Get ready for pod vehicles

This week, Dyson cleans house on EVs, Lime isn’t interested in buying your startup, and Minneapolis clears out its scooters for visit from Trump, but first...

Why Hello Again

The Micromobility Newsletter is BACK after a one-week hiatus following our largest event yet, Micromobility Europe, and we come bearing gifts.

By popular demand we are making select slide decks from the Berlin conference available to download via our press kit, including presentations by Segway’s Tony Ho, Jump by Uber’s Avra van der Zee, and of course, Horace Dediu himself. Soon we will have videos of every single session to share as well.

And if you want the full oratory experience with voiceover, Horace will be recapping his Berlin keynote address, entitled “The Smartphone on Wheels,” live on his monthly Zoom call with Triple M members on Monday, October 21 from 8AM to 9:30AM PST.

To take part in the call, which will include a Q&A section with Horace after his presentation, sign up for Triple M below. Other perks of premium membership include discount conference tickets, access to our private Slack channel, and more.

Double Feature

On the podcast front, we have not one but two new episodes this week to inspire and entertain.

First up, cohosts Oliver Bruce and Horace Dediu recorded an episode in front of a live audience at The Drivery in Berlin. In it, they explore Germany’s micromobility explosion, why legacy OEMs are asleep at the wheel when it comes to LEVs, and how soon automakers will be forced to flee cities.

Check it out here.

Next, Oliver sat down with Frank Reig, CEO of the emoped sharing system Revel, for a one-on-one interview to discuss the company’s recent $27.6 million funding round, its immediate plans for expansion, and why Reig believes the moped is poised to conquer America.

Listen here.

What You Need to Know This Week

  • Leading off, Berlin-based Tier Mobility, which just announced it hit 10 million rides in 11 months, has raised $65 million in a new funding round led by Mubadala Capital. Asked what the company will do with all that green, CEO Lawrence Leuschner revealed they are in the process of developing sheltered vehicles (AKA pods). “We have a clear path to create a new type of vehicle and we’re not far away, and it’s suited for cities and will be good in rainy seasons.” | Bloomberg

  • … additionally, in Paris, Tier has rolled out its first scooters with removable batteries, made by the Chinese manufacturer Okai. | Le Parisien

  • Dyson has cancelled its electric car program, but the solid state batteries it developed may be put to use for other projects. | Techradar

  • Jump is testing a new pricing scheme in Paris. For €5 a month, users can bypass unlock fees and ride free for 10 minutes per day. | Le Parisien

  • Is the Bird Cruiser finally coming? No word yet officially, but the company did update its Android app with a new tutorial for operating the electric moped. | Electrek

  • Acquiring smaller rivals will not be part of Lime’s strategy for becoming the go-to scooter app, says president Joe Kraus. “I absolutely believe that most of our users have multiple scooter apps on their phone. But what matters is: what is the first one you open?” | FT

  • Wind’s new swappable battery–equipped, water-resistant scooter—which guests got to preview at Micromobility Europe ahead of its general release—is hitting the road in Tel Aviv, Nice, and Bordeaux. (Also here is a backstage video Q&A with the company’s CEO, Eric Wang, from our Berlin conference.) | Intelligent Transport

  • … relatedly, Wind has been carrying out some insanely laborious sting operations to intercept scooter rustlers. The company hopes its new vehicle’s larger size will act as a natural deterrent against theft. | Bloomberg

  • Bird France is a more than $35 million business, according to its GM. | The Startup

  • The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has released the scores given to each scooter company on their most recent permit application. | Michael R. Bock

  • New York City’s qualms about the forced arbitration policy in Jump’s user agreement is preventing the Uber subsidiary from expanding beyond Staten Island to the other four boroughs. | Politico

  • In a new video interview, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden again emphasized the company’s strong unit economics. “We are not fully loaded profitable yet, but we are profitable at the ride level and the city level.” | TechCrunch

  • Lime’s stuck, immobile, with the Memphis blues again. Last year, the company was forced to remove its fleet from the Tennessee city for operating without a permit. Now it is leaving again, this time of its own volition, for reasons that are yet unknown. | WMC

  • Experts predict the European ebike market will triple in the next five years. | Bike Europe

  • Minneapolis required scooter operators to suspend service for 24 hours for a Trump rally. | The Verge

  • Marseille, France’s second-largest city, has awarded permits to Bird, Circ, and Voi to operate 2,000 scooters each. | The Local

  • Big news for exactly 10 NIMBYs: Three months after San Diego’s scooter crackdown began, 500 people have been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk, 3,700 vehicles have been impounded, Jump and Skip have left town, and ridership is down overall. | Union-Tribune

  • Shared emoped startup Revel has raised nearly $28 million in a new round led by Ibex Investors. The company, which operates in Brooklyn, Queens, and Washington, D.C., expects to expand service to “about 10 cities” by mid-2020. | TechCrunch

  • In the event of a no deal Brexit, the U.K. government will remove all tariffs on non-EU bicycles for 12 months. | Pinkbike

  • Yamaha has teased a series of new battery-powered prototypes, including a bike and a moped for urban commuters. | Designboom

yamaha launches trio of battery-powered concepts including two city scooters
  • Hundreds lost their driving licenses during a crackdown on intoxicated scooter riding at Oktoberfest. | CNN

  • Shared micromobility startup Wheels has raised $50 million in a round led by DBL Partners and is looking at selling its pedal-less ebike directly to consumers. | TechCrunch

  • After Singapore introduced a QR code system that penalizes bike-share users for parking in unapproved areas, the number of improperly parked Moov bikes in the city fell from 44% to 13%. Consequently, Moov has now been approved by regulators to expand its fleet to 10,000 vehicles. | Strait Times

  • Swedish emoped maker Vässla is working on a mysterious new bike-lane vehicle that is “not a scooter, not a bike, and not a moped.” Hm… another pod? | Breakit

  • Wind, CityBee, Go X, and Shared will be among the first shared micromobility systems to deploy Tortoise’s automated repositioning technology. | FastCo

  • Last month Lyft disabled an API integration that allowed New Yorkers to book Citi Bikes through the Transit app. In doing so, it fired the first shot in a long-brewing conflict between private mobility providers and third-party aggregators. | Citylab

  • India’s Bajaj Auto, maker of the iconic Chetak moped, announced that its first electric sit-down scooter will be released in early 2020. | Livemint

  • Chicago’s four-month scooter pilot, during which there was an average of about 7,000 rides a day, ended this week. The city is now asking people to complete a survey about their experience before deciding what to do next. | Tribune

  • A new paper by MIT’s Smart Lab estimates that, by unlocking the full potential of autonomy, shared scooter providers could achieve comparable service with 10 times fewer vehicles. | MIT Smart Lab

  • After having its permit renewal denied in San Francisco, Skip is pivoting to a rental model. For $25 a week, customers get unlimited access to an S3 scooter, including charging, drop off, and theft protection. | Skip

    Image result for skip s3
  • Mobike, which survived China’s bike-sharing blowup by increasing its prices, is raising its fees once again in Beijing, bringing them in line with Shanghai and Shenzhen. | ECNS

  • Is your scooter legal? Unagi has compiled an absolutely massive guide to scooter regulations all over the world. | Unagi

  • Bird’s head of policy and legal is leaving for Nuro. | TechCrunch

  • Uber is adding Cityscoot emopeds to its app in Paris. “Uber argues that mopeds won’t eat too much into its other services. It estimates that scooters are for very short trips averaging 2 kilometers or less, bikes for medium trips of 3 km, and mopeds for trips averaging 4 km or longer.” | The Verge

  • As previously reported, Spin, Lime, and Jump scooters have arrived in San Francisco, joining Bird-owned Scoot, which has been active for over a year. | Chronicle

  • … expect to see many of those new scooters on Market Street, one of San Francisco’s busiest thoroughfares, which the SFMTA voted unanimously to make car-free by January 2020. | Curbed

Goings On

One last plug: Our own James Gross will be leading the “How Micromobility Can Lead to More Sustainable, Livable Cities” panel at VERGE 19 in Oakland on October 24 from 2:15PM to 2:45PM.

The conversation will feature Nick Foley, director of Jump hardware at Uber, Melinda Hanson, head of sustainability at Bird, and Jonathan Hopkins, director of strategic development at Lime, and it will cover a mix of relevant city/policy and product/company topics.

Use code V19MM for 10% off registration.

Stay Connected

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

A step closer to critical mass

This week, Italy sours on its most famous brand of moped, Germany digs scooters, and New York wants its ebikes back, but first…

It’s Official

Micromobility Europe was our biggest conference yet. Hundreds upon hundreds of visitors packed into Berlin’s Radialsystem on Tuesday for a day of thought leadership, networking opportunities, vehicle demonstrations, and more.

In the coming weeks, we will have lots to share from #MME, including photos, videos, and select presentations. But for now, allow us to circulate a few highlights.

  • Nearly 50 presenters, hailing from 15 countries, spoke on a wide range of relevant topics, including cities, policy, capital, parking, infrastructure, hardware, software, and robotics. More than 450 companies attended as sponsors, speakers, and attendees.

  • #MME was the sixth most popular hashtag in Germany on Tuesday.

  • Horace Dediu galvanized the audience with a keynote address entitled “The Smartphone on Wheels,” the content of which was captured real-time in sketch form by the extraordinarily gifted Julia Steier.

  • James Gross unveiled the Micromobility Landscape, the first-ever comprehensive map of the industry and its key players, in his introductory remarks. (You can learn more about the report—and how to add your company to it—here.)

  • Journalist Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times acted as lion tamer for the Micromobility Executives Roundtable, the largest-yet gathering of scooter top brass, featuring Caroline Hjelm of Voi, Lukasz Gadowski of Circ, Lawrence Leuschner of Tier, Ben Bear of Spin, Beriana Mendoza of Grow, and Eric Wang of Wind. (Hat tip, again, to Julia Steier.)

  • Eighteen of the leading mobility and tech companies showcased their solutions to interested attendees in the Expo Hall.

  • Joe Kraus, president of Lime, delivered an impassioned plea for the micromobility industry to unite around safety, sustainability, and equity, and work together to grow the pie.

  • We debuted a rousing new animation.

  • Tony Ho of Segway remotely teleoperated a semi-autonomous scooter in Beijing from the main stage. And on the Test Track, Tortoise demonstrated its automated repositioning technology live. (Both firsts for Europe.)

  • Horace entered the pantheon of fashion icons with #thejacket

There were so many magic moments, we could never hope to recap them all in an email.

But ultimately what we really want to say is thank you to those who came and helped us take this movement to the next level. You are the visionaries and dreamers who are going to break us free from car dependence and chart a safer, cleaner future for mobility. We exist to be a platform for your ingenuity and ideals.

Auf Wiedersehen for now.

Want More Micromobility?

You don’t have to wait until the next conference.

Join our subscription service, Triple M, and you will gain access to mMeetup, our monthly call in which Horace Dediu answers premium members’ pressing questions about the future of transportation live.

Triple M members also receive a $50 discount to all of our conferences, access to our private Slack channel, and exclusive swag at events.

For the next edition of mMeetup, Horace will recap his keynote from Berlin, “The Smartphone on Wheels,” and afterward take your questions. This is an excellent opportunity for those who were not able to make it to #MME—or for those who did and have followup questions—to pick Horace’s brain.

The details of the next mMeetup call, including time and dial-in, will be shared with Triple M members soon.

What You Need to Know This Week

  • Jump unveiled new swappable batteries for its ebikes and scooters; kiosks will follow in 2020. The company also announced its robotics division is exploring sidewalk detection. | TechCrunch

  • Noting the preponderance of Apple employees at #MME, one reporter asked: What does the Cupertino tech juggernaut see in the micromobility space? “The ‘Post PC’ model of iPhones and iPads that Apple created to intentionally work differently—and far more efficiently—than the similarly complex and excessive, over-serving nature of PCs has a lot in common with modern micromobility vehicles.” | Apple Insider

  • Spin has opened the application process for nonprofit safe-streets advocates to access their treasure chest of data on how pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, and cars interact. | City Lab

  • Donkey Republic, a European bike-share operator that offers dockless pedal bikes through virtual parking stations, officially announced that it is introducing ebikes at—where else?—Micromobility Europe. | Donkey Republic

  • Our own Horace Dediu sat down with journalist Megan Rose Dickey for an interview about the trajectory of the micromobility business. | TechCrunch

  • When does Lyft-owned Motivate plan on replacing all of the ebikes it recalled from New York’s Citi Bike fleet in spring? No comment, says the company. | Gothamist

  • Genoa has banned older, two-stroke Vespa mopeds from its city center to curb air-pollution problems. | Sunday Times

  • Unagi, a startup that sells critic- and celeb-adored portable scooters, has raised $3.15 million in seed funding from Menlo Ventures. | TechCrunch

  • Walmart has launched its own high-end bicycle manufacturer called Viathon. | Digital Trends

  • A survey finds that more than half of Germans feel that scooters are a “great” addition to the country’s transportation network. | The Local

  • Washington, D.C. is considering capping its number of scooter providers and vehicles at four and 10,000, respectively. | Curbed

  • Think tank and city coalition Agora has released a good overview of scooter regulations in Germany. | Agora

  • Last but not least, Bird has raised $275 million in Series D funding at a $2.5 billion valuation. The company credits its new, longer-lasting scooters for wooing investors. | The Verge

Goings On

Micromobility Europe may be over but there are plenty of other excellent transportation events to attend this fall. Here’s what you should check out next.

  • VERGE 19: Greenbiz’s annual summit on electrified transportation returns to Oakland, California, from October 22-24, and this year, we are curating the micromobility workshop ourselves. Join us on Thursday, October 24, from 1:30pm to 4pm, for bonus #MME-style content covering the unbundling of the car. Use code V19MM for 10% off registration.

  • The Urban Mobility Summit: Ticket sales are now open for Autonomy’s flagship conference, taking place from October 16-17 in Paris. The annual sustainable mobility event will feature over 250 exhibitors, 8,000 delegates, and a program focusing on topics such as shared mobility, micromobility, and electrification. Book your tickets now.

  • Art Walk and Roll Festival: Have a Go is hosting its second-ever electric ride festival in Culver City, California, on October 12. The open streets festival will feature artists, artisan vendors, live music, food trucks, wine and beer gardens, and more. Plus, they have a dedicated test track for micro-vehicles. Register on Eventbrite. (It’s free and you’ll be automatically entered to win a Micro Kickboard Merlin.)

Stay Connected

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

San Francisco at last embraces the scooter

This week, scooter ridership is skyrocketing in Paris, Skip gets locked out of its hometown, and food-delivery robots may soon roam the sidewalks, but first…

Last Call for Micromobility Europe

Can it really be that #MME is only four days away? It’s true. (In fact, the community is already descending on Berlin for a smorgasbord of amazing pre-events.)

Next Tuesday, October 1, we are bringing the global micromobility movement together at Radialsystem in Berlin for a jam-packed day of speeches, presentations, vehicle demos, networking opportunities, and more with industry movers and thought leaders. This will be the largest conference devoted to urban mobility anywhere yet. View the agenda here.

While availability is running low, we still have a few tickets—and one major discount—left.

From now until this Sunday, for every ticket you purchase up to 3, the price per person drops €150.

1x🎟️= €750

2x🎟️= €600

3+🎟️= €450

Be advised, this your last chance to attend #MME at any price.

Book your tickets asap.

Important Reminders for #MME

Already have your ticket to Micromobility Europe? Here’s the really important stuff you should know.

  • Time: October 1, 8AM-6PM

  • Tickets: All tickets must be purchased prior to arriving at the venue. Tickets will not be available to purchase at check-in.

  • Badges & Totes: Attendees can pick up their ID badges and tote bags in the lobby of Radialsystem from 8AM to 5:30PM on October 1. For a smooth and speedy check-in, please be sure to complete your registration and assign any extra tickets you may have purchased to individual ticketholders before arriving at the venue. See your order confirmation email for instructions.

  • Speaking Hall: A full schedule of keynotes, panels, and Pecha Kucha presentations will run nonstop in the Speaking Hall from 8:30AM-5PM. View the agenda here.

  • Exhibitor Hall: A selection of leading tech and mobility companies will be showcasing in the Exhibitor Hall, located between the lobby, Speaking Hall, and outdoor area. See below a list of who you can expect to be there.

  • Test Track: Our signature Test Track will be set up on the second floor. Visitors who sign a waiver at check-in will have the opportunity to test ride the latest modals, provided by speakers and exhibitors.

  • Breakfast, Coffee, Snacks: A light breakfast of fruit and granola bars will be available starting at 8AM. Snacks, refreshments, tea, and coffee will also be available throughout the day in the Exhibitor Hall.

  • Lunch: For max flexibility with scheduling, lunch service will run all day long without a dedicated break. There will be five food trucks located on the terrace just outside the venue serving a variety of options, including vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Food is permitted in the Exhibitor and Speaking Halls.

  • Social Hour: Beer and wine will be served after the final panel ends from 5PM-6PM. Stick around to meet attendees and partners.

  • Parking: There is no car parking at the venue (very on brand). If you do choose to drive to the event, there is a parking at the Ostbahnhof train station across the street available for €7.50 for 24 hours. But can we recommend biking, riding, car-pooling, ride-hailing, using public transit, or taking advantage of one of Berlin’s many other transportation options instead?

What You Need to Know This Week

  • San Francisco has awarded permits to four companies to operate on-demand scooter rentals: Jump, Lime, Spin, and Scoot (which was recently acquired by Bird). Each company can launch with 1,000 vehicles on October 15 and expand to up to 2,500. | Chronicle

  • Skip, one of two scooter startups that is currently allowed in San Francisco, did not receive a permit for the next phase, but it did close an undisclosed amount of funding from Toyota AI Ventures. | Axios

  • In less than one year, electric scooters have reached 2% modal share in Paris. | Carbone 4

  • Gogoro has unveiled Viva, an ultralight, midrange moped for city-dwellers that weighs 176-lbs (80-kgs) and can travel about 53 miles (85 km) on a full battery. Related: The Taiwan-based company is also rolling out larger battery-swap stations across its home country. | The Verge

  • In the first half of 2019, ebike sales in Germany grew over 37% compared to the same period in 2018. | Bike Europe

  • Lime has pulled the plug on LimePod, its free-floating car-sharing pilot in Seattle. | GeekWire

  • In a multimodal overhaul, Lyft has made bikes, scooters, public transit, and car rental options available in its iOS app. Related: Lyft also integrated bike lane data into its app this week. | TechCrunch

  • Postmates is partnering with Phantom Auto to bring teleoperation to its sidewalk food-delivery robots. | Forbes

  • Miami-based Bolt is making two of its fleet models, the BoltChariot and the BoltOne, available for purchase. Owners can earn extra income by renting their personal scooters back to the Bolt fleet. | Bolt

  • In an op-ed, the president of Scoot, Michael Keating, pegs the size of San Francisco’s parking crater as equal to the Presidio. On-street bike corrals on the other hand… not so big. Related: The legendary Donald Shoup has penned a takedown of parking requirements. | Smart Cities Dive

  • A new startup called Lacuna has emerged to help cities integrate MDS into their existing data management systems. | The Verge

  • In damn news: Almost three-quarters of San Diego’s scooter-related complaints are lodged by the same 10 people. | City of San Diego

  • Acton will showcase its new swappable battery system, the M Pro Topswap, for the first time next week at—where else?—Micromobility Europe. Don’t miss out. | Acton

Goings On

Is North America the next frontier in e-moped sharing? Recent developments suggest maybe yes.

Just in time for this moment, Invers will host a webinar to examine the business case of moped sharing in North America and share insights into how participants can start their own moped-sharing service. Join them on October 4 from 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM CEST.

Register here, space is limited.

Stay Connected

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

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