By Nico Marchant, senior business developer manager – The Americas for INVERS, www.invers.com
Moped sharing is a growing phenomenon in Europe, but how about North America? Mopeds need to become a bigger part of the mobility ecosystem in cities of all shapes and sizes, and here’s why.
Moped sharing covers trips that may take too long to walk, and when getting into a car may not the most efficient way. With the majority of shared mopeds being electric, this form of micromobility is primed to grow in the North American market.
It’s time for more people to understand the benefits mopeds have to offer, and why having shared electric mopeds on the streets of cities will improve how people get around. Why? Well, let’s start with the basics:
- 97% of shared mopeds on the road are electric. That means no greenhouse gasses contributing to pollution. This also means quieter streets for non-drivers to enjoy.
- Mopeds are smaller than cars. That means congestion is minimized when people choose shared mopeds over cars. This also means that when it comes to parking, they take up less valuable space that can be better used, whether that be for parklets or to make complete streets.
- On average, trips made with a shared moped are 15-20 minutes or 4-5 km in distance. That means mopeds are able to cover trip distances that would likely take too long to walk, so people are choosing a more efficient way to get around.
These statistics highlight the immense potential benefits that moped sharing can have on cities.
“Mopeds are today’s ideal solution for urban mobility,” Govecs CEO Thomas Grubel said. “They are environmentally friendly, easy to use and allow people to travel on urban roads faster and more efficiently than with any car. In sharing schemes, the customer pays only for the time used, and the search for parking does not exist. Our experience and historical data show that quality electric mopeds offer a lifetime of at least three to six years and therefore contribute very positively to climate challenges.”
From 2019 to 2020, the number of shared mopeds on the road globally grew by 58%, with an additional 22 new moped sharing operators entering the space. India is now home to the greatest number of shared scooters, beating out Spain, which previously had the largest fleet. Overall, most of the shared mopeds can be found in Europe, Taiwan or India, with only 7% of shared mopeds outside of these regions.
It’s not just places with warm climates that see moped sharing succeed. The Netherlands now have 5,650 shared mopeds and in Germany there are close to 7,000 shared mopeds on the road. In North America, we expect moped sharing to take off, even though so far, its growth isn’t quite as comparable as in Europe. But if we take a page from carsharing, that started off in Europe and is now a staple part of the shared mobility ecosystem in North America.
Even with more players now, there is still plenty of opportunity for more shared mopeds; we are nowhere close to a saturation point yet. The first-movers are doing a great job in getting people aware of electric mopeds, and are warming up cities and future members of this new micromobility service. There isn’t a large player that is dominating the market, and mopeds fit in nicely between kick scooters and cars.
As with any new form of mobility, there will be barriers and obstacles to entering the market. People may not feel comfortable driving the moped alongside SUVs and pick-up trucks, and some cities may require special licenses for mopeds. However, as with any new form of mobility or even any change that happens in a city, people will adapt and embrace these options for the better.