Usain Bolt is bringing his micromobility company Bolt Mobility to the UK, looking to meet officials in London to showcase the range of transport solutions it offers.
The company recently launched in Paris, putting e-scooters on the pavements of the French capital as Bolt Mobility looks to establish itself in 20 European cities by 2020. London is next on the list, but faces a more substantial challenge as in the UK as e-scooters aren't legal. Well, they aren't illegal, but you can't ride them on the road or on the pavement, and that poses something of a challenge for an e-scooter rental service.
That's why the UK's rental solution so far has amounted to bikes, with London's own Santander/Boris bikes taking pride of place with dedicated racks and parking places, while recent entrants Lime and Uber's Jump has its own bikes, dumped wherever they happen to fall.
Bolt Mobility has revealed that it has an e-bike solution too, something that wasn't showcased at the Paris launch, which potentially gives the company an entrance into the city. Bolt won't be the first and other dockless bike rental firms have struggled, with some like ofo, oBike and Urbo leaving the UK market soon after launch.
The advantage that TfL's Santander bikes have is that you always know where to find them and where to park them with dedicated racks. Dockless systems allow the rider more freedom, but run the risk of causing congestion on pavements around busy areas, like train stations - and could face removal by councils if they are causing a problem. In addition, anything that's not secured runs the risk of vandalism - something that Bolt Mobility will have to allow for.
Bolt Mobility makes the case that it puts safety first, that it manufactures its own products and using a swappable battery system on some models of its e-scooters, it aims to reduce the load on maintaining a fleet on the city's streets.
"We are a witnessing a European technology race that the UK has an opportunity to lead," said Usain Bolt, co-founder of Bolt Mobility. "As an athlete who runs in cities across the world, I've seen first-hand the impact that polluted air and overcrowded transport systems have on people's lives. London's roads are some of the most congested in Europe - so we see huge potential for the UK to benefit from the micromobility technology that is taking other cities by storm."
Currently we don't know a lot about how the e-bike scheme will work or when it might come to London, but we'll bring you updated information once we know.