Major Micromobility Trends and the Future of Urban Transport

Congested roads are a worrying issue for every megapolis out there which is why engineers, designers and visionaries are continuously working to solve this problem.

With this in mind, the term ‘micromobility’ has become increasingly popular. In fact, the idea of micromobility has become a game-changer in the dynamic field of urban transport, providing a new perspective on how we envision the future of urban mobility. 

Did you know that the first to use the term ‘micromobility’ (in 2017) was Horace Dediu, a Romanian-American industry analyst?

Micromobility has spread quickly across numerous countries around the globe. Virtually every continent has countries where the micromobility industry is either evolving or has already become a major factor that allows people to get from point A to point B in much less time compared to public transport and traditional vehicles.

What is micromobility?

There are several definitions that attempt to explain what micromobility is. One states that the term refers to a variety of compact, low-speed, human- or electric-powered, environmentally friendly, and frequently shared forms of transport such as electric skateboards, bicycles and E-scooters, as well as other types of compact vehicles.

Micromobility can also be described as any small vehicle (not wider than 1 meter and usually lighter than 230 kg) that is fully or partially motorized and the speed of which typically does not exceed 25 km/h, but sometimes (in case of electric scooters) it can reach 48km/h.

Various experts have different opinions regarding the evolution of micromobility and therefore there are many trends that should be followed in the near future.

Interesting facts about mobility and vehicles:

  • There are currently 1.3 billion automobiles in use around the world, the majority of which are owned by individuals.
  • According to the most recent U.S. census, 92% of households own at least one vehicle. This means 908 vehicles per 1,000 people, while in Gibraltar this number is 1,444 vehicles per 1,000 people!
  • In terms of the total number of vehicles, China is the first on the list with over 300 million, but it has just 219 vehicles per 1000 people.
  • The most hours lost due to traffic have been registered in London (156 hours), Chicago (155 hours) and Paris (138 hours).

Major micromobility industry future trends

The rising popularity of micromobility devices can be attributed to several factors, including the increase in urbanization, the need for eco-friendly transport solutions, and technological evolution.

In addition, the rapid growth of the micromobility sector can be attributed to the convergence of cutting-edge technology, changing consumer desires, and rules and regulations. With that said, it is important to explore some of the insights into this sector and analyze the trends related to micromobility to draw a possible picture of its near future.

E-bikes sales will continue to surpass cars

E-bikes are going to continue to outsell electric cars and become the main means of transport for those living in cities, just as they did in 2022. Between 2022 and 2030, the overall E-bike market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of about 10%, hitting around US$62 billion in 2030. In 2021, this market  was estimated to be worth around US$26 billion. It’s worth noting that by the end of the decade, city/urban E-bikes are projected to be the largest market category, valued at approximately US$51.6 billion.

It is expected that more families will give up their second car due to rising costs and switch to E-bikes – a more practical, cost-effective mode of transport. The same can be said about young people who either do not have a car or who have one but use it less, opting for E-bikes instead.

Germany is the leading EU market for electric bicycles, with Bosch and Brose being the largest brands. The biggest E-bike producer in the world, however, is the Chinese Giant Manufacturing, with sales hitting US$2.99 billion in 2022.

Micromobility and public transport will partner

Because public transport, like buses and trams, stops at predetermined stops, passengers may want to save time and take a bike or scooter to reach their final destination, which could sometimes be located quite far away.

In the past, micromobility services functioned separately from public transport, but today the partnership between the two is truly necessary for several reasons: to lessen the effects of strikes, holidays, or routine maintenance projects; to provide special parking spaces for E-bikes and E-scooters and, not least, to provide lanes for micromobility vehicles to avoid accidents involving pedestrians and cars.

For instance, in Vienna and Paris, riders are prohibited from parking on sidewalks. In Vienna, you can only ride non-motorized scooters on the sidewalk, and from 2023 the city will have more designated parking areas surrounding heavily trafficked areas. To lessen the danger of accidents involving drunk drivers, Norway’s Oslo authorities have outlawed nighttime driving within the city limits.

Cities can collaborate with micromobility providers to create a common pricing plan, agree on the necessary infrastructure (such as parking and pickup areas), and support them to give people convenient ways of accessing vehicles.

Repairing micromobility vehicles might out-trend new purchases

With the growing focus on sustainability and reducing waste, consumers are increasingly opting to repair and fix their bicycles and electric bicycles, scooters and E-scooters, rather than buying new ones. 

With this in mind, it is expected that the repair industry will surpass the manufacturing industry. In addition to being good for the planet, this trend toward repair will boost local economies and generate employment opportunities.

Establishing new mobility hubs

Access stations known as mobility hubs make it possible for users to select from a variety of transport options. Usually, these hubs are equipped with EV charging stations, and most of the time integrate public transport with micromobility devices such as bicycle and scooter sharing. They can also feature points for car-share pick-up and drop-off.

The main idea of these hubs is to reduce both traffic congestion and GHG emissions and to offer citizens access to various means of transport, especially those who do not own a car.

Mobility hubs today can be found in various cities worldwide. In Europe, for instance, these are installed in Vienna and Hamburg and a number of other cities, which helps to strengthen local retail and public transport by reducing the number of vehicles parked on the streets and providing public space to citizens.

Mobility hubs installed in the Dutch province of Drenthe-Groningen have considerably improved the integration of demand-responsive transport and cycling infrastructure.

Development of multimodal charging station docks

These station docks are integrated into mobility hubs and are located close to major urban zones, typically next to the metro, train, and other transport hubs across the selected location. The charging docks are used to recharge E-bikes and E-scooters.

It is expected that the number of such docks will increase, allowing people to recharge their own micromobility devices. Some companies, like Lyft, are also installing wireless charging systems.

As eco-friendly mobility continues to gain popularity, it is expected that smart docks will be integrated into the infrastructure of numerous cities.

RightAngle Global is a dedicated firm specializing in facilitating connections with micromobility industry specialists with in-depth knowledge of market trends, regulatory landscapes, technology advancements, and operational strategies. These subject-matter experts can provide valuable guidance, helping you to make informed decisions and remain competitive in this fast-growing sector. Reach out to RightAngle Global to explore the wealth of expertise at your disposal.

Final word:

There’s no doubt that micromobility vehicles have become a revolutionary force in the ever-changing urban transport sector with the potential to completely change our cities and lives for the better. Looking at the evolution of micromobility, we can foresee a number of positive shifts in terms of the environment and time-saving. Cities could become cleaner due to electric scooters, E-bikes, and shared mobility services and the time people need to get to their desired location may significantly shorten.

The convenience and reach of micromobility solutions will be increased by integration with public transport systems. Furthermore, data-driven innovations will spur user acceptance of E-bikes, E-scooters, and the like. Micromobility’s future lies not just in more compact and effective vehicles but also in the creation of smarter, more integrated cities that put sustainability and accessibility first.


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