Zipp Mobility ( (Zipp), the Irish micromobility operator headquartered at NovaUCD, today announced a collaborative research partnership with the UCD Energy Institute to develop accessory technologies to make e-scooters safer in urban environments. 

L-R: Prof Andrew Keane, director, UCD Energy Institute, Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD Energy Institute and Charlie Gleeson, Zipp Mobility. Image: Vincent Hoban, UCD

Working in the UCD Energy Institute’s IELab, a team from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will undertake practical prototyping work on a number of Zipp e-scooters, upgrading them with smart noisemaking and lighting features to ensure the e-scooters can be seen and heard more clearly.

Significant player

Since its establishment in 2019, Zipp has raised €2.1 million from investors and become a significant player in the European scooter-sharing market with operations in the UK and Poland. Next year the company plans to launch in several Irish cities including Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. Zipp also plans to begin operations in Portugal and Spain during 2022.

Dr Paul Cuffe, UCD Energy Institute, said: “E-scooters are a fun and practical mode of sustainable transport, and I’m delighted to see how popular they’re becoming in cities around the world. With this growing popularity, though, we need to ensure that they’re safe for all users of city streets.

"Electric scooters can be rather quiet and inconspicuous, and pedestrians may not always be aware that they are approaching. In this research collaboration we will work with Zipp to upgrade their e-scooters with smart noisemaking and lighting features, so they are visually and audibly more noticeable.”

Charlie Gleeson, CEO and founder, Zipp Mobility, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the UCD Energy Institute on this research collaboration.  Zipp’s mission is ‘mobility done right’ and having world-class technology that prioritises safety is a cornerstone of our approach.

"When we launch our service in Ireland next year, we want it to be as safe as possible and this research follows on from feedback received from our existing customers in the UK and Poland. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to safety and our commitment to R&D activities in Ireland.”

Professor Andrew Keane, director, UCD Energy Institute said: “Choice around low carbon modes of transport will play a big role in reducing emissions from energy use. This collaboration with Zipp strongly aligns with the UCD Energy Institute’s strategy to deliver research supporting a net zero energy system in 2050, with transport being an area of increasing focus.”

This project is being supported with funding from Enterprise Ireland and Zipp Mobility.