If you still think Birds poop on your head and Lime is for tacos and margarita, you’ve been asleep for the last few months.
In that time, e-bike and e-scooter sharing companies have spread their wings into dozens of markets adding some juice to millions of trips.
We are officially in the era After Dockless (AD).
Even though Have A Go is based the an ownership model, we have grown increasingly ecstatic over this new model of lightweight electric vehicle adoption.
Why are we so excited? Doesn’t this new model obsolete the ownership market for e-scooters, e-bikes, and other lightweight electric vehicles?
First, we’re excited because this new rental/sharing model is massively accelerating Have A Go’s vision founding vision.
And second, because the sharing/rental model is actually the greatest thing to happen to the ownership model.
RENTAL/SHARING ALIGNS WITH OUR VISION
Our mission is to “transition the world away from cars to greener, more fun, safer, and healthier forms of transportation…We want to make non-car urban mobility fun and easy!”
So yes, we’re thrilled that our vision has been rapidly accelerated by this new dockless sharing model.
We believe that lightweight electric vehicles (LEVs) are super sustainable, healthy, affordable, 0 emissions, and fun. They’re great for riders, cities, and the entire planet.
The faster they take over and faster the world ditches cars as the primary mode of urban mobility, the better!
COUNTERINTUITIVELY, RENTAL/SHARING IS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THE OWNERSHIP MODEL
The Three Major Bottlenecks of LEV Ownership Adoption
The ownership model had three major bottlenecks (the frustration at the slow pace of growth is one reason Have A Go was started last year). Most industries don’t survive one bottleneck, let alone three!
- Education/Familiarity Bottleneck: The first bottleneck was the traditional new technology adoption bottleneck: familiarizing and educating people about a product. Other than a gigantic marketing budget, this process can be painstakingly slow relying on super-early adopters to interact with enough people to slowly grow the market.
- Try-Before-You-Buy Bottleneck: The second major bottleneck was the need to physically try out a lightweight electric vehicle before purchasing one. In our research, we discovered that due to the novelty of e-bikes, e-scooters, and other e-wheels AND due to their relatively high prices, most new customers wanted to try out a model before purchasing one, even if they were familiar with them and had done some research. People didn’t want to spend hundreds or thousand of dollars on an unfamiliar new gizmo with an unclear value proposition. There was only a small sliver of the population of super early adopters that bought LEVs straight from the manufacturer or on Kickstarter. The rest had tried one before buying. And the limited availability of LEVs became a big bottleneck.
- Exposure Bottleneck: And the third bottleneck was even once someone converted and bought an LEV, they couldn’t freely use them anywhere they wanted to due to the terrible urban design of most city streets AND couldn’t enthusiastically recommend them to friends and family for this very reason. The lack of protected bike infrastructure significantly reduced the ability for an owner of an LEV to actually ride, so unlike Walkmans, smartphones, or any other technology product that spreads via exposure, the limited ability to use LEVs severely hindered this exposure. And because of the lack of easy access to city streets, LEV owners didn’t enthusiastically recommend their rides to friends and family. It always came with caveats of safety, hardly what you want to hear as a potential new user.
Dockless Rental/Sharing Has Obliterated These Bottlenecks Almost Overnight
Rental/sharing companies eliminated the education/familiarity and try-before-you-buy bottlenecks almost overnight by making it incredibly cheap and ridiculously convenient to try an LEV. They accomplished this by:
- Putting an e-bike or e-scooter on every street corner
- Allowing anyone to unlock one with a smartphone and just a few dollars
- And crucially, eliminating dock anxiety by letting riders drop them off anywhere without worrying if there was a designated dock near their destination
E-wheel sharing companies not only eliminated the try-before-you-buy bottleneck, but they actually turned it into marketing opportunity. Because e-bikes and e-scooters are so easy and fun, the first ride became a hook for many people, driving an unprecedented spike adoption.
So dockless sharing companies are actually doing the hard marketing work for LEV manufacturers!
Finally, dockless rental/sharing companies have eliminated the exposure bottleneck by created the safety in numbers that usually takes cities decades to achieve. While these companies did not manage to magically conjure up dedicated LEV infrastructure for a comfortable and safe riding experience, thanks to the sudden simultaneous mass arrival and adoption of e-bikes and e-scooters, they did create a sudden awareness (even if much of this awareness came in the form of complaints) of the presence of alternate modes of mobility on city streets, creating a much safer riding environment.
So at year 0 AD (After Dockless), millions of people now know about LEVs. Tens of thousands have tried one. And many use them regularly and feel relatively comfortable doing so.
With the seemingly intractable bottlenecks gone, ownership will now explode!