In a previous blog post , we talked about the imminent rise of micromobility as a great alternative to not only dramatically reducing our carbon footprint on the world but also plainly improving our quality of life.
Don’t get us wrong, we love cars. They’re great for recreational, long-distance trips with family and friends but definitely not for commuting in dense cities. As humans, massive global change starts with our own steps!
This time, we’ll dig deeper to understand the reasons why we think people will naturally choose micromobility solutions in the next ten to fifteen years.
If this topic resonates with you, then you should definitely check out the amazing work by micromobility.io
It’s the fastest transportation mode door-to-door. This was the original pitch of micromobility pioneers Boosted Boards, and still holds true today, even more so! Simply put, there is no faster way to go from A to B in an urban environment than a light electric vehicle (LEV), especially those that you can easily take indoors with you. Grab it, skip traffic riding it, get to where you want to go, and carry it inside. It’s simple, fun, outdoors, and makes people happier!
People are happier when active, outdoors, and connecting with others, check out how happy that guy looks!
LEV’s can cost about 2% in yearly fuel when compared to ICE cars and they are the cheapest method of transportation. This figure only gets worse for cars when you account for depreciation, maintenance, insurance, etc.
No waiting or parking problems. Shared mobility and public transit are great solutions that have their place in the future, but for daily commutes, waiting becomes a big barrier. When you own the vehicle, it’s there for you, ready to go.
That then brings up the parking problem: where do you park this vehicle to wait for you? Car parking is a huge problem for city planners and urban commuters. In the US, about one-third of the urban real estate is taken up by parking space, and it’s been estimated that there are approximately 8 parking spots per car.
Folding bikes are a great way to move swiftly around the city while still being able to bring it indoors with you.
All this might already sound like a lot, but if you then consider that most cars are 80% empty when moving and completely empty when parked, it’s crystal clear that we have to rethink our way around this! 10 bikes or 20 scooters can fit into the same space occupied by a single car.
Folding bikes are a great way to move swiftly around the city while still being able to bring it indoors with you. Photo source here.
Autonomous cars could help in reducing parking problems in urban areas, but this also means they still continue to take up space but moving. For example, if they are instead used for ride-hailing, studies show that this can actually increase traffic in cities, especially considering that 30% of the distance traveled is with no passengers at all!
About 25% of the global CO2 emissions come from the transport sector, the majority from road traffic. Incremental steps in engine performance can only get us so far, but big steps in human behavior can take us way further.
LEVs are designed with weight as a center pillar, which results in them being light so that people can carry them.
Micromobility vehicles produce approximately 10% of de CO2 emissions per km traveled when compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. People still debate the actual real number, but the key takeaway is to understand where the emissions are coming from: it’s natural to expect a big difference when considering a 20 kg electric vehicle pushing a single person instead of a 1500 kg combustion vehicle.
There are many ways to put a number on what efficiency is. If we look at motor efficiencies, it’s well known that electric motors easily top 90%+ numbers, while recent innovations in ICEs call it a “breakthrough” reaching 40%.
ICEs are amazing machines and they helped us do amazing things for more than a century, and we won’t even mention racing! (oh those V10 F1 engines!). But it just takes less than 1 minute looking under the hood of a car or a “cutaway” view of the latest and greatest ICE to realize that they are insanely complicated, especially considering the task at hand for commuting: move me from A to B.
The front motor on our eBike kits weighs only 1.8 kg, while our skateboard motor weights only 1 kg!
Weight and size come back into play if we look at effective mileage too, with LEVs being able to go 100X the distance per kilowatt hour when compared to combustion cars. To top it off, most LEVs have regenerative braking which can easily increase range by 10 to 20%. Today, regenerative braking performance and efficiency are limited by current battery technology, but this is expected to improve 2X in the next 10 years which will dramatically increase mileage further.
We can do better
Micromobility’s story hasn’t always been nice though. There has been a lot of funding dumped into price wars and uncontrolled growth of immature markets which have left big trails of waste.
Photos like these are all over the internet showing mountains of trashed bikes in Asia after the over-supply and crash of several major bike-sharing companies.
Therefore, it is on each and everyone of us, from investors to end users, to think responsibly and take steps towards doing what’s right.
Are you determined to make a change? You can take some tools from this blogpost to discuss with your peers and hopefully increase awareness and help people move for a better future!
You can also help us in accelerating this transformation by becoming an Unlimited Investor.
Find out more at:
- Micromobility: Fast, Cheap and Good Solution for ‘Smart Cities
- Estimated Percent of Total Driving by Lyft and Uber