We met with Enrico Howe, a senior mobility expert at the Berlin-based Innovation Centre for Mobility and Societal Change to delve into the world of scootersharing.
September 3, 2018 Enrico has been focusing on the scootersharing market since 2014 and is the author of the annual Global Scootersharing Market Report.
What is the current state of the scootersharing market and how do you think it will evolve?
Today, scootersharing is booming! With 20,000 shared scooters worldwide and more than a million customers, it is definitely a global trend. However, it remains a niche in comparison to car and bikesharing. For example, in Berlin, there are as many shared bikes as there are shared scooters globally. This shows the huge potential which lies ahead. The market has already seen a rapid growth rate and several new entries, especially over the past two years. Looking forward to the sector’s development until 2020 – scootersharing is expected to have a promising future.
Do you think we will see emerging global players covering different countries/regions like CAR2GO and DriveNow do for cars? If yes, who do you think these players will be?
Yes, it’s possible. The more mature the sector becomes, the more enticing it gets for bigger players. Many of today’s scootersharing operators, such as eCooltra, COUP, and Cityscoot are already (or in the process of) expanding to markets outside their home market. It is also possible that we will see a disruptive acceleration of the market development by an external giant. Just imagine Uber, Car2Go, or Tesla jumping into the sector.
Do you believe in hybrid services, with cars, light vehicles, and scooters managed by the same operator?
It is not necessary, but inter-and multimodal customer demand could fuel these developments. The software behind the vehicles is similar. If you get the operations and battery change management right, why not? Scoot from San Francisco is already trying it. They offer cars and scooters in the US and are expanding with scooters and bikes to Barcelona. They are also trying to get a kick scooter license for the Bay Area.
There’s a lot of attention around kick scooters. Do you think this is THE future of Urban Mobility?
Kick scooters have received a massive amount of attention recently. Companies including Bird, Spin, and Lime have gathered incredible amounts of investment capital. They might be a good solution in some urban settings – if issues around public acceptance can be settled. But the answer to your question is “no.” Neither kick scooters nor scooters are the future of urban mobility.
It is more likely that the future of urban mobility will involve a mixture of different mobility offers and practices such as using public transportation as the mobility backbone of a city and pairing it with shared mobility offers (e.g. bikesharing, (kick) scootersharing and carsharing) or the private use of a bike.
Another promising option includes a combination of shared and public transportation approaches around ridesharing micro-buses. A lean approach involving a single sign-on solution that connects readily available public transportation and shared mobility services might become the standard.
The future will look more inter-and multimodal than today.
Vulog is the world’s leading tech mobility provider: we are committed to building a greener future, one city at a time.