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This is a part of the EV Innovation Intelligence series

Micro-mobility refers to very short distance transportation – of the kind almost every one of us to many times a week. It could be running to a grocery store nearby or just taking your bicycle out for a 3 Km fun ride. For a business, it could be the mobility of goods and services at a hyper-local level, within short neighborhoods.

Sounds like a rather trivial portion of the entire transportation ecosystem, doesn’t it? Except that it is not.

We cover a lot more micro-miles than we think, and as a result, micro-mobility is a bigger business that we tend to think as well.

And electric vehicles are ideally suited for this market. Here’s why:

Small vehicles

Most vehicles used in micro-mobility are small – bikes, scooters, LCVs…ideally suited for electrification at this stage of e-mobility evolution

Speed, motor power

Micro-mobility does not require large, high-speed vehicles. Small electric vehicles with low-powered motors will just do. For instance, micro-mobility fleets like Lime use 500W geared hub-motors at 36V in their fleets. Whereas a small EV car like the Peugeot e-208 uses a 100 kW and 260 Nm electric motor.

No charging and range concerns

With short distances and a possibility for flexible charging schedules, the micro-mobility market does not face the same challenges traditional end-user EV markets face in terms of long charging times and range anxiety.

No concerns due to gas station access

Not having to run to a petrol station but can charge at home is aligned to this segment – Many micromobile segments would rather “fuel” their vehicles right on their premises or close to that than run to a gas station every time. Electric vehicles are well aligned to this need as well.

Noiseless

Some uses of micro-mobility for instance, in parks, in airports etc. benefit from the noiseless nature of electric vehicles.

For many eco-sensitive locations, aligned to sustainability (airports, railways stations, parks, industrial complexes…) – for eco-sensitive locations such as parks, beaches and eco-travel and eco-tourism locations, electric vehicles are more aligned to their sustainability aspirations

Hybrid electric bikes can be a good fit for exercise lovers

And then there are niche micro mobile markets such as those of bicycling enthusiasts. Hybrid electric bicycles are an attractive offering to this market – riders can use the motor when tired and pedal when they feel the need for exercise.  E-Bike can increase your fitness by using the different modes to increase and decrease the level of assistance. On a climb, reduce the assistance down to the ECO mode (found on the Bosch system) to create a training zone that puts your heart rate up and into an anaerobic threshold. This has many benefits for your fitness, including increasing your Vo2 max and the length at which you can sustain your maximum output. This will help when you’re sprinting to the end of a sprint, or simply getting up over that last bit of your climb on the hardest part of your newest challenge. Then you can increase the E-bike assistance and drop back down into the aerobic.

  •  Italian designed by Enzo and built for the great outdoors. Enzo folding eBikes are the lightest, most durable folding eBikes on the market. Marine ready, lightweight, and compact, these bikes fit easily in the trunk of your car, camper, boat, aircraft, home or office.

 Off-road vehicles such as tractors

Many off-road segments such as the use of vehicles (tractors) for farming can also be considered micro-mobility markets, and these could also present attractive business opportunities for electric vehicles.

  • Sonalika has launched Tiger Electric, India’s first field-ready electric tractor, at an introductory price of Rs 5.99 lakh. The Sonalika Tiger Electric tractor is equipped with an Etrac motor that is claimed to offer high power density and high peak torque with zero RPM drop for optimal performance. The motor is paired with an IP67-compliant 25.5kW natural-cooling compact battery that can be juiced up to 100 percent using a regular home charging point in 10 hours. The new Tiger Electric tractor is equipped with the Sonalika transmission. It offers a top speed of 24.93kmph and a battery backup of 8 hours while operating with a 2-tonne trolley.
  • YDX Moro, the Yamaha Motor Corporation USA launched their first complete full-suspension eMTB (Electric MountainBikes) . The Yamaha PWX-2 motor, a 500 Wh battery, 160 mm travel, and 27.5″ wheels. The Yamaha YDX Moro and the Yamaha YDX Moro Pro, the company has now presented two models intended to stir up the performance market. The Yamaha YDX Moro models are US category 1 e-bikes, which means they offer to support up to 20 miles per hour with the help of the current Yamaha PW-X2 motor.
  • The G6, a full-suspension mountain bike with 150mm of travel. It’s carbon-framed, available in three versions (6.1, 6.2, and, yes, 6.3) costing from 6,499-7,499 euros (roughly £6-7,000 in the UK), and has a more comprehensive dashboard than your average car. Powered by a 12kW electric motor, it was capable of 40mph with a claimed 75-mile maximum range from its 1.3kWh battery.

Related resources:

Making micro mobility work for citizens, cities, and service providers

The future of mobility is at our doorstep

Will the micro mobility market boom or bust?


This is a part of the EV Innovation Intelligence series

Posts in the series

Tesla’s Valuation | EV’s in different countries | Purpose built EVs | Mainstream Fuel Cells | IT in Emobility | EVs versus ICEs | Advent of China in Emobility | Charging vs Swapping | Micromobility & EVs | Electric Aviation | Li-ion alternatives | Million Mile Battery | Battery Startups versus Giants | Sales & Financing Models | Ultrafast Charging a Norm | Heavy Electric Vehicles | Material Sciences in Emobility | Lithium Scarcity | Solar Power in EV Ecosystem | EV Manufacturing Paradigm | Innovations in Motors | EV Startups – a speciality Oil Companies’ Strategies | EV Adoption Paths | Covid-19 affect on the EV Industry |

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