E-scooter player Dott preparing Irish launch ahead of law change

11 Feb 2021

Image: Dott

E-scooters are close to being regulated on Irish roads and the Dutch company wants to be quick off the mark with a launch.

Dutch e-scooter sharing start-up Dott is eager for an Irish launch as regulation beckons with preparations being made in Dublin and other cities.

The company plans to carry out local consultations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway ahead of legislation on e-scooters being passed. Plans to draft legislation was approved by government earlier this month.

Dott, founded in 2018, is one of the newer e-scooter sharing companies on the scene in Europe but has raised more than $55m from EQT Ventures and Naspers. It operates in 16 European cities and is also rolling out electric bikes.

The company, like several other international players such as Voi, Bird and Lime, has been eyeing up the Irish market for a while but the legal grey area for e-scooters has prevented these companies from launching here.

The new legislation will put e-scooters on a firm legal footing with regulations on speed, who can use them and where.

Dott recently wrote to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan TD to recommend a number of mandatory safety measures be implemented in the regulations, such as helmet requirements and max speeds of 25kmph.

“We are really happy to see that the Irish Government is moving ahead with its plans to regulate the use of e-scooters on Irish roads and we are excited at the opportunity to bring Dott’s best-in-class e-scooter technology that has been used in other European capitals to Dublin and beyond,” Dott chief executive Henri Moissinac said.

Duncan Robertson, general manager for UK and Ireland, said Dott will tailor its e-scooter launches to each location.

“We have already had great conversations on the ground in different cities in Ireland and we look forward to engaging with more local stakeholders to ensure that our deployments in Ireland are as successful as our others across multiple European capitals and cities to date,” Robertson said.

Dott was quick off the mark last summer when the UK allowed e-scooter trials for the first time by securing approvals for vehicles. At the time, e-scooters’ legal status in the UK was quite similar to Ireland. The two countries have been some of the last to regulate e-scooters in Europe. Regulatory changes now open up two new markets for the taking in a highly competitive micromobility space.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin