Voi’s next-generation e-scooter the Voiager 5 hits the streets of Liverpool

Voi’s new fleet of Voiager 5 e-scooters feature a number of uprgrades.

Voi has released its newest generation e-scooter, the Voiager 5 (V5), on the streets of Liverpool today.

The Swedish company, who has run the public hire e-scooter scheme in the city since October 2020, claims the new model is greener, more robust, and safer than ever before.

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Liverpool is one of the first cities in the UK, along with Bristol and Bath, to have a fleet of the new V5 e-scooters rolled out.

The Voiager 5 e-scooter in use on Jamaica Street in the Baltic Triangle.

The mode of transport has split public opinion in the city since its arrival two years ago, with some residents regarding them as an efficient and eco-friendly way to travel, while critics say they are a menace to pedestrians.

The latest figures from the Department for Transport indicate the number of injuries from e-scooters is on the rise in Merseyside, however, a study by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents suggests that e-scooters are five times safer than bicycles.

The Voiager 5 e-scooter in use in Liverpool.

The V5 e-scooter has already been successfully rolled out in various cities across Europe, including Bordeaux, Milan, Helsinki, Rome, Madrid, Oslo, and Seville.

What are the key features of the Voiager 5?

  • The Voiager’s new and improved features include larger wheels, powerful brake performance, as well as other features for creating a more inclusive vehicle.
  • The V5 has a larger front wheel and increased tyre tread depth for improved safety, along with greater shock absorption for smooth rides, even on rough surfaces.
  • The height increase between the road and the rider prevents the scraping of the foot deck and means that the wheels can easily navigate potholes.
  • The V5 has an updated dashboard design, with a centrally-located integrated phone holder, enabling riders to navigate more safely.
  • A more ergonomic handlebar is also a new feature for this model, as well as an indicator switch and bell, in an easier to reach location.
  • Auto-cancelling 360 degree indicators are another safety feature which prevents riders getting distracted and lowering their gaze, when on the road.

Sustainability

The makers say the V5 model brings Voi closer to creating a fully sustainable e-scooter by using an increased proportion of recycled materials, extending the lifespan to five years, and ensuring that components can be reused, and recycled at end-of-life.

The proportion of recycled materials used in the scooter now stands at over 30%, and nearly 90% of the scooters’ components have been redesigned to improve durability and repairability.

Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: ““We know that our riders in Liverpool will love the new V5 model because it’s suited to their everyday needs as it’s engineered for the city.

“We’re excited to continue delivering a world-class rental scheme to help decarbonise cities and create better places for living.”

E-scooter critics

Campaigners have called for a ban on e-scooter trials with the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK) and other organisations highlighting concerns about the danger posed by e-scooters to blind and partially sighted people.

The charity has raised issues about e-scooters being parked or abandoned on the pavement, damaged tyres and ‘unsafe’ rider behaviour.

E-scooter operator Voi has partnered with an app which it says will allow blind and visually-impaired people to get ‘real-time information’ on e-scooter parking locations.

The Lazarillo app users will also be able to report any poorly parked scooters.

However, Sarah Gayton, NFBUK Street Access Campaigns Coordinator, who has been taking photographs and video footage of misuse of e-scooters has described the idea as ‘ludicrous’.

She said: “We have blind and visually-impared people who struggle with technology anyway, plus people need to be able to afford a phone that can offer this technology.

“This is a life or death situation about a serious trip hazard on the pavement with the ability to create serious injuries.

“This business model is not safe. We will never accept the e-scooters parked on pavements, ever.”