Voi Electric Scooters

overall Rating:

2.5

planets

Greta Feddersen
5/10/2021
No items found.

Over the past few years, electric scooters have become increasingly popular and have been adopted in cities as a sustainable mode of transport to help them limit pollution and congestion. Voi electric scooters are available for rental across many British and European cities. Their main vision is that cities should be a place free from noise and pollution, and electric scooters are a way to help cities reach their climate targets. Their two main objectives are i) to offer a climate-neutral mobility service, ii) to promote sustainability and reduce the need for car trips. Ultimately, they are creating an impact by helping cities achieve a more sustainable future. I’m extremely happy with Voi’s commitment to circular economy practices and their green operational practices, and I strongly recommend consumers to choose e-scooters as an alternative way to move around the city, especially Voi as they are incredibly sustainable. Show this brand some love! 

what it's made of:

2

The Voi scooter is made from 90% easily recyclable materials (aluminum, steel, and plastic). At the end of the scooter's life cycle, 99% of the materials are recycled. This includes a lithium-ion battery, with substances including cobalt, nickel, and manganese. Lithium-ion batteries are less harmful to the environment than lead batteries, last longer, and can be recycled in an easier manner. Voi scooters are charged with 100% fossil-free and renewable hydropower at their docking stations. The energy comes from water power plants in Ljusnan, Bergvik (Sweden). It’s worth noting that aluminum and steel are energy-intensive to mine and extract, however, I could not find whether Voi uses recycled aluminum or not. For this reason, I gave Voi a score of 2 planets. 

how it's made:

2.5

Voi scooters are designed, engineered, and assembled in production houses across Sweden and Germany. Voi’s main contribution to carbon emissions is from their production process and their transportation from the production site to Europe. A life-cycle assessment of Voi Paris operations shows that 35g of C02 is emitted per person per kilometer when using a Voi e-scooter, of which 50% is from the manufacturing process. This number is much lower than when Voi launched in 2018, as they have now implemented e-vans powered by renewable energy to transport the e-scooters from factory to docking station. This highlights Voi's commitment and improvement to sustainability practices across their supply chain. For context, 200g of C02 is emitted per person per kilometer in a petrol car. Therefore, Voi is already a much better alternative, especially in cases where a car is used for a short ride. 

By adopting circular economy principles, Voi has a very strong focus on repairs, reusing spare parts (where possible), and partnering with recycling experts such as Paprec (France) or Fortum (Sweden) to extend the overall life cycle. Over the years, they have sought to reduce their emissions and allowed for greener operations by improving scooter lifespan (from 12 months in 2018 to over 5 years with their latest model in 2020) and have enabled battery swapping to take place in cases where only the battery got damaged.

who makes it:

3

Voi is a Swedish urban mobility company that partners with cities and local communities that believe in changing the way people move around cities. Its mission is to provide an affordable and sustainable way of moving across the city. They are doing this across SDG Goal 11: “Sustainable cities and communities” by strengthening alternatives to cars, thus reducing air pollution and C02 emissions. Goal 12: “Responsible consumption and production” by creating a shift from private ownership of cars to an economy where communities share resources when they need them. Repair and reuse of the scooter is also part of this goal. Finally, Goal 17: “Partnerships for the Goals” where Voi recognizes that micro-mobility is only a small part of the solution to sustainable urban development, and as a result, they are working closely with civil society to allow cities to achieve a sustainable future.

Voi is taking steps to make its production process even more sustainable. Currently, only 80% of the batteries can be recycled, and they are trying to increase this figure. They are also trying to increase the traceability of their recycled materials, to ensure consumers that the materials they are recycling are being handled properly. Their goal is to make every shipment traceable, up to the point where it re-enters the market as a fuel or raw material.