July 18, 2023

🚢 Cowboy Ships New Tech as VanMoof Crashes

Plus, what’s up with the viral videos of people using electric wheelchairs to get around in China?

Heads up: The floor plan for Micromobility America is quickly selling out.

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What You Need to Know Today

This week on The Micromobility Podcast, we’re bringing back a conversation from this year’s Europe conference featuring leaders from Cannondale, Cowboy, VanMoof, Ampler, and Lekker. It was a treat to have some of the industry’s most influential players all joined together - listen to their full discussion about the ins-and-outs of the electric bike revolution here. 

This episode is a timely listen because today Amsterdam-based VanMoof, maker of high-tech electric bikes, has been declared bankrupt in the Netherlands. VanMoof gained significant popularity in the ebike market due to its innovative designs and features, such as integrated anti-theft systems and smartphone connectivity. But despite its success, the company has encountered difficulties, including production delays and increasing costs, which have put significant strain on its finances. The bankruptcy of VanMoof raises concerns for existing customers and potential buyers, as it is uncertain how this will affect customer support, warranty claims, and the future of the company’s products.

A small ray of hope for VanMoof bike owners: Cowboy recently released an app to help VanMoof users maintain their unique digital key, allowing them to lock/unlock their ebikes even if VanMoof’s servers do go down.

… and that’s not all from Cowboy. The Belgian ebike brand also launched Cowboy Connect, a premium software package that includes its latest AdaptivePower Technology, Crash Detection, and three new features built with Google Maps Platform – Hazard Alerts, Share My Ride and Clean Air Routes.  The company also released a more budget-friendly suite known as Core.

These updates are presumably part of Cowboy’s “future developments,” which have kept the company in the red for 2022, despite increasing its revenue by 2.5x.

Indian battery-swapping network Battery Smart also showed a significant revenue increase over the last year (6x last year’s figure), and recently raised $33M in a series B funding round.  

As the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou weighs new restrictions on electric scooters and bikes, a series have videos have gone viral showing able-bodied young people getting around on electric wheelchairs instead.

New data from the London reveals an important mobility milestone for the U.K. capital - bicycles now represent a larger portion of city traffic than cars. 

As Spain heads to the polls, the expansion of bike lanes and zero-emission zones in cities has emerged as a hot-button national political issue.

The European Council released new requirements for battery recycling last week, mandating greater circularity for certain raw materials found in ebikes. Under this new directive, battery producers will be required to collect end-of-lifecycle waste and use these materials in the manufacturing of new cells. 

European scooter sharer Voi has entered a three-year partnership with battery swapping service Swobbee. The duo’s first charging/swapping stations were recently established in Hamburg.

Swiss mobility company Micro is bringing their Microlino quadricycle to France.

Also last week, Paris City Hall signed a new measure that will charge larger/heavier vehicles a higher fee for city parking. The law is aimed at discouraging so-called “auto-besity” and incentivizing the use of smaller vehicles. 

Lectric, an ebike seller based in Arizona, announced it has donated over a thousand electric bikes to individuals in need via a philanthropic partnership with YouTube star MrBeast.

Swedish electric motorbike manufacturer Cake just announced a distribution deal with Thai moto seller Stallions Motor.

Data on bikeshare use in the US shows a continued uptick in ridership even after the pandemic spike; 2022 saw a 27% increase in ridership compared to pre-pandemic data, or nearly 45M trips.

Connecticut’s Electric Bicycle Rebate Program received an overwhelming 1,200 applications within the first few hours of opening. The application has now closed, leaving Connecticut residents to hope for more funds in the next round.

D.C. is set to roll out a new ebike incentive after passing through the city council in a unanimous vote. The program will offer up to $1500 for an ebike, as well as additional funds for cargo bikes, locks, and even maintenance for qualified participants. 

Did you know the luxury car brand Bugatti sells an electric scooter? Did you know you can buy it in Costco? Surprising but true!

Browse the best jobs in micromobility—and post your own—on our Jobs to Be Done board.

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