🛸 VanMoof’s “Hyperbike”
Plus, Pon buys Dorel, requests for bike directions on Google Maps double, and a Berlin petition aims to ban cars.
Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by small electric vehicles (e.g. e-bikes, scooters, mopeds). The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.
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Last month’s Micromobility America summit brought together a vast network of micromobility’s top global builders, investor, and thinkers for a full day of engaging conversations and workshops. Now we’re making the entire event program available to rewatch anytime online.
Obviously, for us, a big highlight was seeing our co-founder Horace Dediu, coiner of the term “micromobility,” set forth his 10 commandments for the industry, but there was no shortage of memorable moments, including:
🧢 Andrew Yang on his new political party and how America can get more people on e-bikes and scooters
🌁 California’s secretary of transportation on the Golden State’s micromobility plans
If you like these talks, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to find out when the full lineup of videos from Micromobility America is uploaded.
One more thing before we get started: We’re excited to host a live interview about the future of last-mile delivery with Particle today @ 9AM PT.
Our own Oliver Bruce will talk to Nathan Wang, head of micromobility at Particle, about bikes and scooters’ potential to disrupt urban logistics.
We recommend checking it out if you’re interested in the way we access goods in cities is changing with the rise of e-commerce, food delivery, and 10-min grocery. Grab your spot here.
What You Need to Know This Week
Yesterday VanMoof unveiled its fastest e-bike yet: the 37mph VanMoof V. Seeing as how the top speed for pedelecs in the US and Europe is capped at ~28mph, the company’s new “hyperbike” challenges lawmakers to update existing regulations so e-bikes can compete with cars on speed. Interestingly, VanMoof seems to view speed, as opposed to cargo capacity, as the main factor that would convince a commuter to switch from a car to an electric bike.
Specs are scarce so far but we do know the VanMoof V ($3,498) is still being engineered (in-house, as usual), and the company expects deliveries to begin late next year.
Two titans of the cycling world are joining forces to forge a new global leader. Dutch company Pon Holdings, owner of Gazelle, Swapfiets, and more, is buying US-based Dorel Sports, parent group of Cannondale, Schwinn, and GT, for $810M in cash. The sale creates a formidable new bicycle player on both sides of the Atlantic, worth roughly $2.9B in annual revenue.
Over the past year, the use of biking directions on Google Maps has increased by up to 98% in cities around the world.
Russian tech giant Yandex has dialed up its micromobility efforts by acquiring Wind’s Israeli e-scooter operations. The deal, which is reportedly worth $40-50M, will greatly increase the size of Yandex’s nascent scooter sharing network, while allowing Wind to continue functioning separately in Europe.
A petition in Berlin aims to completely ban cars from a 34-square-mile stretch of downtown.
Help us launch The PLG Index on Product Hunt 🎈
We put together a list of the top private software companies that define Product Led Growth (PLG). It would be hugely helpful if you could upvote our project. You can see more and vote today here!
In addition to mopeds, Ola says its plans to build electric bikes, kick scooters, and cars too.
One of the largest auto dealerships in Belgium, D’leteren, is buying a bicycle shop with ambitions of creating a nationwide chain that sells and services e-bikes.
In a new study, a majority of Spin users said riding an electric scooter improves their mental health.
Volkswagen is building a network of bike lanes at its auto plant in Wolfsburg. At the ribbon cutting, VW CEO Herbert Diess had some surprising things to say about the future of cars in urban settings…
Herbert Diess @Herbert_DiessRadfahren macht Spaß, ist gesund und gut für die Umwelt. In überfüllten urbanen Zentren wird das Auto - auch das emissionsfreie E-Auto - zukünftig nur dann akzeptiert, wenn das Rad genug Raum im Mobilitätsmix hat. https://t.co/wlfchzkG8m https://t.co/oIM5xJo5W4
Radio Flyer, maker of your childhood toy wagon, has started accepting preorders for its first line of electric bikes and scooters.
Here’s a map of car-free households in the United States. “In 351 (out of 74,002) tracts, 75 or more percent of occupied households were carfree according to the 2015/2019 American Community Survey.”
A study from Louisville finds shared scooters do not cause local bus ridership to decline.
Google launched a new feature to help users shrink their carbon footprint, including by changing their travel habits.
Between 2014 and 2017, CitiBike users in New York saved 13,370 metric tons of oil equivalent, and decreased 30,070 metric tons of carbon emissions and 80 metric tons of nitrogen oxides.
German moped sharing player Emmy has been acquired by Israel-based MaaS startup GoTo Global Mobility. (Video: GoTo explains how it is solving shared mobility’s poor unit economics by bundling bikes, scooters, mopeds, and cars into a single app.)
Nature magazine says we should make electric vehicles lighter to maximize climate and safety benefits. Our advice is to remove some wheels.
Bird can now detect when scooters are being ridden on the sidewalk and slow them to a stop. Unlike many of its competitors, which rely on computer vision for sidewalk detection, Bird’s new ADAS system uses GPS sensors, which developer, u-blox, says are up to 20x less expensive.
Prague is making short bike-share trips free for anyone with a monthly transit pass.
According to a study of 100M global bike-share trips, people are more willing to cycle in rain and snow if there is robust infrastructure to rely on.
Micromobility startups Swft, which sells a lineup of personal EVs that includes hoverboards, e-bikes, and e-mopeds, has raised $10M in seed funding.
People continue to say nice things about last month’s Micromobility America conference which makes us pleased.
Here’s Harry Campbell, aka The Rideshare Guy, recapping his takeaways and favorite moments from the show. (A definite highlight for us was watching Harry’s panel, which centered on the question, what does it takes to run a successful micromobility fleet?)
And here is Lauren Goode, senior tech journalist at Wired, sharing some insights from her onstage interview with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Also the startup Joyride posted some tips for newbie micromobility entrepreneurs, based on conversations they had at the event.
Jobs to Be Done
Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our talented 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.
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Growth Marketing Manager @ Shift Transit (Chicago or remote)