Infographic – Top trends to watch in micromobility
By Katerina Mansour - 22 December 2021
Although the concept of an electric scooter dates back in history, the arrival of Bird and Lime’s e-scooters onto the market circa 2018 shook things up in the mobility sector. While the pandemic initially slowed down usage and adoption of micromobility vehicles like e-scooters, over time it has now become an opportunity for this market. Indeed, consumers are looking for ways to avoid public transportation and other mobility options that would put them at risk of contracting the virus.
Today, the micromobility market includes a wide array of options: e-scooters, e-bikes, electric skateboards, electric unicycles, and more. However, traditional vehicles like non-electric bicycles remain a go-to option for a large number of consumers. Aside from the pandemic, another reason behind the popularity of micromobility is the quest for more sustainability. Indeed, transportation accounts for a significant portion of the world’s carbon footprint. As individuals, it is one of the aspects in our life that we can easily change, thanks to the availability of so many new micromobility solutions.
In our infographic (bottom of page), we explore some ongoing trends that illustrate the growth of the micromobility market. We also take a look at key challenges, recent funding successes and impressive news from startups on the market.
Key trends in micromobility
- 70% of consumers are willing to use micromobility vehicles for their daily commute
- 67% of emissions are cut when choosing a bike over a car, even if it’s just once a day
- 300 million e-scooter trips happened worldwide as of mid-2020
- E-bike sales reached $10.6 billion in 2020 in Europe, up 52% from 2019
- 45% of micromobility rides in major US cities replace car trips
- 52% of German consumers say they would advocate for car-free zones in big cities to make space for bikes and pedestrians
Ongoing challenges to overcome
- Regulations and infrastructure are two of the main challenges micromobility faces. There need to be guidelines and laws on how these vehicles can operate within cities. There also needs to be the proper infrastructure for them to safely co-exist with other forms of transportation, e.g. more bike lanes or pedestrian areas where these vehicles can be driven.
- Safety is also a big concern, that can sometimes play into the regulatory issues behind micromobility. Indeed, concerns for citizens’ security can lead governments to ban certain micromobility options or heavily restrict their use. Security concerns often spike due to road accidents, but also come from issues with the material itself. For example, recent fires from e-scooter batteries prompted a ban on e-scooters in UK sidewalks and roads.
- Lastly, if micromobility companies want to promote their products as a sustainable alternative, they must also look at their manufacturing, operations and maintenance processes. All of these can considerably impact the sustainability of micromobility when taken into account. Questions around sustainability also arise when users opt for micromobility products for short distances that could have simply been walked.
Recent funding and startup news
- European micromobility startups raised $778 million in VC funding this year, as of October 2021
- $14 billion in equity funding has been poured into micromobility startups worldwide since 2017
- Transport for London selected Lime, Tier and Dott for a shared e-scooter trial that began in mid-2021
- Dutch startup VanMoof became the world’s best-funded e-bike company after its $128 million series C in September 2021
The future of micromobility, though it certainly faces challenges, seems rather promising. Estimates show that Europeans alone will buy an additional 10 million bikes per year by 2030.
Cities like London, Copenhagen and Paris are increasingly relying on micromobility options to help become more sustainable and attractive to residents. Indeed, since estimations show an additional 2.5 billion people will be living in cities by 2050, it’s vital for local governments to implement infrastructure, programmes and regulations that can help residents shift towards low-impact transportation methods.