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September 12, 2023

ūüí£ Why Micromobility Is a Huge Weapon Against Climate Change

Plus, Ather Energy raises $108M to accelerate electric moped adoption in India.


What You Need to Know Today

According to Bloomberg NEF, there are nearly 300M electric two- and three-wheelers on the road worldwide, and collectively, they displace about 4x as much oil demand as the entire global fleet of electric cars. The EV revolution has arrived… on two/three wheels. 

India continues to solidify its status as one of the biggest players in the micromobility market. Bengaluru-based Ather Energy, maker of electric mopeds and charging points, has raised $108M from shareholders Hero MotoCorp and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC to accelerate growth. 

Pon Holdings and Volkswagen Financial Services have reached an agreement to expand ebike leasing in the U.S. and Europe. Volkswagen acquired a 49% stake in Pon Holdings’ bike leasing subsidiary Bike Mobility Services (BMS), which currently operates in six countries.

VanMoof may have been rescued from bankruptcy last week, but its financial troubles aren’t necessarily over. A pair of Taiwanese suppliers claim that the Dutch company owes them a combined $6.5M.

LAND, a Cleveland-based maker of motorbikes and battery systems, closed out a successful Series A round of funding, bringing in more than $1M in fresh capital. The company is now launching a $15 million convertible note, which will allow the team to scale up U.S. production and expand internationally within a year.

Electric bike vouchers are increasing in popularity across the U.S. In Utah, the Utah Clean Air Partnership is working with Magnum Bikes to provide eligible residents with vouchers of up $1,200. 

How do scooter and bike sharers gain permission to operate in a given locale? Many municipalities base their decision, in part, on lucrative revenue sharing requirements, a practice that some experts say is creating a ‚Äúnegative cycle‚ÄĚ for both operators and cities.¬†

Over the past year the superfast app Getir, which promises to deliver groceries to customers in minutes by relying on a fleet of nimble two-wheelers, has been struggling with cash flow issues, having to exit markets and severely cut costs. Now the company has raised $500M in fresh financing at a significantly lower valuation.

Electric scooters come with a speed limit set by the manufacturer, but¬†hackers are finding ways to bypass this¬†and reach higher, potentially dangerous speeds. Using Android hacks and other clever workarounds, these hobbyists able to double or even tripling a vehicle‚Äôs speed limit‚ÄĒcausing concern among safety experts.¬†

Trek announced it will start selling used and refurbished ebikes through its Red Barn Refresh program. Only models that are two years old or less will be accepted, and will undergo full system diagnostic testing, including battery assessment and firmware updating.

Amazon is adding electric cargo bikes to its fleet in Glasgow, all part of a £300 million investment in the electrification and decarbonization of its U.K. logistics network.

… but in New York City, Amazon is letting the lease on its cargo ebike hub expire amid too much regulatory uncertainty. Interestingly, however, the ecom giant is still looking for a Micromobility Program Manager in the Big Apple. 

A pending lawsuit that blames Rad Power Bikes, one of North America’s largest ebike makers, for negligence, breach of warranty, and product liability has gotten a trial date in 2024. 

Swifty Scooters¬†has won a $1.4M grant¬†from the U.K.‚Äôs ‚ÄúNiche Vehicle Network‚ÄĚ to take its bike/scooter hybrid from concept to production.

Vehicle to everything (V2X) solutions company Commsignia has closed a $15M Series B round. The company will be joined, among others, by strategic partner LG Electronics, as well as Samsung Catalyst Fund and Qualcomm Ventures. Commsignia’s V2X road safety technology has been shown to help reduce the number of accidents by as much as 22%.

Relatedly, Qualcomm is diversifying its automotive portfolio with launch of the Snapdragon Digital Chassis portfolio for two wheelers to enhance connectivity, intelligence and safety.

Gogoro is lobbying the government of the Philippines for an exemption on two-wheeler tariffs, blaming the country’s lack of incentives for its relatively slow uptake of electric mopeds and motorbikes.

The city of Brussels is showing the way for cities that want to reduce cars. In the first year since it implemented its progressive new traffic plan, biking (including ebiking) has increased by 36%, while driving has dropped 25%. 

Lowering the speed limit to 20 mph has had a¬†transformative effect¬†on the quality of life in small Welsh towns like St Brides Major.¬†‚ÄúIt's fair to say that almost everyone we spoke to felt that the new legislation coming into force was going to be a good thing for Wales.‚ÄĚ

While the New York Times continues to bash ebikes as a menace to public safety at every turn, the LA Times is more discerning¬†about the real problems affecting our urban road networks: ‚ÄúThe focus on young ebike riders‚Äô safety can obscure the bigger crisis: People driving cars and trucks are killing more people on our roads.‚ÄĚ


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