Micromobility Roundup March 10
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Boosted boots employees: E-skateboard maker Boosted has laid off a “significant portion” of staff and is looking for a buyer. Done in by the US-China tariff wars and high development costs of an unreleased scooter, this could be a warning to other micromobility hardware startups. Meanwhile in SoCal, Wheels had to lay off 6% of their team as they too struggle to reach profitability.
Shrinking scooter scene: As colder months cut ridership, Los Angeles saw scooter rides fall in half from August to December. Given the number of operators exiting the market or adjusting their fleet sizes, it’s yet to be determined if these stats are seasonal fluctuations or a harbinger of continued consolidation.
Car free recipe: Even during the short few months since Market Street’s independence from private autos in San Francisco, micromobility saw over a 30% jump in scooter use in a single month and bicycle ridership surged 20% in just a single day.
Mopeds’ moment? Germany’s Tier Mobility is looking to the electric moped space after it snapped up rival Coup’s assets, including a 5,000 unit fleet and substantial charging infrastructure. Meanwhile, France’s Cityscoot raised €23.6 million for their dockless electric mopeds from new and existing investors. Is this the start of scooter sharing 2.0?
Mobike, lessbike: While it began in China and has since stumbled, Mobike’s European story continues, with two new spinoffs covering Northern and Southern Europe.
Smart (micromobility) city: A Dutch Airport will begin testing a system of speed limiters and signal prioritization on higher speed “pedelec” ebikes to achieve a balance between long-distance commuting capabilities while maintaining city center safety for traditional bike riders.
Spin spreads: As other operators are downsizing and exiting markets, Ford’s e-scooter company, Spin, is launching a fleet outside of the US for the first time. Starting in Germany this spring, Spin is rumored to also have eyes on France and the UK as well.
Scooter shrinkage: LA-based Wheels, the startup that provides minibike-looking seated scooters, is the latest micromobility operator to feel the squeeze. About 6% of the company is being laid off and it’s exiting Cleveland, Salt Lake City, and Chicago. More evidence that cold weather cities are a tough market for shared mobility.
Pound wise: England’s Conservative government promises “over 250 miles of new, high-quality separated cycle routes” as well low-traffic neighborhoods with pedestrians prioritization. Even with this substantial investment, at least £5 billion is needed just to reach the government’s modest cycling goals.
Bird feeder: To placate irate business owners tired of cluttered scooters outside their storefronts, Bird is testing an in-app mobile payment solution: Bird Pay. With 58% of rides starting/ending in front of shops, the hope is to push riders (and their money) into local stores.
But in Texas, meanwhile — it’s swing… and a miss: In 2011, Dallas pledged to build 1,300 miles of bike routes in a decade. With just one year left, the city appears to be falling short of its goal, by a whopping 89%. Guess “everything’s bigger in Texas” doesn’t apply to bike lanes?
Top-off: European scooter sharing provider Tier has grown its Series B by $40 million for fleet expansion, vehicle development, and a stronger management team.
Two, cute: Swiss Microlino shows off an adorable micro EV with car-like features in a tiny package, as well as a cute three-wheeled electric scooter built for stability, up to 62 miles of range, and no need for a motorcycle license.
But where are the bike lanes? While Lego city sets feature a rich collection of urban elements, bike lanes are oddly missing, while car lanes dominate…and executives aren’t even fazed. Apparently Lego cities also come with their own tiny NIMBYs! Funny considering Lego’s home country of Denmark is the most bike-friendly nation on the planet…
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Have A Go is the micromobility editor for CoMotion, a weekly roundup of all things mobility.
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