⚡ Micromobility America Is Back

San Francisco :: Sept 23, 2021

Micromobility America (Sept 23) will reunite our global community in San Francisco at a pivotal moment for urban mobility.

Lockdown has scrambled people’s commuting habits on a global scale. Amid the upheaval, micromobility has emerged as one of the safest, most sustainable ways to get everyone moving again. The world has taken notice, yet challenges remain.

On the heels of this unprecedented disruption, Micromobility America returns with a call to unbundle the car, create more livable urban centers, and build a more sustainable world.

Join us in-person at San Francisco’s Pier 70 on Sept 23 (below) for a full day of programming with micromobility’s top builders, investors, and thinkers—including more than 500 global brands—focusing on the companies, business models, enabling technologies, and macro trends that are reshaping transportation in cities around the world. Speakers and agenda coming soon.

Join us

Tickets are available now for up to 75% off the General Admission price. Be among the first to register and save big. Space is limited.

⌲ For sponsor, speaker, or press inquiries, contact us.

It’s time to bring everyone back together. We look forward to satisfying 18+ months of pent-up demand for physical events, safely and responsibly. See you in SF for #MMAmerica2021 this fall ✌️

Questions? We’re happy to help. Feel free to email us at info@micromobility.io


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🗽 New York, At Last

NYC awards first scooter permits, Dott raises $85m, and Washington state votes to phase out gas cars by 2030.

Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by lightweight electric vehicles. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.

If you’re not a subscriber and you want to keep getting the latest news and analysis from inside the micromobility movement delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up here for free. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Thank you for reading.


“We can't stave off the worst effects of climate change by electrifying old ideas.”

In our latest video interview, Arcimoto’s Mark Frohnmayer explains his ambition to transform transportation by filling the gap between bikes and cars with ultra-lite, three-wheeled EVs. Check it out.

By the way, we’re always releasing new content on YouTube, with many more great episodes coming soon. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any of Oliver Bruce’s essential interviews with industry insiders.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • New York’s status as the last major U.S. holdout against the dockless scooter revolution has come to an end. Last week regulators approved three micromobility startups, Lime, Bird, and VeoRide, to participate in the city’s first e-scooter pilot this summer. Although the initial program will only cover a small part of one borough, the Bronx, New York as a whole is one of the largest potential markets for micromobility in the world. Gaining a toehold now could eventually become quite lucrative for Lime, Bird, and VeoRide in the future.

  • Reporter John Seabrook has the inside story of how NYC finally caught up to the rest of the world on e-scooters and why micromobility keeps arriving in new cities. Our own Horace Dediu chimes in with his prediction for the future: “The next revolution in transportation will come from the bottom.”

  • Amsterdam-based micromobility startup Dott has raised a new $85m Series B round, a mix of equity and debt financing, led by Sofina. The company—whose founders described their disciplined, capital-efficient approach to scooter operations on a recent episode of our podcast—will use the funds to fuel European expansion and incorporate e-bikes into its fleet of 30,000 e-scooters.

  • How eSkootr is using high-speed electric scooter racing as a platform to promote micromobility as an environmentally friendly form of everyday transportation in cities.

  • With more and more governments now offering financial assistance for e-bike purchases, Quebec is going a step further with a 25% rebate specifically for e-cargo bikes. The incentive is a big windfall for delivery workers, families, and anyone else who’d like to haul things around the city without a car.

  • Several cities in the Netherlands have launched a new transportation data standard as an alternative to MDS.

  • Washington state plans to ban sales of gas cars by 2030, which would put it ahead of California and Massachusetts as the first U.S. state to require new cars be electric.

  • Urban planner Janette Sadik-Khan calls on cities not to cede back street space that was taken from cars in the last year: “Surrendering Our Cities to Cars Would Be a Historic Blunder


Jobs to Be Done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.

Hit reply if you have a job that you’re interested in listing.


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🏆 Grab’s Record-Shattering SPAC

Plus, iCar isn’t Apple’s only mobility play, Niu plots retail domination in China, and commuters pick micromobility over ride-hail after Covid.

Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by lightweight electric vehicles. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.

If you’re not a subscriber and you want to keep getting the latest news and analysis from inside the micromobility movement delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up here for free. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Thank you for reading.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Grab, the Southeast Asian superapp that bundles ride-hail, micromobility, food-delivery, and digital-wallet services, will go public on the Nasdaq via SPAC merger with Altimeter Capital at a valuation of nearly $40b. Even amid a SPAC frenzy, the deal is by far the largest yet involving a blank-check company and means Grab’s valuation has more than doubled in just 18 months. 

  • In an interview with Kara Swisher, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly commented on the latest iCar rumors for the first time, while still playing his cards close to his vest: “The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back, the car, in a lot of ways, is a robot. An autonomous car is a robot. And so there’s lots of things you can do with autonomy. And we’ll see what Apple does.”

  • The iPhone maker announced another advance in mobility tech this week when it opened its Find My network to third-party integrations, a possible game-changer for recovering lost vehicles and lowering insurance costs in the world of micromobility. Already e-bike startup Vanmoof is allowing riders to find and track their bikes using the Find My app.

  • Almost two-thirds of urban residents support banning the sale of new fossil-fuel cars in Europe after 2030, according to a new YouGov online poll in 15 European cities. 

  • Following the lead of Lithuania and others, France is giving residents the option to trade in old cars in exchange for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy an e-bike.

  • New York’s CitiBike has surpassed Paris’s Velib to become the largest public bike-share system outside of Asia.

  • While there have no new announcements regarding London and New York’s hotly anticipated scooter pilots, job listings hint at possible winners, including Dott, Tier, and Lime in London, and Superpedestrian, Bird, Spin, and Lime in New York.

  • Electric moped maker Niu will open 10,000 stores in China in the next five years in an effort to increase its global unit sales by tenfold. As the Changzhou-based company scales up, it is also expanding its product line. This week Niu teased its first electric kick scooter, starting at $599.

  • Helbiz has completed its acquisition of MiMoto, adding e-mopeds to its fleet.

  • Vietnamese electric motorbike startup Dat Bike raised $2.6m in pre-Series A funding led by Jungle Ventures.

  • Danish MaaS app Cogo raised more than $1m in a round led by PreSeed Ventures.

  • As the world adapts to the new normal, fresh travel data from the U.S. Census Bureau offers a bleak reminder of what the old normal used to look like. In 2019, 76% of U.S. workers drove to work alone, while only 5% took public transit.

  • Tier acquired Budapest app maker Makery, which will serve as a tech hub for its coming expansion in Central and Eastern Europe. The Berlin-based micromobility startup has also added e-bikes, alongside kick scooters and e-mopeds, to its fleet mix.

  • Is Germany the world leader in cargo-bike sharing? Research shows the country has 128 cargo-bike rental systems across more than 100 cities.

  • Stuck between two sets of classifications, one created for motor vehicles and one for consumer products, micromobility devices often fall into a regulatory gray area in the U.S.

  • American bike imports were up 74% in February, year-over-year.


Pod People

Inside the first micromobility SPAC: $GRNV 🔜 $HLBZ

As Helbiz preps to become the first shared micromobility player listed on Nasdaq, Oliver Bruce talks to their CEO, Salvatore Palella, about how their $408m valuation was reached, the retail response, and what possibilities public markets enable for the industry.

Listen


Jobs to Be Done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.

Hit reply if you have a job that you’re interested in listing.


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🤯 How big are e-bikes in China?

Plus, what Biden's infrastructure bill means for cities, how to reduce your transport emissions by 67%, and why WFH won't save the planet.

Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by lightweight electric vehicles. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.

If you’re not a subscriber and you want to keep getting the latest news and analysis from inside the micromobility movement delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up here for free. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Thank you for reading.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Regular readers of this newsletter already know that e-bikes are massively popular in China, so much so, in fact, that electric bikes outnumber cars on China’s roads by about 20m. Now new data sheds light on the sprawling industry that is fueling urbanites’ demand for two-wheelers. In 2020, China’s e-bike sector had more than 50,000 manufacturers—an astonishing 83% increase from the year before—pumping out a variety of models that cost anywhere from $200 to $600. In total, 223,000 Chinese companies were in businesses related to the e-bike industry as of February.

  • Of all the proposals announced in President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure bill last week, probably none has received more attention than the plan to spend $174b on encouraging electric cars. But the bill also includes plenty to please those who don’t believe Americans should rely on cars to go everywhere, including doubling federal funding for mass transit, prioritizing repairing roads rather than building them, allocating $20b for Vision Zero, and more.

  • Millions of ABC viewers were introduced to the concept of e-cargo bikes in a recent episode of Shark Tank in which Aaron Powell of Texas-based Bunch Bikes pitched two-wheelers as a sustainable solution for last-mile deliveries. In the end, the startup landed $250k from Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec.

  • Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average person’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%, according to an Oxford researcher.

  • In 2020, the number of users on Seoul’s public bike-share service rose by 24% from the previous year to reach 2.78 million.

  • Google Maps is rolling out a bunch of new features, the most interesting of which is indoor AR directions for malls, transit stations, and airports. The latest update also includes a feature that gives drivers the option to take a longer but greener route to their destination.

  • Saudi micromobility startup Gazal has raised $2m in seed funding.

  • European cities that added bike infrastructure during the pandemic saw cycling increase by 11% to 48% more than cities that did not build new bike lanes.

  • Too bad the U.S. seems to be taking a different approach. According to a Boston University survey of 138 American mayors, most cities either did not add bike lanes, outdoor dining, wider sidewalks, or open streets during the pandemic, or if they did, they do not plan on keeping them permanently.

  • An Irish mechanic in London has developed a kit to transform classic Vespa mopeds into clean-riding electric machines.

  • More evidence that WFH isn’t going to save the planet: A new study from California finds that telecommuters actually drive more overall than those who commute to work.

  • Every year an estimated 5.3m people die from causes related to inactive living—a catastrophic health crisis that urban design can help solve.


Pod People

The latest episode of the podcast focuses on the software layer of micromobility, with Oliver Bruce interviewing Jameson Detweiler of Fantasmo about the challenges of geolocating vehicles with GPS, the emergence of camera-based positioning systems, and Fantasmo’s newly announced parking verification technology for scooters and bikes.

It’s a great, in-depth discussion for those whose work touches on geolocation or parking compliance. Check it out below.

Listen


Jobs to Be Done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.

Hit reply if you have a job that you’re interested in listing.


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💸 Price hike for e-bikes

Plus, why WFH might not last much longer, more clues about London’s scooter pilot, and Lime lets users ride without app.

Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by lightweight electric vehicles. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.

If you’re not a subscriber and you want to keep getting the latest news and analysis from inside the micromobility movement delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up here for free. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Thank you for reading.


One of the key assets to running a shared mobility business successfully is the vehicle you choose. In moped sharing, there are a growing number of vehicle options, especially as the demand for two-wheeled electric vehicles increases.

Later this week, we at INVERS will be releasing our latest e-paper looking at who are the dominant moped manufacturers today and which ones to keep an eye out for this year.

Sign up now to receive the e-paper.


What if you could get 74% more rides per scooter simply from operational tweaks? “It goes from a business that kind of makes money to one that really makes money.”

In our latest video interview, Zoba co-founder Joseph Brennan shows Oliver Bruce how analytics and data can optimize micromobility ops.

P.S. We’re releasing a constant stream of new content on YouTube now, with many more great episodes coming soon. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any of Oliver’s essential interviews with industry insiders.


Between COVID work stoppages, a massive stock surge, a strategic tech acquisition, partnering with legendary automotive engineer Sandy Munro, and the general fits and starts of pre-production, Arcimoto, maker of semi-enclosed electric three-wheelers, has had an eventful year.

On next week’s Pro Webinar, CEO Mark Frohnmayer will shed light on Arcimoto's manufacturing progress and long-term ambitions—and why he believes heavy micromobility is vital to the future of electric vehicles.

Become a Pro, free for 30 days, to gain access to this exclusive event and other cool perks.

Learn More


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Price hikes are threatening to derail the incredible momentum e-bikes have shown during the pandemic. Amid rising transportation costs, a shortage of key components, and the expiration of a U.S. exemption on e-bike tariffs, several manufacturers say they have no choice but to raise their prices by $100 to $200. If Congress cares about getting people out of cars and into truly sustainable modes of transport, now would be a great time to pass the EBIKE Act, giving Americans a tax credit covering up to $1,500 of e-bike purchases…

  • Don’t count out a commuting comeback yet. A new survey by KPMG shows most major global companies no longer plan to reduce their use of office space after the pandemic. Just 17% of chief executives intend to cut back on offices, down from 69% in the last survey in August.

  • Lockdown brought traffic to a standstill in many cities last year. But rather than ushering in a golden age of road safety, empty streets appear to have encouraged faster, more reckless driving. As a result, 2020 is projected to have the largest-ever annual increase in the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate per mile driven.

  • The latest edition of the Micromobility Landscape has dropped, courtesy of industry biographer Alessandro Zenati, featuring more than 200 new startups filling in crucial blank spots in the urban mobility ecosystem, including last-block delivery, charging and parking, DTC, and more. Submit your company for approval here.

  • Lime customers can now rent a scooter without downloading the app by taking a photo of the scooter’s QR code and paying through Apple Pay or Google Pay. In addition to app-less riding, Lime also rolled out new features that make it easier for users to reserve a scooter and check its battery range in advance of a trip.

  • Giant Group’s net profit went up nearly 50% in 2020 amid the unprecedented bike boom.

  • Bike lanes not only make micromobility users feel safer, they actually make trips seem faster. According to a fascinating study, scooter users perceive routes with bike lanes to be 59% shorter than they actually are.

  • Ninebot’s insanely cheap A30C electric moped may be coming to the U.S. and Europe soon. Costing only $350, the A30C includes some interesting features, including full-suspension, regenerative braking, password protection for electronic key sharing, OTA updates, and more.

  • Recruiting efforts in London lend credence to recent reports that Dott, Lime, and Tier have been approved to operate scooters in the city. (An earlier version of this post identified Voi as one of the companies that was hiring in London. We regret the error.)

  • Bike trips in Bogota have almost doubled in the last decade, to 880k per day.

  • Mobility data startup Lacuna is adding Tamika L. Butler and Rashida Richardson to its board of directors.

  • Amid declining ridership, more and more transit agencies are turning to MaaS partners to handle booking, payment, and trip planning. “What we do best is transporting large volumes of people on vehicles and managing mass transit,” said Metro Transit executive director Jessica Mefford-Miller. “On the software side, there are a lot of players out there doing great stuff that can help us meet our customers where they are and make trip planning as easy as possible.”

  • British Columbia will welcome privately owned e-scooters in select cities for the first time this summer.

  • And relatedly, here is state-by-state breakdown of electric scooter laws in the U.S., updated for 2021.

  • Voi is launching a pilot with Captur in the U.K. that will allow residents to report misplaced scooters’ locations by scanning a QR code.

  • Cake has developed an ultra-silent, off-road electric motorbike to help catch poachers in Africa.

  • A novel proposal in Denver would require developers to help reduce car trips by tenants. For example, the proposal suggests that developers could offer tenants subsidized transit passes or install showers for people who bike to work.

  • After Google raised the price for transit agencies to access Google Maps by 14-15x, Boston’s MBTA migrated to OpenStreetMaps and lowered its monthly Google API costs by 90%. (Read more about why Google Maps’ moat may be evaporating.)


Startup Spotlight

Browse startups looking to connect with investors.

📦 GetHenry

>> Connect here

Full-service last mile delivery bicycles.

Problem

Last-mile deliveries account for up to 30% of global CO2 emissions.

Solution

We offer delivery companies and couriers full-service subscriptions to delivery vehicles such as e-bikes, cargo bikes, and electric mopeds. Besides the hardware, our offer includes regular maintenance, insurance, and a fleet management dashboard to track performance.

How do you know it’s a problem?

Over 50% of all last-mile deliveries could be operated by light electric vehicles. But due to high costs of ownership (acquisition costs of up to $15k and maintenance costs of ca. $80/month), the adoption rate is still very low.

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If you’ve got a mobility company that’s fundraising, we’d love to try to help you meet angels and VCs through our newsletter. If you’re interested, fill out this 10-min form


Jobs to Be Done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.

Hit reply if you have a job that you’re interested in listing.


Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram | Blog | Podcast

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