European micromobility startup Tier has entered into a partnership with Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt to provide sustainable battery cells and systems for its e-scooters.

SoftBank-backed Tier said it will launch a pilot project of 5,000 e-scooters equipped with the greener batteries by the end of 2021.

Cities across Europe, the US and other countries have been embracing e-scooters as a more environmentally friendly form of short-distance travel in urban areas.

However, mining raw materials for batteries and the manufacturing process account for the majority of greenhouse gases associated with electric vehicles.

To reduce emissions, Northvolt recycles its batteries at end of life by using the raw materials for future batteries.

Its Northvolt Ett Gigafactory in northern Sweden is powered by 100% fossil-free energy and it claims to only source its materials from responsible suppliers.

“Our ambition is to provide the world’s greenest battery for the electromobility markets,” said Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt.

“In Tier, we have found a like-minded partner that shares many of our values on that journey. We can’t wait to get started and look forward to supporting Tier in their rapid expansion plans.”

It is Tier’s latest push to showcase its green credentials. Last September it unveiled a charging network that sees e-scooter riders swap depleted batteries at charging stations located in partner stores in exchange for free rides.

By having riders replace batteries it cuts the emissions associated with sending an engineer in a van to return the e-scooter or battery for charging.

Last summer the UK government greenlit e-scooter trials and since then a handful of companies, including Tier, have been selected to operate rental e-scooter schemes.

Lawrence Leuschner, co-founder and CEO of Tier, said: “Sustainability is one of our core values at Tier and I am proud of the goals we have achieved so far. We are aware that there is still a long journey ahead, especially concerning the sustainable creation and recycling of lithium-ion batteries used for micro-mobility services.”

“A partnership with such an innovative and pathbreaking company as Northvolt is therefore all the more important to show that it is possible to use batteries that are manufactured in an environmental and socially responsible form of construction. This is the future.”

In November 2020 Japanese conglomerate led a $250m funding round in Tier, giving it a valuation of $1bn.


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