America’s main scooter supplier is investing in autonomy

This week, Uber’s best bet is its “other bets,” Skip has a new whip, and e-bike riders are in fantastic shape, but first…

When People Ask Why the Next Event Is in Europe…

For all the ink spilt this week about the electric Ford F-150’s ability to tow a damn train (quick q: why?), ebikes are still thrashing EVs in sales in Europe.

Because in a largely urban society, most people don’t need a big metal box to make the majority of their trips, no matter how benign that box is for the planet. In fact, most people prefer not to spend a significant part of their income on a machine that gets stuck in traffic, is hard to park, and worsens the quality of life in their community,

Europe gets it. And if you come to Micromobility Europe, you’ll get it too.

Get your tickets now and save €240 off the General Admission price, then join us in Berlin on October 1 for the largest-ever event focused on first-and-last-mile transportation. (Early Agenda here.)

Don’t wait. Tickets to Micromobility Europe are going fast.


Listen Up

In the latest episode of the podcast, Oliver Bruce interviews Tier CEO and cofounder, Lawrence Leuschner, about the European micromobility landscape and why, with a clamp down on scooters looming in Paris, he thinks Germany is the most promising market on the continent.

Listen here, and catch Leuschner live onstage at #MME as part of the Micromobility Executives Roundtable.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Segway-Ninebot, the single-largest supplier of e-scooters in the United States, is expected to announce autonomy this week. How far along they are and what this means for fleet operators, only time will tell. | Tony Ho

  • A new study finds that breathing the air in some American cities is so bad for you, “the results are similar to smoking a pack of cigarettes daily for three decades.” What’s driving all that pollution? *cough* cars *cough* | FastCo

  • Uber lost $5.2 billion in Q2, although $3.9 billion of that total went to one-time payouts related to its IPO. | Jalopnik

  • … there was at least one bright spot in the transportation giant’s earnings report. Its “other bets” category, including micromobility and freight, is booming. | James Gross

  • … which is why multimodal offerings may be essential to the company’s long-term profitability. Uber sees cities like Denver, where users can order everything from bike rentals to bus tickets in the app, as its future. | NYT

  • Washington, D.C. has become something of a bellwether for understanding which micromobility technology is going to take off next. The city’s transportation officials embraced dockless e-bikes and scooters early, in 2017, approved a moped-sharing pilot last week, and are now looking into tricycles and e-cargo bikes. | WaPo

  • Berlin is considering new regulations to govern the approximately 6,000 dockless e-scooters that have hit its streets since June, including creating geofences around tourist hotspots, requiring providers to offer in-app safety training, and converting car parking spots into micromobility corrals. | RBB

  • From GM to Peugeot, legacy automakers are starting to get serious about lightweight electric vehicles. | Business Insider

  • Vélosophy is making a bike that is composed entirely out of old Nespresso pods. | FastCo

  • After four scooter riders were killed by cars this year, the mayor of Atlanta has issued an executive order banning people from using dockless vehicles at night. Outraged activists are calling for a “CARfew” instead. | Curbed

  • Bike-share programs across the U.S. are going electric. As of this month, 41 out of the 192 American cities that have a system offer ebikes. | U.S. News & World Report

  • Salt Lake City may soon become the first U.S. city with free public transit. | Streetsblog

  • Bird and Lime are piloting their first e-scooter trials in Japan. | Nikkei

  • Scooter-sharing operator Skip has unveiled a ruggedized model, the S3, which features a swappable battery, wider deck, bigger tires, and what is perhaps the thickest set of handlebars anywhere on the market. The S3 will deploy in San Francisco in October, which suggests the company is confident the city will renew its permit when it expires that same month. | VentureBeat

  • … as well, Skip scooters will return to D.C. following a recall prompted by a battery fire in June. | TechCrunch

  • Speed pedelec sales are picking up steam in the Netherlands, possibly as a result of changes in EU regulations. | Bike EU

  • Cleveland is backpedaling on its ban of dockless bikes and scooters. The city has invited four providers, Bird, Lime, Spin, and Veloride, to reintroduce free-floating two-wheelers after they were outlawed last year. | Plain Dealer

  • A new study finds that people who ride e-bikes get as much exercise as people who ride regular bikes. | TreeHugger

  • Mobility as marketing? The German digital bank N26 has inked a deal with Lime whereby its customers get 50% off rides for four months in more than 10 European countries. Related: here’s a country-by-country breakdown of where e-scooter policy stands across Europe. | Sifted


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The next front in the scooter wars? The Persian Gulf

This week, Bird’s new ride is a regular crimefighter, a new study casts doubt on e-scooters’ eco-friendliness, and—déjà vu—Lyft is recalling its e-bikes over safety, but first…

Introducing August Special

Hard as it is to believe, Micromobility Europe is less than two months away.

For those who are new in town, we are bringing leaders of both the private and public sectors, as well as enthusiasts and influencers from all around the world, to Berlin on October 1 for a full day of talks, workshops, and networking opportunities focused on the future of lightweight electric transportation. You can check out our jam-packed agenda here, featuring new speakers and sessions added weekly.

If you plan on coming, now is the time to book.

This month only, conference tickets are €240 off the General Admission price. Plus, if you want to bring a group, the price per person drops an extra €100 for every ticket you purchase up to four.

Get on it before this deal goes away 👈🎟️


The Spoken Word 🎧

As our own Horace Dediu likes to say, “If you want to understand cars, study roads. If you want to understand micromobility, study parking.”

In the latest episode of the podcast, he and Oliver Bruce discuss Donald Shoup’s landmark book, The High Cost of Free Parking, and why micromobility offers a compelling counterpoint to the dominant mindset that has existed around parking for the last 70 years.

Listen here.


The Written Word ✍️

Over on the blog, Horace spells out where the word “micromobility” comes from: “Micro can refer to the vehicles used but it also can refer to the distances traveled. It turns out that they are related: small distances are better traveled with small vehicles.”

Read the full article here.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Circ is officially the first international micromobility provider to launch in the Gulf Region. The Berlin-based startup, which until now operated only in Europe, has established a regional HQ and deployed e-scooters in Abu Dhabi. | Gulf News

  • … meanwhile local Emirati outfit Careem appears to have designs on the capital as well. The Dubai-based ride-sharing company, which earlier this year acquired a bike-sharing service and was itself acquired by Uber, is in talks to launch scooters rentals there. | The National

  • … and Circ’s hometown rival may not be far behind. Berlin native Tier has quietly launched a map of Abu Dhabi on its app, although it doesn’t appear to have any vehicles on the ground yet.

  • Emission-free? Not quite. A new life-cycle assessment by researchers at North Carolina State University concludes that dockless electric scooters produce more greenhouse-gas emissions per passenger mile than high-ridership buses, electric mopeds, and e-bikes. As always, when assessing the environmental impact of new modes of transportation, it really comes down to what kinds of trips they replace. The study finds that automobiles, for example, produce twice as much CO2 emissions as scooters. | MIT Tech Review

  • Lyft is pulling its Bay Wheels e-bikes from San Francisco after several of them caught fire due to problems with their batteries. This is the second time this year the company has had to recall its electric fleet over safety concerns caused by a mechanical failure. | Chronicle

  • … meanwhile Uber is suing Chicago over its exclusive bike-share contract with Lyft. | Sun-Times

  • Bird has unveiled a slick new e-scooter that comes equipped with an arsenal of anti-vandalism upgrades. The Bird Two features self-reporting damage sensors and anti-theft encryption sensors, puncture-proof tires, an anti-tipping kickstand, and seamless screws to reduce the likelihood of injuries and deter foul play. Plus its larger battery (50% more capacity than the Bird One) means less money spent on charging. All in all, the scooter represents Bird’s most serious attempt yet to rein in operational costs and limit depreciation. | Engadget

  • A spate of incidents involving intoxicated scooter-riders has Germany on edge as Oktoberfest approaches. A coalition of German cities is calling for stricter regulations and will propose new rules shortly. | The Guardian

  • Washington, D.C. is launching a four-month moped-sharing pilot. | Streetsblog

  • Big news for any scooter startup not named Scoot or Skip: San Francisco has opened up the process for more fleet operators to apply for permits. The city also plans to raise its vehicle caps from less than 1,000 scooters per company to somewhere between 1,000 to 2,500 each. | TechCrunch

  • “Wow. Look at These Astounding Photos of Abandoned Dockless Vehicles in America.” Finally, someone gets it. | Slate

  • Gone in 60 seconds? Digital Trends has retracted a report claiming that it was able to nick VanMoof’s “impossible to steal” S2 electric bike in one minute. | Digital Trends

  • Stepping up its enforcement of dockless mobility, Beijing impounded almost 400,000 improperly parked shared bikes in the first half of 2019. During that same period, according to city officials, only 16 percent of shared bikes were used on a daily basis. | China Daily

  • … maybe they should link up with designer Qiang Huang, the Central Saint Martins graduate who is repurposing discarded shared bikes to create industrial-style furniture. | Curbed

  • Audi unveiled a new electric microvehicle called the e-tron Scooter, a skateboard/scooter hybrid that riders can steer with a handlebar or control with their feet. It will be available for purchase in late 2020 for $2,200. | Forbes

  • Baltimore has granted dockless e-scooter and bike permits to Lime, Spin, Bolt, and Jump. | Sun

  • Bird’s monthly scooter rental program, currently available in San Francisco, Miami, and Barcelona, may not be as convenient as short-term rentals or biking, according to a new review. “Bird and its fellow electric scooter providers have experienced a meteoric rise because of a simple premise: a scooter you rent spontaneously for a short period of time that you don’t have to take care of or worry about when you’re not riding it. A monthly program like this, where I’m encouraged to use it every day and liable for its well-being, injects all sorts of complications.” | The Verge

  • In search of a new hate read? Look not further than “How Jaywalking Could Jam Up the Era of Driverless Cars.” | NYT


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Want more up-to-the-minute news and announcements? Be sure to follow us and check out our website.

Elon Musk raises $117M to dig better holes

This week, Madrid’s embattled car ban is saved, the youths aren’t biking like they used to, and German domestic flights may get permanently grounded, but first…

It’s the End of the Line

Or the edge of the geofence, depending on your preferred mode of transportation.

The July Special discount for Micromobility Europe—which costs €275 less than the full price—will expire tonight at midnight EST. It’s now or never.

Check out the Early Agenda for the event here, featuring seven new speakers added since last week, then do the smart thing…

Book your #MME tickets today.


But Wait! There’s More…

To sweeten the #MME pot, we are excited to announce a first-of-its-kind panel dedicated to autonomous micromobility.

On October 1 in Berlin, will bring together thought-leaders and early innovators—including Alan Wells (Head of New Mobility Robotics, Uber), Tarani Duncan (COO, Shared), Dmitry Shevelenko (Co-Founder, Tortoise), and David Hansen (Co-Founder, Weel Autonomy)—for a far-reaching conversation about why adding autonomy in micromobility is compelling, what the biggest challenges in the space are, and what you can expect once driverless bikes and scooters actually hit the road.

This is a can’t-miss conversation about the future of road use and robotics. Grab a ticket now and tell your grandkids you were there.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • American kids aren’t riding their bikes as much as they used to. Could high cycling fatalities be the reason parents are keeping their kids indoors and, if so, will the arrival of driverless cars ease their safety concerns? | Forbes

  • Jump scooters are back in Paris after a 10-day hiatus. | Fluctuo

  • It was only a matter of time before scooter startups and the tow companies that impound their vehicles went to war. | The Verge

  • The German Green Party wants to make domestic flights “largely obsolete” by 2035 by improving rail service. (That reminds us: Don’t forget to book your macro travel to the Berlin event if you haven’t yet!) | Euractiv

  • Unagi’s first e-scooter, the 24-pound, 16-mph Model One, gets taken for a test ride. | Wired

  • Driverless cars will likely worsen congestion, which is why cities need to invest in public transit and other mobility alternatives now. | World Economic Forum

  • Lyft’s stock tumbled after COO John McNeill announced he is leaving the company. | CNBC

  • Continuing a busy week for Spin, the Ford-owned company has refreshed its website, app, and logo. | VentureBeat

  • One month into Chicago’s dockless scooter-sharing pilot, Lime says demand for its vehicles is outpacing supply. | Curbed

  • Yamaha’s long-teased three-wheeled electric scooter continues its slow roll toward a commercial release date. | Designboom

  • While scooter rentals companies all over the world are incrementally raising their prices, the cost of buying an e-scooter keeps on falling. For a limited time, Walmart is offering the Xiaomi Mi for only $349. | PCMag

  • Indianapolis will charge Lime and Bird $1 per scooter, per day to fund mixed-use micromobility lanes. | IndyStar

  • … and this November, San Franciscans will vote on a similar ballot measure that would tax individual Uber and Lyft rides in order to pay for mass transit and street safety improvements. | Curbed

  • U-turn! Less than a month after it reversed Madrid’s car ban, the municipal government was forced to reverse its reversal, following successful court challenges and mass protests. | Jalopnik

  • Elon Musk’s Boring Company has raised about $117 million in funding to dig state-of-the-art holes for its hyperloop system. | Reuters


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Want more up-to-the-minute news and announcements? Be sure to follow us and check out our website.

A tale of two (Bay Area) cities and e-scooters

This week, Rome is being paved, Uber is getting serious about the “Amazon of transportation” thing, and Bird is raising at a $2.5 billion valuation, but first…

5 Days Left to Save €275

Here it is. The end of July. And it seems like summer’s only just begun…

With the end of the month comes the end of July Special pricing for Micromobility Europe. The sale—33% off General Admission!—ends on Wednesday, July 31, at 11:59pm EST. (Check out the Early Agenda here and stay tuned for more speaker announcements soon.)

This is your last chance to lock in tickets to the world’s largest conference devoted to first-and-last-mile transportation for €275 less than what people who wait will pay.

And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that micromobility people don’t wait. Micromobility people go fast.

You know what to do 👈🎟️

Artwork by Anne Birzin


Airwaves

In the latest episode of the podcast, Oliver Bruce talks to Sampo Hietanen, CEO of Helsinki-based Maas Global/Whim, about the challenges and opportunities of scaling mobility as a service offerings, from ticketing and APIs to regulatory barriers and walled gardens.

Listen here.


Here’s What You Need to Know This Week

  • Bird is raising a Series D round led by Sequoia Capital at a $2.5 billion valuation. The company has declined to comment on the size of the round. | TechCrunch

  • More Americans have died in car crashes since 2000 than in both World Wars combined. | WaPo

  • A new consortium of Spin, Waze, Zipcar, Swiftmile, Ford Mobility, and Transit will develop multimodal, multi-vendor transportation hubs in Pittsburgh. | Post Gazette

  • Spin will also release a third-generation electric scooter with better braking, bigger tires, and longer battery life as part of its ongoing expansion. (When the startup was acquired by Ford in late 2018, it was active in about 15 cities and college campuses. That number is now closer to 50.) | The Verge

  • The Amazon of transportation? Uber is testing out a subscription model in San Francisco and Chicago that, for $25/month, includes free rides on Jump bikes and scooters, fixed ride-hail discounts, and free delivery from Uber Eats. | The Verge

  • … or the Skymall of the street? Uber is also launching a shopping app with Cargo that allows ride-hailers to earn rewards like free shipping and 10% back in Uber Cash for products purchased during trips. | TechCrunch

  • It’s A Tale of Two Cities in the Bay Area but for scooters. In San Francisco, where the vehicle cap is low and whole neighborhoods are off limits for operators, riders are overwhelmingly wealthy and white. Meanwhile, across the water in Oakland, city officials have welcomed scooter-sharing operators but required them to allocate 50 percent of their fleets to disadvantaged neighborhoods. The result is a far more equitable distribution of transportation choices. | East Bay Express

  • Faced with mounting cycling fatalities, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a $58.4 million bike safety plan, which will add 30 miles of protected bike lanes a year going forward. | NYT

  • Meanwhile, in California, a new Senate bill would require new bike lanes to be built or improved whenever state roads are repaved. | ABC 10

  • Drivers crowd women on bikes more often than men, a new study finds. | Star Tribune

  • Is a custom-built Lyft scooter in the works? The company, which relies on Segway models, has hired Bird’s head of vehicle product, Eugene Kwak. | TechCrunch

  • In other Lyft news, the app has now integrated mass transit data in NYC. | Bloomberg

  • When bike-share companies phase out old models, more often than not, they wind up in landfills. | Slate

  • Rome will rip up hundreds of thousands of cobblestones from its busiest streets and replace them with asphalt to make it easier for cars, trucks, bikes, and scooters to travel. The basalt cobblestones, potent symbols of the city’s past, will be reused to pave quieter streets with less traffic. | Telegraph

  • A must-read essay looks at the social, political, environmental, and human cost of cars and asks the question, “When the people of the future look back at our century of auto life, will they regard it as a useful stage of forward motion or as a wrong turn?” | New Yorker


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Want more up-to-the-minute news and announcements? Be sure to follow us and check out our website.

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