The Netflix-ification of micromobility

Delivery is king at Uber, Ford reveals new CEO, and light trucks are taking over our roads.

Hello and welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter, a weekly missive about mobility, mostly mobility in cities by small electric vehicles like bikes and scooters. The reason you’re reading this email is that you signed up on our website or came to one of our events.

If you’re not a subscriber and you want to keep getting the latest news and analysis from inside the micromobility movement delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up here for free. If you’d like to unsubscribe, just click that link.

Thank you for reading.

The Helium Network helps micromobility companies solve connectivity and tracking challenges without expensive cellular plans—connecting low-bandwidth devices like bikes, scooters, and skateboards over long ranges and optimized for extended battery life. With blockchain-based technology and a pay-for-usage model, companies can send more data than before, highlighting popular routes and staying compliant in the cities they operate.

Try the Helium Evaluation Kit, designed for tracking applications, and check out the recent Webinar Helium hosted with Micromobility Industries to learn more.

The Micromobility Landscape

Big shoutout to Brendan Schuh for sharing a pic of some homemade artwork he created based on our brand-new Micromobility Landscape report. That’s real gold (we assume).

If you haven’t submitted your company to be part of our industrywide taxonomy yet, it’s never too late to get yourself on the board.

What you need to know this week

  • For commuters who are worried about sharing a scooter with strangers in the age of COVID-19, but aren’t ready to commit to buying one, Unagi has launched a $39-a-month leasing option in New York and LA. Unagi’s offer, which includes maintenance and theft protection, is part of an broader shift within the industry toward long-term leases and recurring revenue models. This week alone, Swapfiets got its electric scooter approved for subscriptions in Germany, and the UK’s Buzzbike raised $2.2 million for its bike-subscription service.

  • The NYT tried Rad Power Bikes’ RadRunner as part of a profile of CEO Michael Radenbaugh: “On my first few trips, I wasn’t so much as riding as zooming.”

  • Ford announced that CEO Jim Hackett will be replaced by COO Jim Farley, effective October 1.

  • SUVs are crowding cars off the street. During the 2010s, light trucks went from half of US passenger vehicle sales to more than three-quarters. Is it any wonder cycling fatalities are the highest they’ve been in a generation?

  • New study: “An individual e-bike could provide an average reduction of 225 kg of CO2/year.”

  • Spin has made a pledge to go carbon negative by 2025.

  • In addition to bikes and scooters, Helbiz will now offer dockless e-mopeds after acquiring the Italian operator MiMoto.

  • Drover launched PathPilot, a micromobility “vehicle data recorder” that can differentiate between sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks.

  • Minnow raised $2.2 million in seed funding for its contactless food pickup stations. The round was led by Elevate Capital.

  • Photos emerged on Twitter this week of a next-gen e-bike that Lime developed in 2018 but never released.

  • This weekend, TV personality Simon Cowell broke his back while riding an electric bike, reigniting the debate over micromobility safety. FWIW, a recent report says that people who use e-bikes pose a 38% lower risk to insurers than those who use regular bikes.

  • Like a lot of startup ideas, MaaS apps are trendy, full of potential, and far from profitable.

  • The Dutch city of Arnhem plans to replace 10% of its streets with green space in preparation for extreme heat caused by global warming.

  • E-moped company Unu started a new podcast, and one of their first interviews features Kristian Brink of Urban Sharing discussing how NGOs and nonprofits can further the micromobility movement.

  • An NYC mayoral candidate says we need to pedestrianize our proverbial “Main Streets” in order to save them. Support for livable streets has been gaining steam during the pandemic, as cities all over the world reclaim public space from cars to support social distancing.

Pod people

“Streets are our largest continuous network of public space in our cities, a huge untapped asset.”

Skye Duncan, director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative at NACTO, joins the podcast to talk to Oliver Bruce about how global cities must rethink their spatial assets in an urbanizing world.

Jobs to be done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post new career openings in hopes of connecting our readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.