Stark Future Raises Fresh Funds for Off-Road Moto

Plus, why is the cost of car ownership going up so much?

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

Today’s newsletter is brought to you by… Quectel

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What You Need to Know Today

Stark Future, a Spanish company that makes off-road electric motorcycles, has raised a €25M investment from Big Bets to expand production.

MaaS Global, creator of the pioneering multimodal booking app Whim, has been acquired by the Netherlands-based super-mobility app umob, after filing for bankruptcy in March 2024.

Why are U.S. roads so dangerous? You might be tempted to blame Americans’ appetite for dangerously oversized SUVs and trucks, but other countries with high rates of SUV ownership aren’t experiencing an out of control spike in street deaths. And the problem isn’t how much Americans drive either. “Even after adjusting for distance driven, US fatality rates remain double the rich-world average. The main reasons American roads are so unsafe stem from how they drive, not how much.”

Image Credit: FT

American cars are also getting more expensive. The annual cost of owning a car in the U.S. rose a staggering 44% (inflation-adjusted) between 2017 to 2023, according to USDOT.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, is retiring later this year. When California Rep. Mike Thompson takes the reins, his priorities include reviving the federal e-bike tax credit and providing more funding for shared e-bike networks.

Honda was a latecomer to the e-moped scene but has reaffirmed its commitment to 2-wheeled innovation at the Karnataka, India plant. Production of its first-ever electric moped based on the popular Activa, is planned to begin by late 2024.

Quick reminder that, in about six weeks, we’ll be welcoming Micromobility Europe back to Amsterdam.

Currently we’re selling a batch of tickets for 70% off. Secure yours now to save €700 off the full price.

On June 5-6, come network with attendees and speakers who exemplify leadership in the micromobility space, including:

  • Horace Dediu, Co-founder, Micromobility Industries

  • Lucas di Grassi, Formula E Champion

  • Henri Moissinac, CEO, Tier-Dott

  • Fabio Marzola, OEM Sales Lead, Yamaha

  • Krysia Solheim, Global Account Director, Zoomo

  • Micah Toll, Reporter, Electrek

  • Tobias W. Balchen, CEO, Ryde

  • San Kim, CEO, SWING

  • April Marshke, Ebike Business Leader, Specialized 

  • Maria Tsavachidis, CEO, EIT Urban Mobility

  • Tomas Martins, CEO, Tembici

  • Mats André Breesth, Co-CEO, Surf Beyond

  • Christina Moe Gjerde, VP, Voi

In the U.K., the number of shared e-bike rentals leapt 24% between September 2022 and September 2023.

Kent Outdoors plans to sell its bike subsidiary Kona and refocus its efforts on the water sports segment.

Mercedes is working with Onomotion to explore how electric cargo bikes can be used in tandem with Sprinter vans to make last-mile deliveries more environmentally friendly.

Image Credit: Mercedes

Gogoro and semiconductor giant TSMC are installing new battery-swap stations in the Taiwanese city of Hsinchu that are powered by 100% clean energy.

Wahu Mobility is building e-mobility solutions for Ghana by developing reliable electric bikes designed for the unique local conditions. Its e-bike production facility went online earlier this year.

Image Credit: Wahu Mobility