwämmlein, co-founder and CEO of Flix, said:
“Our mission is to offer affordable and sustainable travel options for everyone, and we see significant demand for such services in India.
“This gives the opportunity for Flix to be a key local player in the development of sustainable travel industry, setting up infrastructure and further development in this area.”
The ride-hailing app, Uber, has announced partnerships with various EV makers and other companies in India in order to accelerate their transition to sustainable mobility. They have teamed up with fleet partners Lithium Urban Technologies, Everest Fleet Pvt Ltd, and Moove as part of their goal to deploy 25,000 EVs in India on Uber over the following two years. The company also teamed up with Zypp Electric in order to get 10,000 EV two-wheelers in Dehli by 2024.
Adding another boost to their sustainability push, they also announced the roll-out of Uber Green in Dehli, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, all to begin in June. The Uber Green ride option allows passengers to request e-vehicles with zero tail-pipe emission, rather than average fossil-fuelled cars. The option is available in 100+ cities in 15 countries all over the world.
The Senior Vice President, Andrew Macdonald, said:
“India’s huge scale and electrification momentum makes the country a priority for Uber as we seek to meet our commitment to electrify every ride on our platform by 2040,”
He added that the company is taking a big step towards sustainability by launching Uber Green.
“We know that our impact goes beyond technology. We are determined to become allies of cities and governments as they seek to combat climate change and pollution through sustainable mobility.”
Uber has promised to be a zero-emission mobility platform by 2030 in Europe and North America, and globally by 2040.
They have also more than tripled the number of EVs on the platform and connected 31m riders with an electric vehicle ride in 2022.
ALD Automotive has acquired 100% the fleet management giant LeasePlan which is worth £4.2bn. The partnership has been named ‘ALD Automotive | LeasePlan’ and claimed as the ‘leading global sustainable mobility player’, said ALD.
The deal means that the partners will now own a total worldwide fleet of 3.3m vehicles. The acquisition also means that ALD has now become a financial holding company and a regulated institution supervised by the European Central Bank.
The firm said it will focus on the shift to net-zero and shaping the digital transformation of the industry.
Tim Albertsen, CEO of ALD, said:
“Today is a historical day for ALD and LeasePlan and marks the beginning of a new era in mobility.
“By bringing together our complementary capabilities and expertise, we are well positioned to capture the sector’s tremendous growth opportunities.
“Our focus going forward will be to leverage our unique position to lead the energy transition through innovative solutions, including digital platforms, to encourage large scale adoption of sustainable mobility, whether it be through low emission vehicles or multi-mobility solutions.
“With a combination of talent at ALD and LeasePlan, our teams are fully committed to creating the leading global sustainable mobility player and delivering value for all of our stakeholders.
“We are all very excited about starting this new venture together.”
ALD Automotive are sponsors at our MOVE 2023 event on the 21st-22nd June. If you would like to meet them there, buy your tickets here.
A research group has successfully produced clean fuel using an innovative solar-powered method.
The revolutionary technology produces clean fuel by converting carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuel. Using photosynthesis, researchers from the University of Cambridge have effectively converted CO2, water, and sunlight into multi-carbon fuels such as ethanol and propanol.
These solar fuels vary from fossil fuels, as they produce net zero carbon emissions and are entirely renewable. They also do not take away any agricultural land that could be utilised for food production, unlike biofuels.
While the technology is only at the laboratory scale, the researchers have reassured that this discovery remains as an important step in transitioning towards an economy that is not based on fossil fuels.
Dr. Motiar Rahaman, the study’s first author, said:
“Shining sunlight on the artificial leaves and getting liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and water is an amazing bit of chemistry.
“Normally, when you try to convert CO2 into another chemical product using an artificial leaf device, you almost always get carbon monoxide or syngas, but here, we’ve been able to produce a practical liquid fuel just using the power of the Sun.”
The development will open up exciting new avenues for the automotive industry and indicates hope for a far more sustainable method of producing car fuel.
Green coach brand FlixBus has announced a new partner, earned recognition operator Stanley Travel joining its UK network on 25 May.
Delivering daily services between Newcastle, Leeds, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Manchester, the high-quality family-owned operator is the latest in a long line of coach firms expanding FlixBus routes across the country.
Established in 1961, family-run Stanley Travel originally began as a taxi firm and has built a strong reputation over decades.
The operation is now in its 3rd generation of management by the Scott family and is still based in Stanley in County Durham.
In recent years, Stanley Travel has focused investment on coaches for private hire, as well as contractual work with local schools and colleges, sports teams, and local Universities.
This diversification was the key to their success pre-pandemic, through which the company came out even stronger. Stanley Travel says joining the FlixBus network enhances its diversification strategy and gives more balance to its operation.
Stanley Travel’s Transport Manager Gavin Scott commented: “We know the value of spreading risk, particularly after the COVID years. That’s what initially attracted us to FlixBus express work, offering another string to our bow in terms of revenue. The team at FlixBus truly listened to us and did everything to make this work for Stanley Travel as well as themselves.”
The company is the first DVSA Earned Recognition operator on the FlixBus network, which holds organisation to high driver and vehicle standards. The scheme requires robust compliance regimes with strict safety regulations and frequent regulatory checks.
Stanley Travel is also part of the Guild of British Coach Operators, the association of quality coach companies.
Andreas Schorling, Managing Director of FlixBus UK said: “We are thrilled to welcome Stanley Travel to the FlixBus network. Their glowing reputation among the industry is well-deserved, and we have seen their commitment to delivering excellence in operations through their accolades and achievements.
“Stanley already has strong relationships with some of our other key partners, and it’s fantastic to our network of operators supporting each other. We are building a team of ambitious quality-focused operators that share our vision of building the largest coach network in the UK.”
Throughout 2022, more than 60 million passengers in 40 countries on four continents travelled with the Flix group, which includes FlixBus, FlixTrain, Greyhound in North America and Kamil Koç in Türkiye.
Gavin added: “I see FlixBus as where Amazon were 10 years ago; anyone who got involved in the early stages is now reaping the rewards. The innovative technology behind FlixBus, which is unlike anything else we’ve seen in the industry, and their success within other markets. FlixBus has entered UK to stay, on a mission to overtake established market players. We are impressed by this vision and can see the rapid growth already delivering on their ambition.”
Archer Aviation has announced it has now completed the final assembly of its first Midnight aircraft. With final assembly and initial testing complete, last week the aircraft was shipped from Archer’s Palo Alto facility to its flight test facility in Salinas, California and reassembled.
Archer has said that it will now take this aircraft through a series of ground tests leading up to its planned first flight this summer. The Midnight aircraft has recently garnered significant attention from the U.S. Department of Defense given its payload capabilities.
This Midnight aircraft will enable Archer to perform critical “company testing” to accelerate and reduce risk on its certification program with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) in advance of “for credit” certification testing that the company plans to begin early next year with piloted Midnight aircraft.
The strategy with this aircraft is to allow Archer to fly many of the same test points that will be needed during piloted “for credit” flight testing in order to further validate the aircraft before the FAA witnesses and participates in the testing – a customary practice in many aircraft certification programs.
Component manufacturing is already underway for Archer’s conforming Midnight aircraft. Archer is targeting the completion of final assembly of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 2023 and to begin piloted flight test operations in early 2024.
“Today we announced our exciting progress that the final assembly of our first Midnight aircraft is now complete and it is preparing for its flight test program,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO. “This aircraft will accelerate and reduce risk on our certification program paving the way for our team to focus on building and conducting piloted operations with conforming aircraft to support the goal of entering into service in 2025.”
Archer’s industry-leading team, alongside its key strategic partners, Stellantis and United Airlines, continues to advance its aircraft development and commercial operations with impressive speed and efficiency.
The company has also established a significant lead over industry peers on the manufacturing and commercial operations fronts with the build out of its high-volume manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia underway and announced key strategic electric air taxi routes in New York and Chicago.
With a range of up to 100 miles, Archer’s Midnight aircraft is designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between. Archer’s goal is to transform inter-city travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car that can take over an hour in traffic with ~10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost competitive with ground transportation.
FlixBus, the UK’s fastest growing coach provider, has doubled its partnership with industry mainstay Berrys Coaches ahead of the summer season.
The new route between Taunton and Newcastle launched on 27 April, offering daily journeys to cities including Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol University of West England (UWE) and Bristol city centre.
An initial relationship began in 2021, which saw Berrys connections available to book via FlixBus’ channels. This developed into an official partnership in April 2022, with Berrys joining the green FlixBus network to launch the Plymouth – London line. Berrys Coaches is now expanding its fleet with the brand.
Andreas Schorling, Managing Director of FlixBus UK said: “This is a fantastic partnership, based on our shared values and entrepreneurial spirit of the Berrys team. The company has significant experience in express coaches which means they consistently deliver high quality. We’re delighted that Berrys has doubled their commitment to our network, bolstering the long-term partnership with new connections in line with passenger demand. We look forward to working together for decades to come!”
Established in 1920, Taunton-based Berrys Coaches has a rich history and is highly respected among the industry for its impeccable customer service and excellence in operations.
Alongside FlixBus work, Berrys has a diverse portfolio, including day tours, coach hire as well as a high-spec superfast service to London from Somerset and Wiltshire, which launched in 1983.
James Berry, Transport & General Manager of Berrys Coaches said: “FlixBus’ vision for long-term expansion appealed to us from the off and we’re witnessing their ambition to become the UK’s largest coach provider coming to life! Berrys has extensive experience in long-distance express work, which has helped us to assess the Flix model as the right choice.
“We have had a really enjoyable year building a truly equal relationship, and we’re looking forward to delivering more routes than ever before. Embarking on a partnership at an early stage in FlixBus’ growth journey has proved a strong strategic decision for Berrys, and we’re proud to be a part of the revolution of the UK coach industry.”
The recent network expansion, which coincided with FlixBus’ second anniversary in the UK, means that the sustainable travel tech company now serves 50 destinations across England, Scotland and Wales.
Adds Schorling: “Overwhelming demand for FlixBus services has shown the strength of our strategy since entering the UK express coach market. We saw 190% increase in passengers in Q1 of 2023 compared to the same period last year and we are doubling the size of the network.
“Network growth continues apace, and we have big plans for the summer months as we deliver on our mission to become the market leader.”
Ahead of National Mental Health Awareness Week, HumanForest has teamed up with BetterHelp, the world’s largest professional online therapy platform. BetterHelp will be sponsoring HumanForest users’ rides and rewarding riders with extra free minutes.
● BetterHelp has become the latest corporate partner sponsoring HumanForest users’ free daily ten minutes of riding
● BetterHelp will also be using HumanForest’s innovative adtech platform to reward users with further free minutes for engaging with BetterHelp content
● The partnership will exist for an initial period of two months and ties in with BetterHelp’s UK campaign for Mental Health Awareness month which includes a partnership with British singer, Perrie Edwards
HumanForest and BetterHelp offer people access to the tools they need to support their wellbeing, albeit in different ways. Both HumanForest and BetterHelp share a belief that to be truly impactful, these tools need to be accessible, affordable and convenient for the end users.
BetterHelp has 32,000 therapists on their unique platform, ensuring that there is a wide range of support on offer. The company’s technology allows people to message a professional therapist anytime, anywhere. Its accessibility, convenience and affordability has enabled 4 million people to connect with a therapist and facilitated over 300 million therapy sessions and messages!
Similarly, HumanForest’s innovative adtech backed business model allows people to ride for ten minutes free every day. The company’s average ride cost is approximately 35-40% less than other shared eBike providers, making it significantly more financially accessible. Moreover, the shared eBike model is a convenient way for Londoners to avoid the hassle and practicalities associated with private bike ownership such as parking, maintenance and theft. In total, HumanForest has facilitated 670,00 hours of riding across our beautiful capital city!
In line with BetterHelp’s approach to making mental wellbeing an ongoing (rather than a one-off) consideration, HumanForest also believes that small incremental daily changes can have a huge impact on wellness. Cognitive function and wellbeing have been proven to increase from simply being outside in the environment, whilst endorphins from light exercise reduce anxiety and increase happiness levels. In a study, 32% of shared bike users said they choose to use the schemes for mental health benefits.
BetterHelp will be sponsoring HumanForest users’ free daily ten minutes of riding with advertisements for their therapy platform. Following recent tech developments by HumanForest, BetterHelp will also be using the company’s innovative adtech function called the ‘Minute Builder’, to reward users who engage with a short BetterHelp video with additional free minutes of riding with HumanForest.
Charlie Pepperell, Head of Partnerships at HumanForest, said: “All of us at HumanForest believe strongly that products and services that help us lead happier, healthier lives need to be affordable and accessible. It’s therefore so exciting to welcome BetterHelp to our roster of partners, who offer such an important service, particularly as we head towards Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. 1 in 4 adults in the UK will suffer from a mental health issue every year. This partnership will not only provide our riders an immediate way to enjoy the health benefits that come with switching to active travel, but help to encourage and normalise access to talking therapy amongst our rider community in London.”
– ENDS –
HumanForest is London’s most affordable and environmentally sustainable micro-mobility platform. Founded by Agustin Guilisasti, ex-Cabify alongside co-founders, Caroline Seton and Michael Stewart, HumanForest has completed almost two million rides and saved 250 tonnes of CO2 being emitted into London’s air since the ride sharing App launched in October 2021. HumanForest’s operations are zero emission and it is one of just two micro-mobility companies globally to have B Corp accreditation.
BetterHelp is the world’s largest professional online therapy platform, providing online mental health services directly to consumers. The online counselling and therapy services are provided through web-based interaction as well as phone and text communication. Since 2013, BetterHelp has enabled over 4 Million people to connect with a therapist.
For further information, please contact:
Evoy, the leading manufacturer of maritime electric motor systems, today announced a collaboration with Norwegian adventure travel operator Hurtigruten Expeditions, to electrify the first ‘ship to shore’ and wildlife-spotting tender boats. The tenders, custom-built for Hurtigruten’s expedition cruising, are the first of its kind with sufficient range to deliver excursions in some of the most remote places in the world.
Announced by Hurtigruten Group as part of their 2022 annual Environmental Social and Governance Report (ESG) released yesterday, the new innovative tender boats are designed for excursions from expedition ships in Arctic and Antarctic waters, and in all regions in-between the poles.
The electric tenders can carry up to 20 guests, along with scientific & safety-related equipment, for use on landings and carefully planned day-trips that enable guests to experience destinations in an intimate and sustainable way.
“We are very proud to be the first commercial expedition cruise fleet to offer this ground-breaking technology enabling silent and emission-free excursions with minimal disturbance to local wildlife. It is an innovation collaboration based on our aligned commitment to safety and sustainability,” said Iain McNeill, SVP Operations, Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Evoy sets the industry standard with its pioneering inboard and outboard electric motor systems, offering unparalleled flexibility, ease of use, and power output. As battery technology continues to advance, Evoy’s motors are becoming increasingly efficient, enabling boats to sail longer distances with ease.
“We are excited to partner with Hurtigruten Expeditions on their path to Net Zero,” said Leif A. Stavøstrand, CEO Evoy, adding, “we both share a fundamental respect for nature and a strong commitment to protecting our oceans through ensuring emissions don’t make it into the atmosphere.”
Hurtigruten Expeditions will introduce the first electric tender boats on expedition cruises with MS Otto Sverdrup along the Norwegian coast this season.
More about Evoy:
The shift to electric boating is happening now, powered by EVOY.
EVOY design, develop, and deliver powerful 100% electric motor systems (outboard and inboard), for fast and powerful boats between 20 and 50 ft, bringing the superiority of electric leisure and commercial boating into new markets with ground-breaking technology.
SDG INVESTMENTS acted as sole financial adviser to HumanForest, a fast-growing e-bike start-up headquartered in London, in an asset-based transaction to fund the expansion of HumanForest’s fleet of electric bicycles. The debt financing has been provided by a leading investor in sustainable banking.
The proceeds from the transaction will enable HumanForest to double the size of its London fleet to meet growing demand for its services. HumanForest secured licences to operate in Lambeth, Merton, Southwark, and Wandsworth since the beginning of the year, increasing its operational area to more than 10 London Boroughs. HumanForest also renewed its licence to operate in the City of London.
E-Bike sharing start-up HumanForest aims to make micromobility accessible, affordable, and sustainable in urban areas utilising its advertising-technology platform to reduce the cost of rides for the end user. Insights from HumanForest’s operations platform analyses of usage behaviour help optimizing the allocation of e-bike to ensure a high availability.
SDG INVESTMENTS managed and executed all phases of the investment process, including deal structuring as well as engagement and negotiation with institutional investors. This successful transaction demonstrates SDG INVESTMENTS’ high level of expertise in the field of micro mobility, extensive sustainable investor network and client recognition of the cooperation and services provided.
Stefan Bund, Partner SDG INVESTMENTS, emphasises: “It was a pleasure to support HumanForest on this important transaction. As SDG INVESTMENTS we are proud to be a trusted partner in evolving this sustainable and efficient mode of transportation in the United Kingdom.”
Agustín Guilisasti, Founder and CEO of HumanForest, said: “Today’s debt announcement is part of a wider equity fundraising round that provides firepower to grow our presence in London and further develop our advertising technology and operations platforms. The debt funding has allowed us to double the size of the fleet in London, helping us to achieve our goal to make sustainable and affordable transport accessible to everyone. SDG INVESTMENTS, as our sole financial advisor for the debt transaction, were instrumental in this process – their expertise and deep understanding of micro mobility businesses has been invaluable in helping us achieve our goals and grow HumanForest.”
The funding contributes to the achievement of several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG 13: Climate Action.
About SDG INVESTMENTS:
SDG INVESTMENTS makes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) investable. As a corporate finance boutique for sustainable finance, SDG INVESTMENTS structures and distributes certified sustainable investments in various solutions and vehicles. In addition, SDG INVESTMENTS® offers the first online matching platform for financing and investment products that are aligned with the SDGs: http://www.sdg-investments.com
HumanForest e-bikes operate a unique advertising-led revenue model, whereby consumers receive an advert from partners before and after using a HumanForest e-bike. This allows customers to ride for free for 10 minutes each day and costs £0.15 per minute thereafter. It is the first micro-mobility company to develop this innovative business model, which connects users with associated partners in a sustainable way, with the technological architecture created in-house.
Contact SDG INVESTMENTS: Dr Stefan Bund, +49 69 2475 196810, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nissan has announced the launch of ‘Nissan Boost’, a new digital Web3 activation of the Discord platform to provide an engaging and exciting insight into the world of the Nissan Formula E race team.
Within this Nissan booster Discord program, there is a channel where fans are able to stay up to date with all the latest news and happenings around the Nissan Formula E team developments.
They can get behind-the-scenes access to what happens in the Nissan race paddock during e-Prix weekends and enjoy live audio coverage of the qualification and race sessions, states the release. Active members can even gain access to private channels to chat with the actual team and the drivers themselves.
To celebrate the launch Nissan has created a free to enter NFT card game where the top-performing fans can win a VIP invitation to the Nissan paddock at the 2023 London e-Prix. All fans have to do is make a prediction on the Nissan Formula E team performance for the remaining races.
By getting the predictions right, fans can earn additional NFT cards and gain experience points, the top performer takes the prize. Fans can play the Nissan Booster NFT card game by going directly to https://www.nissan-booster.com/ and put their Formula E knowledge to the test.
Nissan has also created the Nissan Booster Trophy an e-sport event where top gamers from around the world take on both Nissan Formula-e drivers in a virtual e-Prix. Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato will race 10 experienced motorsport gamers especially selected for their expertise and knowledge in the field of e-racing/motorsport. All racers will race head-to-head with each other using the Rfactor 2 race simulator utilising the Berlin circuit. The Nissan Booster Trophy will take place on 22nd of May, from 18:00 to 20:00 (UK)and will be streamed live on Nissan Twitch Channel.
Nissan has created a unique and exclusive experience into the world of Formula E, supporting the company’s mission to deliver innovation and excitement of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience. The Japanese automaker aims to bring its expertise in transferring knowledge and technology between the racetrack and road for better electric vehicles for customers.
Start Up Kodiak Robotics have partnered with truckload carrier C.R England to autonomously ship Tyson Foods products between Sallas and San Antonio, Texas.
A human safety operator will be present in the one dedicated truck Kodiak is allocating to this pilot. The company has said that deliveries will begin this month.
The pilot program is the latest in Kodiak’s growing string of paid partnerships with major carriers, and it further demonstrates the startup’s potential path to sustainability and even profitability once it removes the human safety driver from operations.
Kodiak will be moving three to five loads per week and C.R England will have one of its human drivers bring a refrigerated trailer pre-loaded with Tyson protein products to Kodiak’s facility in Lancaster.
The other of Kodiak’s autonomous trucks will deliver the load to C.R England drop yard in San Antonio and from there, C.R England truck and driver will deliver the trailer to its final destination in Laredo.
As part of the partnership, C.R. England is also joining Kodiak’s Partner Development Program, which is Kodiak’s way of working with carriers to help establish autonomous freight operations and, hopefully, integrate Kodiak’s self-driving system into their fleet.
The fastest-growing UK coach brand FlixBus is offering passengers tickets from £2 on new and expanding routes across the country to celebrate its 2nd anniversary in the UK.
£2 tickets will be available to buy until 30 April, between the following destinations, for any new routes launching on 27 April:
Aberdeen to Dunfermline and Edinburgh
Birmingham to Newcastle and Taunton
Bradford to Peterborough
Bristol to Newcastle
Cambridge to Stevenage
Dundee to Dunfermline and Edinburgh
Dunfermline to Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth and Edinburgh
Leeds to Manchester, Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Taunton
Leicester to Liverpool and Warrington
London to Peterborough and Stevenage
Manchester to Middlesbrough, Leeds and Newcastle
Middlesbrough to Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds
Newcastle to Manchester, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Bristol and Taunton
Peterborough to Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and London
Sheffield to Taunton and Peterborough
Stevenage to Cambridge and London
Stoke to Warrington
Taunton to Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield
Warrington to London, Leicester and Stoke
£2 tickets are also for routes with increased departures on the following services:
London to and from Bristol
Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, Stirling and Glasgow
Tickets can be purchased for any journey up to 31 July.
Not wanting anyone to miss out, the green long-distance coach provider is also generously sharing a 20% off code for any ticket to 50 UK destinations on the FlixBus network from 17 – 30 April to be used on any journey until 31 July.
Not wanting anyone to miss out, the green long-distance coach provider is also generously sharing a 20% off code for any ticket to 50 UK destinations on the FlixBus networkfrom Monday 17 April.
New destinations on the FlixBus UK network include Middlesbrough, Stevenage and Peterborough.
FlixBus will celebrate its 2nd birthday with passengers in style, as customers at London Victoria Coach Station will receive free birthday cake*, and vouchers for the Starbucks located in the station on 21 April.
The company will also be on the new FlixBus’ expanded Scottish network, launching Thursday 27 April, with celebrations and free cake* at Edinburgh station.
Andreas Schorling, Managing Director of FlixBus UK said: “We believe transport should be affordable, sustainable and accessible to everyone. Response from the UK public to our service has been phenomenal, so we wanted to give something back to our passengers for our 2nd anniversary. We’re really delighted to be adding more routes and destinations on our network than ever before, offering customers more opportunities to explore the country for as little as £2. It’s going to be fantastic celebrating with customers in London and Edinburgh at our birthday events too!”
Use bit.ly/FLIX2UK find 20% codes off on all journeys with FlixBus, available 17-30 April to be used on any journey until 31 July.
Tickets are available on the FlixBus website and App.
Moovit and May Mobility are expanding the reach and efficiencies of shared autonomous vehicles and AV microtransit projects to mind the gaps in public transit.
May Mobility’s autonomous vehicle fleets are powered by its unique Multi-Policy Decision (MPDM) technology. This technology will work together with Moovit’s urban mobility app and on-demand reservation and routing software.
The partnership will allow riders to easily plan, pay, and ride in shared AVs while providing them a safe, accessible, and sustainable form of mobility in regions around the globe, stated the release.
“The combination of Moovit and May Mobility’s technologies, products, and services will provide communities around the world with more mobility alternatives to choose from,” said Nir Erez, Co-founder and CEO of Moovit. “We share a vision of filling in the gaps in public and shared autonomous transportation and will work diligently to provide better access to accessible and sustainable transportation.”
In the U.S. and Japan, May Mobility has given more than 320,000 autonomy enabled rides through 10 unique deployments. Additionally, Moovit’s popular urban mobility app is available in 3,500 cities across 112 countries and offers users multimodal trip planning for any mode of transport with real-time information.
“A big part of our go-to-market strategy is to partner with industry leaders that will take out services to the next level. Moovit is a trusted industry leader that serves more than 1.7 billion riders globally, and their services and relationships will further enhance our ability to scale,” said Edwin Olson, Co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “We look forward to growing this partnership with Moovit through expanded geographic areas and leveraging each other’s strengths to serve all passengers.”
The new partnership will offer more cities around the world a complete mobility package. Potential users of the future unified mobility app will be able to view options for taking May Mobility AVs alongside other modes of public transit, such as buses or trains, receive real-time arrival information, Live Directions and step-by-step guidance throughout the entire journey, Service Alerts, and more.
Moovit says it will also plan to bring its Moovit On-Demand software to May Mobility’s backoffice, facilitating the ability for May Mobility’s team to better manage services and vehicles all in one console.
Ford drivers will legally be able to take their hands off the wheel after its BlueCruise technology is approved in the UK.
Ministers have already approved the hands-off feature for use only on certain motorways. The technology will be able to control steering, acceleration and braking. A camera, however, will monitor a driver’s eyes so they stay alert.
The feature will also be able to keep a safe distance from other cars and be able to stop in traffic jams.
BlueCruise will be available for 2023 models of its electric Mustang Mach-E SUV at first and will only be offered on a subscription basis.
Users will have access to the technology through the purchase of the £50,830 car for the first 90 days, after that, drivers will then have to sign up for a monthly subscription.
Deliveries of the new model started last month. It has a maximum speed of 80mph and uses both cameras and sensors to detect lane markings and speed signs, as well as the position and speed of other cars on the road.
Ford’s BlueCruise technology represents “Level 2” driver assistance system. This still requires a human driver to take control should something go wrong.
In the US and Canada, Ford’s technology has been available since 2021. The company has said that in the last couple of years, more than 190,000 Ford and Lincoln vehicles have covered more than 60 million miles using the technology without any accidents reported.
The city of Minneapolis has announced that shared bikes and scooters will be returning to the streets as it has entered into agreements with Lime, Veo and Spin.
The city will be offering scooter rentals in 2023 through Lime, Veo and Spin, Lime and Veo will also have e-bikes available.
Lime and Veo riders will be able to end their bike trip anywhere within the city. All they will need to do is lock their bike to a bike rack or to any signpost except a stop sign or a bus stop sign.
However, state law highlights that scooter riders must follow similar traffic laws to bicyclists, and shared bikes and scooters can’t be ridden on sidewalks.
Lime will be using Class 1 e-bikes, which will be pedal assist bikes. Veo will have Class 2 e-bikes and have both pedal assist and a throttle, similar to scooters.
This is the first time the city has had this type of e-bike in its bike share program. They are a great option for people with physical limitations because users don’t need to stand as they do on scooters or pedal as they do on Class 1 e-bikes.
Beyond the riding and distribution requirements, all three operators are required to have low-income pricing programs for qualified residents.
Operators will also be required to have ongoing education and outreach on safe riding and proper parking behaviour.
Volocopter has announced the opening of its production facilities in Bruschal. The company marked this milestone with the opening of a new hangar that will host the company’s final assembly line with an airfield to conduct development flight tests as well as quality checks.
The company states that all company-owned production sites, which will manufacture the first EASA-certified electric air taxis, will ramp up into full operation in April. From this facility, electric air taxis made in Germany will be deployed across the world, offering commercial services starting next year.
“Right here is where the aircraft that will change how humanity moves about cities will take off and make its way across the world. This region is known for transforming mobility – the bicycle, the car, and soon Volocopter, too. Electric air taxis and Volocopter in particular is a technology made in Germany that will make the world a more sustainable place.” said Dirk Hoke— CEO of Volocopter.
Volocopter’s facilities are said to have the capacity to assemble 50+ VoloCity aircraft each year. It will also have regulatory approval to do so.
“The VoloCity has completed the critical design review – and that’s the aircraft we’re ready to produce, with enough leeway for further learnings derived from flight testing. It’s no easy task to set up a production facility for an entirely new type of aircraft, but my team has done a phenomenal job.” said Andreas Fehring, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Volocopter and Program Manager VoloCity.
Since 2021, the company has had the approval as production organisation in compliance with EASA regulation. This certification covers the entire VoloCity production process. It includes the manufacturing of carbon fiber parts, all aspects of the electric propulsion unit, final assembly with decking of the propulsion system and fuselage, and extensive end-of-line flight tests, states the release.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on 4 April 2023 at the hangar. The event also featured a crewed flight of the Volocopter 2X.
“Germany is already a world leader in the development of air taxis, thanks in part to Volocopter’s great pioneering spirit. I would like to support and build on this leading role by creating a framework that enables innovation and progress. We are working with key industry players on a strategy for air taxi operations here in Germany, in which all technical and legal issues are addressed without delay. We are doing this so that the first drones carrying people and goods can take off very soon.” said Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister of Digital and Transport.
The new Volocopter air taxis aim to revolutionise urban transportation and the company have comitted to launching the commercial air taxis in cities like Singapore, Rome, NEOM, and Paris as early as 2024.
On Sunday, locals of Paris voted to ban rental e-scooters on its streets. A staggering 90% of locals have voted against them in a ballot and the Mayor of Paris announced that it would no longer have a license to operate in the city from 1st September.
Dott and Tier have said that their e-scooters will remain available within the UK and have questioned the validity of the referendum in the French capital. Lime, Tier and Dott released a joint statement that said, “the result of this vote will have a direct impact on the travel of 400,000 people per month, 71% of whom are 18-35-year-old residents.” They also called into question the “very restrictive voting methods”.
Paris was one of the front runners of introducing e-scooters back in 2018 as the authorities sought to promote zero-emission forms of urban transport. However, as the number of e-scooters grew, so did the number of accidents. In 2022, three people died and 459 were injured in e-scooter accidents in Paris.
So, what does this mean for the world of micromobility?
As the e-scooter bubble has burst in Paris, many are worried that their cities will follow suit creating a domino effect. This has been a constant issue of micromobility launches and regulation, meaning that we may be going backwards entirely.
Additionally, the banning of e-scooters may result in users making the shift to personally owned vehicles. Now that people are not able to use different services their only option may be their own vehicle, which sets us further away from reaching any net zero targets and this will in no way solve the issue of reckless driving and safety.
In the hopes that this doesn’t happen, and people will be looking for alternative mobility operations, operators will have to shift to larger e-bike fleets and will have to assess providing their scooters via long-term rental solutions.
Operators will also have to reopen the discussions around e-scooter usage within cities to solve and offer solutions regarding the issues that were raised within the voting demographic.
Some of the concerns that were highlighted by the voters were the dangerous nature of the e-scooters and that they were an eyesore on their roads and created clutter on the sidewalks.
Back in October, we spoke to Nicolas Gorse, Chief Business Officer at Dott about the significance that safety played preventing users from making the transition to micromobility.
“The perception of safety isn’t around the vehicles, but from cars on the road, with a lack of cycling infrastructure being the main factor for fear of using micromobility. This can be effectively overcome, and across Europe are many great examples of steps which achieve this.” said Nicolas.
Although micromobility providers already understand users’ concern over safety, the vote did not represent the overall view of the city, but rather a small majority that held a significantly bad feeling towards the e-scooters.
Only 8% of registered voters turned up to vote and the request for e-voting was denied which would have deterred many of the younger voters who would prefer to use this platform. The French transport minister suggested that the vote was a “democratic failure”.
What is the importance of micromobility within cities?
Cities all over the world are faced with the ever-growing challenges of tackling the switch to sustainable urban transport. The introduction and increased popularity of new transport modes such as e-bikes and e-scooters, are hoped to accelerate this transition as they are accepted into legislation and regulatory framework. The global market is already expected to grow to $202.42 billion by 2030.
The exponential growth of the micromobility industry comes with more competition, more decisions, and an inevitable shift within the industry. Implementing organisational techniques around cities will mean more and more people will feel confident and safe to use these more sustainable modes of transport.
Through the use of e-scooters and e-bikes, providers are able to offer an alternative zero-emission form of transport. Users are able to easily get around the city without contributing to any environmental impact.
Although there is a need for better management of scooters on our city’s streets, this decision marks a huge setback to the city and its environment. It makes it a lot harder to get people out of private car ownership; a legal electric scooter poses less of a risk than the cars they help replace.
Rather than a barrier to growth, the insurance industry can be a catalyst for businesses pioneering new mobility solutions says Aon’s Marc Spurling – Director of Future Mobility Strategy.
Technology and innovation are at the heart of the future mobility revolution. Whether you want groceries and snacks delivered in an hour; a car to go anywhere anytime; rent your car to earn from it rather than let it sit idle for 94% of its life; or grab that scooter to get you across town under your own steam; there is a mobility solution for you. And that’s only a fraction of the ways in which businesses are investing to solve the mobility needs of the global population to 2030 and beyond. Yet amongst this agility of thinking and ingenuity of new business models disrupting convention to break new ground, insurance is a common obstacle that can hinder development, slow expansion and create unsustainable financial burdens upon growing mobility businesses.
Insurance Hits the Bottom Line
For new digital mobility business operating models, insurance can account for between 60 – 80% of variable expense meaning it has a direct impact on the bottom line. Insurance markets and products have however, been slow to adapt to the changing demands and needs of these mobility innovators; hedging their bets and waiting for enough data to help them get comfortable in underwriting these risks. Generally, they are not agile enough when it comes to accepting the increasing volume of complex, instant, high quality and reliable data that these innovators have available. To unlock the potential of these business models, the insurance market needs to become an enabler of growth by embracing the availability of risk data to develop affordable, fit for purpose products for future mobility players.
New Energy Vehicles – Acceptance and Adoption Impacted by Insurability
Take new energy vehicles (NEVs), which consist of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and the development of other clean fuel technologies, such as hydrogen. The relative newness of these technologies means there are not decades of data available to evaluate these new risks. This presents a challenge to insurance markets more comfortable with a well-trodden formula for underwriting risk on the back of historical trends. The result is reduced insurance capacity and increased premium cost as these uncertainties are factored into pricing decisions.
Utilising the power of connected car data can change that. Selecting insurance partners who are open to evaluating risk in new ways, using data to create pricing models and who have a forward-looking outlook is vital. NEVs need insurance partners who can evaluate the risks of these technologies with fresh thinking, using available data and understanding safety features in order to accurately present the true risk to the insurance market.
As technology continues to improve the quality of battery life, for example, data can be used to help users adapt to best practices in maintaining battery performance, support proactive maintenance and demonstrate durability. Aon has worked with specialist markets to develop solutions to support extended battery warranty for manufacturers and the provision of embedded insurance products to NEV’s supporting their market entry and growth aspirations.
Insuring the Future of Autonomous Vehicles
Turning to autonomous vehicles (AVs) – which have the potential to revolutionise mobility with the prospect of safe, efficient transit of people and goods – solving the insurance challenges affecting the key AV players (original equipment manufacturers, artificial intelligence software providers and operators) will be critical to enabling widespread deployment. The insurance market must innovate to meet the liability complexities arising from these new business models. Taking a traditional insurance approach, with insurance policies that cover single areas of risk – such as third-party liability or vehicle damage – will not deliver effective solutions for producers, operators, or users of AVs. They will be costly and will most likely create conflict between the areas of insurance coverage, slowing down claims payments while stifling collaboration and development.
Blended Insurance Products
To avoid these pitfalls, the insurance market will need to adapt to the development of blended or composite insurance products to represent the true nature of product liability, software design risks, cyber hacks, third-party property damage and injury risks to passengers and other road users amongst others. In addition, mechanisms for managing claims efficiently and effectively will need to be developed. The causal features of claims will fundamentally change and require specialist handling utilising technical expertise that understand the different risk features. Achieving this will require new collaborations between the insurance market, AV players and trusted third parties to use new streams of available data to show the true risk profile and resulting insurance costs using innovative rating models based on a deep understanding of the technologies and their capabilities.
Insurance that Mirrors the Disruptive Mindset
Global mobility is undergoing a major inflection point, not seen for over 100 years. The disruptors shaping the future mobility landscape are digital natives powered by technology innovations redefining the way mobility is delivered, consumed, and priced. These players demand partners that have agility, align with their technology, and can deliver solutions that enable their growth pathway. To get on board, the insurance market needs to adapt and mirror this disruptive mindset, embrace the challenge, and deliver solutions that fit future mobility business models.
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Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article.
This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 21/03/23.
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 Autocar Electric. James Disdale What is the battery life of an electric car, 26 January 2023 “while performance may degrade over time, ultimately the cells should still be providing at least 70 percent of their capacity even after 200,000 miles. As an example, a number of Tesla Model S taxis operating from Gatwick airport racked up over 300,000 miles each over three years, with all retaining at least 82 percent of their batteries’ health”.
Estarli to release a new folding eBike that sits at the intersection of practicality and pleasure.
The British eBike movement is launching its fourth model of bike in response to growing demand. Estarli has designed and built the e20 Play at their Chilterns factory. It is a sister bike to their original e20 and will sit alongside it as a higher-spec model.
Co-Founder and developer of the e20 Play, Alex Francis, said “we couldn’t be more excited to release the Play. It’s inspired by BMXs so we have beefed up the frame and evened out the rear stays. The main changes, however, are on the inside. The Play features a next generation inner rotor hub motor generating 50Nm torque. The brakes are hydraulic and the cables are internally routed.”
Weighing under 20kg but with all-terrain wheel/tyres and a Shimano 8-speed gearset, the Play is as at home on the city streets as it is off grid. Alex adds, “It is a daily bike. Commute on it, nip to the shops on it or fold it into the boot and take it away for an adventure. Its DNA is the same as the original e20 but it’s more versatile, comfortable and performant. We want people to unfold the fun and go ride wherever their imaginations take them.”
Versatile – All terrain wheels/tyres, Shimano 8-speed and fast folding.
Powerful – Next generation inner rotor hub motor.
High Performance – Hydraulic brakes, 50Nm torque and magnesium alloy forks.
Light – 20kg including a removable seatpost battery.
Cool – Routed cables, beefy frame and USB charger/smart light.
The estarli e20 Play is available for pre-order on April 21st and will be on show at The Cycle Show in Alexandra Palace that weekend. For more information visit www.estarli.co.uk or email email@example.com