100 e-scooters: Electric driving brings climate-friendly option to transport in downtown Whanganui

Electric scooter company Beam plans to initially deploy between 80 and 100 scooters as part of a climate-neutrality trial.

WARWICK SMITH / Stuff

Electric scooter company Beam plans to initially deploy between 80 and 100 scooters as part of a climate-neutrality trial.

An electric scooter company is working with Whanganui District Council and its economic development agency to deploy up to 100 electric scooters across the city.

A trial of the climate-neutral scooters will begin in late June or early July, with 80-100 available initially, increasing to 200 in the warmer months.

The company, Beam, says the app-based service will offer pay-as-you-go rates, fixed parking and training courses, with “24/7 safety ambassadors” patrolling the streets.

A number of jobs will be created locally to run the trial.

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Hannah Middleton, chief executive of economic development agency Whanganui & Partners, said Beam was already recruiting in Whanganui, with job opportunities expected to expand as the business establishes itself.

“Bringing new businesses to Whanganui is a priority for Whanganui & Partners and adding new jobs is positive for our community,” Middleton said.

“Beam is an international company with a great reputation and adding electric scooters to Whanganui’s options for people getting around our city is very exciting,” she said.

“E-scooters are well-used transportation tools in many of our neighboring areas and major centers, and it has been important for Whanganui & Partners to ensure our community has access to this great option.”

Middleton said electric scooters would provide an efficient, sustainable and convenient way to get from point A to point B in Whanganui.

“They perfectly complement our strengths as a compact city with great accessibility.”

Whanganui District Council chief executive David Langford said the e-scooter service was a climate-friendly option for city center transport.

“We are committed to mitigating the impacts of climate change on our district and want to support initiatives that encourage people to adapt their transportation to more climate-friendly means and reduce reliance on private motor vehicles,” said Langford.

“E-scooters are great in that sense, especially for people traveling short distances in our city center.

“The collaboration will also benefit visitors to Whanganui and enhance our reputation as a small town packed with local attractions.”

Langford said the council had worked with Beam on clear guidelines and processes for the use, and safety of the public and scooter users.

“I personally love using my e-scooter for work since moving to Whanganui and really encourage people to come and try a scooter for themselves.”

The community is invited to try electric scooters for free at the Whanganui River Markets on June 18.

Beam also has electric scooters in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North and Whangārei, as well as Australia, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia.

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