Director for Northern Europe, Zalando
Richard Corbett is responsible for bringing the electric scooter boom to the lagging market of the UK, one of the few European countries that totally outlawed the vehicles.
Before coming to Swedish scooter startup Voi in May, Richard Corbett worked for rival scooter startup Bird, where he lobbied for and oversaw the launch of the UK’s first electric-scooter trial inside London's Olympic park. It was a huge moment, since technically it was illegal to operate scooters on UK roads and the pavements.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic changed everything, accelerating Corbett’s and other scooter execs’ discussions with the UK government. In June the UK government officially cleared scooter-rental businesses to start running trials across British cities.
"The greenlight for e-scooters allows us to radically rethink how we move around cities. We want to help cities and towns to use their space better and e-scooters are a key part of that, allowing people to travel on a low-carbon, accessible, and affordable mode of transport,” Corbett tells Business Insider.
"E-scooters can challenge the supremacy of the car. With more than 60% of all car journeys in the UK being one person driving less than 5 kilometers, we have a real opportunity to replace these car journeys with e-scooters and help decarbonise our streets. This is the future of travel in urban areas and will transform our cities in the way that cars did 100 years ago.”