Welcome to the first edition of the Autonomy Weekly Summer Special. To save you time during the holiday season we bring you headlines from the industry. Relax and enjoy the emissions-free ride.
The Autonomy Weekly Summer Special is an Urban Mobility Weekly limited edition series featuring the latest news on mobility, in an all you need to know format.
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All About London
The UK’s Department for Transport is set to extend the UK’s e-scooter trial zones to 31 May, 2024. Local authorities have the option to extend their trials to 2024, or withdraw. As an official put it: “To ensure we get the best evidence possible and build on findings from ongoing research, we are enabling local authorities to continue running trials beyond this year.”
Meanwhile, London’s transport authority has launched a tender to buy 232 million EUR of renewable electricity as it aims to decarbonize the 150-year-old underground railway network.
Also in London, Amazon is switching some of its delivery vans to pedal-electric cargo bikes. The vehicles are powered by Bosch’s Cargo Line electric motor with 500Wh battery power and a top-speed of 25 km/h. If the London trials are successful, Amazon will roll them out globally.
While London is busy with complex solutions, Ikea implements easy old school solutions by launching its international carpooling pilot for its employees by working with Liftango as part of a trial to encourage inclusive and more sustainable travel habits among staff. Ikea is kicking off the scheme across Australia, Italy, Croatia, Sebia, Romania, and Canada.
The EU Changes Gears
The war in Ukraine highlights Europe’s dependence on fossil fuel imports. In response to price hikes, many European governments have announced fuel tax cuts. But according to some commentators, tax breaks are not the right policy because they increase fuel consumption and hurt taxpayers in other ways.
Either way, we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption. One way to do so is for the EU Commission to « support more measures to grow cycling in Europe »; that’s according to Frans Timmermans, the Executive VP of the European Commission. He announced that the EU Commission and EU Parliament are cooperating on an EU Cycling Declaration, which will harmonise policy. Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation, an Autonomy partner had this to say about it:
« This is a great day for cycling in Europe. We particularly welcome the joined-up approach outlined by EVP Timmermans that should incorporate a number of our longstanding policy demands. An EU Cycling Declaration will help realise cycling’s enormous potential…”
Could the EU also harmonise micromobility charging? They recently made it mandatory for phones to have a common USB-C charger (this should save i-Phone users a buck or two), which raises the question of why micromobility vehicles don’t have a universal charge port such as USB-C? One of the answers is that these companies don’t design their own batteries; indeed they could welcome the EU regulatory juggernaut targeting their battery suppliers..
Public Transit Versus EV
Germany’s €9 monthly rail pass is a game-changer. The measure was designed to encourage more sustainable travel from June to August. It worked. Within the first week 16 million tickets were sold. So successful was the scheme, that it highlighted how the German government has neglected to make investments in its rail infrastructure for years. It’s one way to reduce demand for Russia’s oil, but will the government keep it up when the war ends? Surely it’s worth investing in public transport infrastructure if the prize is kicking our fossil fuel habit.
Public transport is good for reducing oil demand, but what about EVs, whose growth has been hampered by high upfront costs. Fintech startup Tenet believes it has the solution to soften the upfront blow of EV ownership. Some investors agree: San Francisco’s Human Capital and London’s Giant Ventures led a funding round that raised $18 million for them.
Cheaper EVs are good for Tenet and good for Chinese behemoth BYD, which is backed by Warren Buffet and has now sold more EV units than Tesla.
Paris: a Smart Mobility City
When it comes to sustainable mobility, Paris is a world-leader and the ideal home for Autonomy. The city recently did a deal with French startup Circle, announcing that Paris welcomes 2,000 free floating wireless vehicles. The advantage with these nifty urban runarounds is that you don’t need to park them at a chargepoint because Circle will swap the battery for you. Paris is going all out to limit emissions, and will begin charging riders of gasoline-fueled motorbikes for parking.
Ireland’s Transport Minister Eamon Ryan secured an agreement from cabinet to move forward with the MetroLink rail project. The project will cost Euro 9.5 billion and transform public transport in Dublin, improving connectivity between national rail links. The route includes 16 stations and it will on average have a train at each stop every 3 minutes during peak times.
The public transport authority for northern Denmark has given Keolis a 10 year contract to operate and maintain a fossil free network of 31 buses in Northern Jutland, which services a population of around 500,000 people. The fleet is expected to run exclusively on electric power by the 1st of April, 2023.
- The Institute for Transport & Development Policy (ITDP) recently released a report detailing the economic case for cycling.
- UK company Pure Electric closes a majority of its UK stores. The company is moving away from e-bikes & retail, but will double-down on e-scooters.
- What do you get if you cross an e-bike with an e-scooter? You get an electric micro-bike, the latest micromobility design now cruising a bike lane near you.
- Italian two-wheel manufacturer Askoll is launching an e-scooter specifically for sharing, making use of the Invers’ telematics system Cloudboxx Mini
- Clarios, a car battery manufacturer, is reconsidering its postponed plans for an initial public offer (IPO). According to Greenwich, an investment bank, Clarios plans to raise $100 million, but they could raise up to $1 billion. Earlier in the year, the company officially filed for a listing with the SEC.
- Helbiz partners with Vianova to manage its micromobility fleet within Italian cities by using Vianova’s mobility data platform to centralise fleet management.
- Pointe-à-Pitre tests the waters of shared mobility by introducing 35 self-service e-bikes.
- Cambio, a car rental company, has extended its car rental system to include cargo bikes for the Brussels Region.
- Malaga has signed an agreement with Superpedestrian for the integration of its scooters with the Youth Card, launched by the Andalusian Government in January.
- MaaS is set to rise 40% by 2030. This includes car rentals, ride hailing and bike sharing apps.
- Mastercard partners with Freebike to launch the world’s first tap-and-ride e-bikes in Helsinki with a fleet of 1,100 ebikes.
- Yego unleashed a fleet of 300 self-service e-scooters within Toulouse on July 1st.
- Zipp Mobility, a Dublin-based company, has raised 6.1 million EUR in funding to grow operations across Europe. The round was led by Fansanara Capital, a fintech-focused capital provider.
- Comodule has had an intense year of growth and as a result the startup is undergoing a strategic restructuring, appointing Teet Praks as the new CEO and focussing on IoT.
- After laying off 23% of its staff, Bird CEO Traavis VanderZanden has stepped down as President and has appointed Shane Torchiana as President of the company.
- Chicago selects Populus as the mobility management programme for Chicago’s new permanent shared scooter programme.
Tesla’s « Self-Driving » autopilot almost sends the car into an oncoming tram, claims one driver.
- Several key players in the AV industry, such as Waymo, Aurora, UPS, Volvo, Uber Freight, and others, urge California to lift its ban on heavy-duty self-driving trucks so that California doesn’t lose its competitive edge over other states.
Latest from our Network
Copenhagenize Design Co.’s Master Class to Go is back in France! Register now to learn the ins and outs of bicycle urbanism and best practice from France and around the globe. Space is limited! Register here while you still can.
The rapid growth of new technologies, and the increase in demand for safe, clean, comfortable, efficient, and sustainable transportation has stimulated the advancement of autonomy and full automation in the transport sector. It became an impetus for the development of autonomous vehicles. In response, the International Road Federation, FACTUAL and EIT Urban Mobility are organising the 2nd edition of the online training Planning for Autonomous Mobility, starting on 11 October 2022.
That is all you need to know for this week. If you like what you read, subscribe to our newsletter. Otherwise, stay tuned for our update next week.