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Year of the ebike: US imports expected to double in 2020
Plus, Norway pays for winter bike tires, Jump bikes ride again in Mexico, and India mysteriously sits out two-wheeler boom.
Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by small electric vehicles like bikes and scooters. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our webinars or events.
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What you need to know this week
Last year, the US imported about 270,000 ebikes. This year, the total is expected to end up somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000. And no company sells more ebikes than Seattle’s Rad, which according to a new profile in Bloomberg, has noticed a change in the average user profile during the pandemic. “[T]heir early customers… were mostly ‘suburban dudes in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. It really was baby boomer after baby boomer,’ [CEO Mike] Radenbaugh says. As sales grew, so did Rad’s ad budget. The company now spends in a day running ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google what it used to spend in a month, [CMO Ty] Collins says. The customer base, he adds, has since broadened to include more of the young city dwellers they had envisioned.”
Manufacturers report e-cargo bike sales are up 50% this year, as businesses realize cycling is a faster and more efficient way to deliver goods than driving in many dense urban areas.
Subscription ebike service Dance has raised $17.7 million in a Series A round led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. The Berlin-based company intends to expand across Europe and eventually the US.
Here’s a global map of wheelchair accessible locations.
A somewhat happy ending: A cycling advocacy group in Mexico City has rescued 1,600 discarded Jump bikes, with plans to repair and donate them.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is making good on her campaign promise to get rid of half the city’s car parking spaces.
A look at how US bike shops kept up with an insane 121% spike in demand this spring.
Decathlon has pumped almost $6 million into Cyclofix, a French company that offers on-site bike and scooter repairs.
Lime has pledged to transition its operations fleet to electric vans by 2021 in Europe and by 2023 globally.
Meanwhile, Voi hopes to reach carbon neutrality next year with an all-green operations fleet that includes e-cargo bikes. The Sweden-based company is also selling refurbished scooters in a bid to be more sustainable.
From China to Brazil to the UK, the rise of food-delivery apps and commuters’ desire for social distance have sent sales of mopeds and motorcycles soaring.
Yet in contrast with many other countries, India, the world’s largest two-wheeler market, has actually experienced a decline in moped and motorcycle sales during lockdown.
What happens when you cross a bike boom with a vroom boom? Net sales for Thule’s car-mounted bike racks grew 45% in Q3, year-over-year.
Scooter data has huge potential to reshape urban planning. A new article shows how information from Bird is informing policymakers’ decisions about where to build protected bike lanes in three cities, Atlanta, Tel Aviv, and Santa Monica.
European regulators require automakers to have automatic emergency braking for cyclists in order to earn a top safety rating. The result is that cyclist detection was standard on 80% of 2019 European car models.
Empty parking lots are being converted into coronavirus testing sites, drive-in movie theaters, haunted houses, and more. And because there is not a single use of land more wasteful than car storage, all of this is good news.
In search of data-driven safety research, the USDOT has issued contract awards to four companies, including micromobility management platform Populus.
Here’s a breakdown of micromobility insurance requirements by city in the US. Los Angeles County currently has the highest requirement at $5 million for umbrella coverage.
Ridership for Moscow’s bike-sharing system was up 42% this summer compared to last year.
With its Kickstarter-funded e-scooter, Taur is betting that big wheels are the key to solving safety.
There were 10.5 million shared mobility trips in France last month, of which Paris’s enormously popular bike-sharing service, Velib, accounted for half.
Scooter trials start this week in Dubai (population: 3.3 million), featuring Lime, Tier, Careem, and others.
Lock-to requirements are still all the rage in the US. In Washington, DC, users will soon have to secure dockless scooters and bikes to racks using built-in locks. The city also plans to allow up to 20,000 micromobility devices by 2023.
Scooter operator Beam has launched dockless ebikes in Sydney in what could be the start of a multimodal pivot.
Never forget infrastructure enables demand. After Seville 16x’d the length of its bike lane network, cycling rates shot up a stunning 452%.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are bumping heads over whether to expand the area where drivers pay congestion pricing.
Harley-Davidson has hit another bump in its electrification efforts. The iconic American company is recalling all 2020 LiveWire e-motorcycles produced between September 23, 2019, and March 16, 2020 due to a power loss issue related to the charging circuitry.
Bike thefts were up 23% in Denver between January and September, compared to the same period last year. These figures are very similar to ones that were reported by New York City officials last week.
While secure parking infrastructure is the best way to stop bike thefts, new cyclists should also consider investing in a reliable lock. Wired has picked out five of the best.
What’s that old Norwegian saying, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only… bad tires? Oslo residents are petitioning the government to expand a subsidy for studded winter bike tires after more than 4,000 people applied in the first week.
“Disruption is when nobody agrees on anything, it’s invisible, most people dismiss it, if not laugh at it, and yet it's here and now and people are using it. So they’re dismissing the reality, where in the other case they’re accepting a fiction.”
Horace Dediu is on a roll with his most recent podcast conversation with Oliver Bruce.
Jobs to be done
Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post new career openings 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.
Senior Program Manager, Ebike and Walker Growth at Amazon (New York City)
Electronics Engineering Project Manager at Cowboy (Brussels)
Senior Operations Manager at Bird (Munich or remote)
Senior INS / GNSS Algorithms Engineer at Navmatic (San Jose or remote)
Senior Data Scientist at Lime (remote)
Product Design Engineer at Dance (Berlin)
Mobility Fullstack Engineer at Trov (North America, remote)
Senior Product Manager at Ubiq (Vienna)
Wunder Vehicles Business Owner at Wunder Mobility (Hamburg)
DACH Sales Manager at Electric Feel (remote)
Fullstack Mobile Applications Engineer at Unagi (North America, remote)
Head of Revenue at Invers (Cologne)
Backend Developer at Bond (Brussels)