Micromobility challenges: the moped sharing market
A closer look at the popular two-wheeler market
Photo source: Unsplash
Within the context of the sharing economy, innovative mobility solutions have been emerging in urban areas to enable people short-term access to means of transport on an as-needed basis. Furthermore, the consumer’s behaviour is changing, gradually switching from ownership to usership. Customs seek instant gratification, demand greater flexibility, and expect the business models of more and more industries to adapt to their requirements. As part of this trend, moped scooter-sharing is experiencing a great boom in many cities worldwide, particularly in Europe, where the electric two-wheeler sharing market is expected to reach $597.2 million by 2025.
By making it possible to travel further, quicker and in pairs, the moped appeared to be the missing link between the shared bikes and cars that were already available in major urban hubs. In line with the new demands on large cities to reduce pollution in their city centers, 77% of these mopeds are already electric.
Distribution of shared mopeds in the market - Moped Sharing Market Report 2020
Despite being defined by COVID-19, 2020 was yet another year to register strong growth in the sector, with the total number of such mopeds around the world growing by 58% to reach 104.000.
Evolution of number of shared mopeds on the market - Moped Sharing Market Report 2020
Mopeds are an enticing option in the shared mobility world for the simple fact that they’re compact, two-wheeled and easy to use. But if we want to take an even closer look, there’s quite an impressive list of reasons why mopeds work and will continue to be in use more and more as time goes by.
First of all, electric mopeds are green and we love green. As mentioned before, most mopeds globally are electric and the trend will continue to grow, since we’re currently experiencing an EV revolution. Naturally, this will directly contribute to the minimization of our carbon footprint, which we’re always rooting for. Second of all, mopeds are smaller, which means you take up a fraction of the space compared to a standard motor vehicle. And what does this lead to? That's right, moving faster in traffic and easier parking, therefore reducing congestion. Last, but definitely not least, mopeds are more affordable, and they make up for a less risky business endeavor. Indeed, a moped fleet can become profitable faster than a car fleet. However, weather plays an important role and, particularly in areas with a lot of snowfall, we see seasonal business models. The key factors behind any type of a shared moped business are the team and technology that’s behind the operations.
Consumer behaviour has changed a lot in the past decades, with the pandemic accelerating its evolution. The focus today is on convenience and sustainability. Therefore, consumer expectations in terms of quality and a seamless process are higher than ever when it comes to mobility. This translates into a series of challenges that shared mobility operators and micromobility as a market are experiencing.
Photo source: Unsplash
Operators running on low battery
Managing a shared moped fleet may seem easier than it actually is. As mentioned above, the team and technology behind the operations is crucial. If the team is knowledgeable and the technology easy to install, a moped sharing operation becomes not only much more viable, but also profitable. From maintenance to charging and fleet management, operators have a lot on their plate, with the team often being in the situation of having to deal with the smallest operation/issue, rather than focusing on the more important tasks.
Based on our experience working with moped sharing operators, they miss out on 20% or more revenue due to inefficient rebalancing and charging efforts. Sometimes, what seems to be a very good development in running the daily shared mobility operations, can turn out to be highly problematic in the tumultuous world of the industry.
For instance, while increased demand might seem ideal and equivalent to increased revenue, in practice, there are a number of constraining challenges that ride on its back:
Can the current staff handle it?
Are there enough batteries?
Is the charging capacity au par?
Are there enough vehicles to cover the increased demand?
And this is just naming a few. The need and the optimization for charged vehicles instantly becomes the main focus and this can mean difficult choices and a lot of pressure on the operators.
The decisions that the micromobility operators make and the actions that follow can make the difference. Let’s take fleet rebalancing, for instance. A smart and tailor-made rebalancing process can be that special something that determines the difference between a brilliant move that results in a revenue increase, or a possible oversupplying of hot spots, resulting in lower fleet performance overall. Combine that with predictive charging and you get battery charging or swapping, closely followed by a relocation to a hot zone. Combining tasks for top efficiency is the name of the game and we’re here to win it.
Ubiq makes moped sharing profitable
We understand these challenges extremely well and we have answers. Our data-driven services are automating operations to ensure vehicles are in the right place, at the right time, to meet demand.
Hands-on solution: Ubiq SaaS platform - Increasing the efficiency of your operations team. Ubiq automates rebalancing and charging operations, reducing complexity and enabling scalability for businesses. Improving vehicle utilization and growing the fleet is possible without the headache of micro-managing daily operations across cities. With Ubiq’s Automated Rebalancing API one can easily see where improvements can be made and react in real time. On top of access to the platform, Ubiq optionally provides the operations team with an app for a seamless execution of rebalancing and battery swapping/charging.
Hands-off solution: StreetCrowd - The power of the crowd to exploit the full potential of your fleet. StreetCrowd is enabling citizens to contribute to the future of shared mobility. Through StreetCrowd, Ubiq matches vehicles requiring rebalancing or charging with crowd users, allowing shared mobility providers to automate operations. In other words, mobility operators have access to scalable, decentralized operations that run 24/7, across the city.
We believe in the potential of shared moped businesses. The shared moped operators are extremely important partners in our mission to transform cities while increasing profitability for businesses. Furthermore, they represent a key piece in the grand scheme of micromobility, which is now experiencing an accelerated adoption revolution. We know that effective fleet management is needed to drive user adoption of micromobility, prevent loss of vehicles, and create great rider experiences, all of which will keep city officials and riders happy and provide micro-mobility brands with the ROI they’re looking for. And we’re happy to contribute and make that happen.
Ubiq enables operators to effectively position fleets to serve strategic goals. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org