Nabyl’s Weekly Digital Age Insights – Episode 9

By March 17, 2019 Insight

I was in New York this past week for meetings and the global launch of Bolt Scooters, a Rokk3r Fuel ExO-backed company. Bolt helps cities reduce congestion and emissions using a modern, point-to-point transportation vision. In mobility, we’ve seen the sharing economy move from vehicles, to bicycles and has now extended to scooters and other mobility devices.

The Opportunity
There are more people than ever moving into urban centers meaning congestion and traffic become key factors of concern to daily life and productivity. In addition to urban growth, the projected increase of carbon emissions is a problem that can’t be ignored. Electric scooters (e-scooters) represent part of the micromobility solution, in a larger mutimodal transportation evolution (including autonomous vehicles), that represents how people will get around. EY estimates that 2018 saw $7 billion invested in two-wheeler mobility companies, while the global e-scooter market size is projected to be over $40 billion in the next 10 years.

The Relevance
E-scooters are not only an innovative solution to big-ticket global problems, they also represent a change in mobility choices that will transform numerous sectors, including auto manufacturing, entertainment, insurance, public transit, fast food, and others. There is an opportunity for private entities to collaborate deeply with public institutions across the world and integrate mobility solutions that assist multiple layers of society in core ways such as getting from point A to point B. The industry also relies on a bedrock of intersecting exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, and data science.

The Solutions
Big name players such as Ford are establishing partnerships and making massive investments. They recently purchased electric scooter company Spin for close to $100M, and plan to launch self-driving cars at scale by 2021. VW introduced the electric CitySkater and Streetmate to begin serving the new e-scooter market. Lyft introduced scooters a few months ago and have expanded the offering to 13 cities. Similarly, platforms such as Populus are working with cities to share mobility trip data to allow for better city planning. Scooter unicorn Bird is allowing other companies to build on their technology and run their own services. RideIT is looking to provide universal charging architecture and tracking keys to scooter brands. Rokk3r Fuel ExO-backed Bolt Mobility has developed scooters with innovative parallel foot pads, replaceable batteries, and storage compartments for practical use. In the last few months, they have already had tens of thousands of unique riders with extensive expansions planned across the country to change the way people move. The approaches are multifaceted, and the execution is quick.

My Recommendations

  1. Understand that transportation is evolving in unfathomable ways to meet the demands of societies battling congestion, carbon emissions and consumer preferences.
  2. Massive dollars are beginning to flow globally into the multimodal arena to serve the needs not just of autonomous vehicles, but also innovation in micromobility.
  3. Identity in ownership doesn’t sway newer generations making purchasing decisions. We’re living in a time where access is more important than ownership. This will dictate many changes related to mobility.

Click here to catch up on my key stories from the digital world this past week.


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