Florida Man Takes the Cake

Plus more growth in the Indian EV market with VinFast breaking ground on a new factory and fundraising for PURE EV, Cooltra set to purchase CityScoot as shared micro continues to consolidate, and more.

Welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, your weekly digest of important events and industry news in the world of personal transportation.

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What You Need to Know Today

Denver’s nation-leading electric bike rebates were immensely popular in 2023, and they’re returning with improvements for 2024. The program now includes a bracket for medium-income residents, and also mandates that batteries must have UL safety certifications.

E-moto manufacturer Cake’s downfall has worked out well for Michael Joyce, a motorcycle shop owner in Florida who bought all of Cake’s remaining US inventory of both motorcycles and spare parts. Joyce hopes the purchase will help keep the iconic Swedish brand alive in the US, and he’s working with Detroit-based startup Bloom for warehousing and shipping.

Michael Joyce with a Cake Ă–sa electric motorcycle (Photo credit: Michael Joyce)

The Indian market for electric two-wheelers continues to heat up, with more and more riders making the switchover from ICE mopeds and motorcycles. Strong government incentives reduce the initial purchase cost, and the ongoing cost of operating an electric moped is an order of magnitude less than a similarly-capable ICE version, because of reduced maintenance needs and the high cost of petrol.

This trend is certainly working out well for local manufacturer Ola Electric, which reported selling 10,000 units in just three days after it slashed its prices, thanks to new government subsidies.

Pure EV, an electric two-wheeler manufacturer based in Hyderabad, has raised $8M in a Series A funding round. The capital will be used for rapid expansion, with Pure EV planning to add 160 dealerships throughout India in the next six months (bringing their total dealer count to 300).

Pure EV’s electric moped.

As well, India will soon be home to a new manufacturing facility for VinFast. The Vietnam-based EV manufacturer recently held their ground-breaking ceremony for the new plant which is located in Tamil Nadu, and expects to create at least 3,000 local jobs upon completion.

San Francisco is preparing to release new regulations for electric bikes and scooters, primarily regarding how the batteries for these vehicles are charged and stored. While these rules strike us as difficult to enforce, they are well-written and if nothing else will help to educate people on safe LEV ownership practices.

Shared micromobility services continue to consolidate in Europe as Paris approves Cooltra’s bid to acquire CityScoot, notable as the first company to bring shared electric mopeds to France’s capital. Cooltra’s interest is primarily in CityScoot’s assets and user base, and expects to move quickly so that those users can begin using Cooltra’s app for their rides.

CityScoot Electric Moped (Photo credit: Nicolas Kovarik | Getty Images)

Paris-based startup Zeway uses a leasing system for its electric mopeds, complimented by a network of battery swapping stations across the country. The leasing strategy has proven effective even while nationwide sales of electric mopeds have fallen, and Zeway is planning to expand to both Spain and Italy in 2024.

If you ride an electric bike then you’ve probably gotten the “hey, that’s cheating!” comment from a traditional bicycle purist at least once. These comments are often based on the assumption that electric assist equals less exercise, but study after study confirms that e-bike riders get more exercise. In a nutshell: E-bike owners ride more because their bikes are more fun, and make more challenging rides possible.

Japan eased regulations to allow more electric kick scooter on the road in 2023, and as a result, ticketed traffic violations surged by roughly 500%. Reading between the lines of this story shows the importance of infrastructure, with the majority of traffic citations issued for “riders using lanes not designated for them”, which of course happens because many roadways lack micromobility-designated lanes.

Students testing shared scooters in Tokyo (Photo credit: The Asahi Shimbun)

Electric two-wheelers are growing rapidly in Africa but Nigeria —the continent’s largest oil producer— isn’t quite there yet, with micromobility adoption facing several regulatory hurdles. The startup Spiro is advancing the cause by partnering with the Ogun State government to install 250 battery swap stations north of Lagos in the next six months.

No one likes shared mobility vehicles cluttering the sidewalk, but what are riders supposed to do when there’s nowhere else to park them? The city of Sydney’s new pilot program provides a solution with designated parking zones for shared bikes. Riders will be financially incentivized to use them with additional fees charged for parking outside of the new zones.

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars, is pledging to increase its R&D investment to develop safer e-scooter batteries following a tragic fire in China.