New Zealand

Beam wins 2-year operational license in Tauranga, bringing Saturn 5 e-scooters for summer

Beam wins 2-year operational license in Tauranga, bringing Saturn 5 e-scooters for summer
  • 400 Saturn 5 e-scooters to land in Tauranga on 4 December

[3 November 2023] Beam, Australia and New Zealand’s largest shared micromobility company, has won a two-year operational license to operate in Tauranga, following a competitive application process for a new permit led by the Tauranga City Council.

400 safety-first purple e-scooters will roll out across the city on 4 December, bringing Beam’s blend of technology innovation, rider education and enforcement, and a community-centric approach to the city. 

“We are pleased to be building on Tauranga’s shared micromobility program over the next two years, in partnership with the Tauranga City Council,”

says Beam’s General Manager (ANZ) Tom Cooper. 

“Over four million shared e-scooter and e-bike trips have been taken on Beams all across the country, with data from our other New Zealand operations showing a shift from cars to a preference for e-scooters for shorter trips under 5 km. 
“We see Tauranga as an optimal city for us to be introducing new technology, with an increased focus on accelerating modal shift away from cars in a safe, sustainable and affordable way.  
“We’re excited to introduce our Saturn 5 e-scooter to Tauranga, which was developed particularly for mature e-scooter markets.
“It caters for longer commuting journeys with features like wireless phone charging and auditory alerts, as well as improved geo-fencing capabilities to ensure safe operation of micromobility alongside other modes of transport.
“As we prepare to commence our operations in Tauranga, we are committed to forming partnerships with local community members and organisations, and engaging in discussions around the safe operation of e-scooters to ensure the safety of riders, pedestrians and other road users.” 

“The recent trial held in the city proved a success with over 580,000 trips taken and nearly a million kms travelled since shared e-scooters were introduced in late 2020,”

says Tauranga City Council’s Shared e-scooter programme lead Andy Vuong

“E-scooters are a cost effective and energy efficient way for those living or visiting Tauranga to get around our city.
“We look forward to working with Beam to continue to build on the success of the trial while ensuring operating conditions such as low-speed zones, no-use zones, and improved parking management approaches to deliver improved outcomes for the wider community.” 

20 local jobs will be created to manage Beam’s Tauranga operations.

Features of Beam’s Saturn 5 e-scooter

New-generation IOT, featuring high precision geofencing and increased GPS accuracy

The Saturn 5 features an upgraded IoT, feeding not just off satellites but off information gathered from the vehicle’s own systems. 

The result is centimetre-perfect position accuracy, ensuring riders remain inside approved micromobility vehicle use zones, and swift action as the rider moves between zones with differing restrictions.

Auditory alerts and hands-free phone charging 

Building on the previous generation of e-scooters that featured phone holders for rider ease, and to ensure all riders had their hands off their phones, the Saturn 5 adds wireless phone charging capabilities, enabling longer journeys.

The Saturn 5 also features new-generation clear audio messaging, with safe riding reminders and riding zone changes now delivered audibly as well, so riders can listen to instructions and don’t have to take their eyes off their journey. 

For those who prefer visual cues, the Saturn 5 conveys riding notifications when entering and leaving slow zones, no parking zones and other riding areas, via an on-screen display. 

“We deliver these instructions in our app as well, especially for those who are hearing impaired, but we’ve also found the audible alerts increase rider compliance with the riding rules, and the on-screen display provides an additional cue,”

says Cooper. 

Hardware upgrades for safety, inclusiveness and durability

To further insulate the rider from unevenness of roads and pavements, the Saturn 5 features larger front and back wheels, giving riders an increased sense of confidence whilst on the scooter. 

And a small but significant update to the hardware on the Saturn 5 is the noticeably smaller handlebars, designed for better grip and quicker access to the safety features alongside the handlebars, including the brake levers, left and right indicators, and bell. 

The vehicle has also been designed with sustainability at its core, with the Saturn 5 boasting up to 120 kilometres of battery life, the longest capacity of any vehicle in the shared micromobility space.

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