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.

Loading more posts…