Micromobility Newsletter: 🥾 Will Paris Squash Scooters?

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Micromobility Newsletter for December 20, 2022

This post was originally published in the weekly Micromobility Newsletter. For more insights, analysis, and news about the future of urban mobility, subscribe here.

🌍 Micromobility World is coming on January 19th. Join some of micromobility’s best and brightest minds, including Kara Swisher, Gabe Klein, and Bhavish Aggarwal, at our largest virtual summit yet. Plus, tune in to find out the winners of the Rider’s Choice Awards live. Tickets are free for a short time (happy holidays!), so register now.

Today’s newsletter is brought to you by… Boaz Bikes.

Boaz Bikes is a bootstrapped, crowdfunded, cash flow-positive MaaS company that may be one of the safest scooter operators in the US, with over 200,000 rides across multiple markets and 0 reported accidents. Boaz uses their proprietary technology to help predict potential ride revenue, and streamline operations along with daily vehicle safety inspections.

Boaz is gearing up to launch in the LA market in early 2023 and is currently raising a seed round here.

What You Need to Know This Week

Rumors are flying that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will not renew licenses for scooter operators in a reaction (some might say over-reaction) to public concerns about safety and parking. This would be a strange decision given that Hidalgo has staked her political career on a visionary plan to reduce traffic and emissions by banning cars from much of the city. Studies show that shared scooter are a practical alternative to driving, with about one-third of trips replacing cars. And scooters are especially popular in Paris, where there were 1.2M riders last year, most of them residents. So if the talk of banning scooters is true, Hidalgo would be denying citizens and visitors access to one the most effective tools in the fight against car dependency in direct opposition to her own goals.

Motorists who cover up their license plates to avoid toll fees and fines from speed cameras have a new vigilante group to reckon with.

The holiday season is upon us and Early Bird tickets to Micromobility Europe 2023 are on sale now. Join us, alongside the entire industry, in Amsterdam this June!

Automobiles promise freedom but deliver the opposite: “Cars have become tightly sprung debt traps. The average monthly auto loan payment crossed $700 for the first time this year, which does not include insurance or maintenance costs. Subprime lending and longer loan terms of up to 84 months have resulted in a doubling of auto loan debt over the last decade and a notable surge in the number of drivers who are ‘upside down’— owing more money than their cars are worth.”

So it’s not too surprisingly that car repossessions are on the rise in the U.S.

How do you scale a +60 country ebike empire with just 85 employees and $6M in funding? On the latest episode of our podcast, Joshua Hon explains how Tern Bicycles was built around bike industry 101s (using local dealers to handle sales and servicing) and practical, utility-driven products (compact cargo ebikes geared toward families).

Denver’s wildly successful ebike rebate program could become a national model as more cities look to cut car usage.

… and Copenhagen is a model for the world on how to nurture micromobility with bike-friendly urban design.

Here’s a pop quiz: What is the #1 reason people don’t use a bike for transportation? If you guessed “because they are petrified of being mowed down by a car,” you are correct. In fact, according to a new survey from Melbourne, fear of motor vehicles is the #1, #2, and #4 top reason that people avoid going places on two wheels.

Laid-off autoworkers in Europe are being encouraged to join the booming bike and ebike industry.

Five years after the emergence of Bird, a new scooter company is rolling out in Los Angeles. Its game plan—start small, focus on operations, avoid fundraising—says much about how the industry has changed.

For the median U.S. city resident, 12% of daily trips are within a 15-minute walk.

After 14.5M trips, the U.K. Department for Transport has posted some interesting findings on scooter utilization. With 23k vehicles deployed nationally, each scooter sees an average of 2.4 trips per day (with significant variation between seasons), with the average trip lasting about 14 minutes (1.37 miles; 2.2 km).

Taiwan will extend its two-wheeler EV subsidy for four more years, investing an additional $191.5M. The initiative has already advanced Taiwan’s electrification efforts considerably: “Over the past five years, the government has spent [$233M] on the subsidies, with the number of electric scooters rising from 110,000 in 2017 to 610,000 today, while the number of swap and charge stations has grown from 8,400 to almost 50,000.”

IKEA is introducing a solar-powered electric trike that can carry 90% of its product range and presumably a lot of Allen wrenches.

Ikea

Yamaha isn’t in any hurry to bring an electric moped to India, even though it’s the world’s largest two-wheeler market.

By contrast, Ather Energy, one of India’s largest electric moped makers, plans to double production to 20k units a month by March 2023.

Browse dozens of the best jobs in micromobility—and post your own—on our Jobs to Be Done board.

Looking back on 2022, a year of seismic growth and change for micromobility.

Today’s Pro Webinar

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