By Augustin Friedel, Smart Mobility Expert

After multiple ups and downs in recent years, the concept of shared micro mobility is in its third iteration cycle. The idea of offering shared micro mobility vehicles started with shared station-based bikes in multiple cities across Europe or North America. The offerings were often characterized by limited availability of vehicles or inconvenient user interfaces for renting and paying for bikes. Triggered by the availability of IoT technology for the vehicles and by the increasing penetration of smartphones, new players – mainly headquartered in Asia – tried to conquer the markets with aggressive tactics and large fleets. 

The movement of bringing shared micro mobility vehicles did not stop, but the involved stakeholders like cities or operators learned from the experiences in the past and have shaped offerings into more sustainable and resilient systems than the deployments of the previous iterations. 

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To share more knowledge about the development of the industry, especially after the onset COVID-panic in spring and summer 2020, this new extensive report is putting more focus on the development of shared micro mobility in Europe. Service schemes of shared bikes/e-bikes and e-scooters could be found in more than 420 cities and towns across the continent, spread across more than 35 countries. More than 150 different service operators are offering mopeds, bikes, or kick scooters across the continent. The available data was used to provide helpful insights on the current developments of the industry.

Micro Mobility’s Latest Trends

One of the results is that operators of shared micro mobility are launching their services in smaller markets in selected countries. In Germany, the country with the highest number of cities with micro mobility offerings in Europe, players like Tier, ZEUS or Lime are bringing shared e-scooters to cities and towns with a population of 100 000 citizens and below. Bolt, the company that started as a ride hailing service, is focusing on Eastern Europe. The American player Bird that pioneered the offering of shared kick-scooters, has selected France for deploying shared vehicles in smaller cities across the country. 

Looking at the data, it seems that cities with a population of 50 000 – 150 000 are the markets of choice for the operators in post COVID-panic times. On the one side, the small city size adds complexity to daily operations for the services. On the other side, smaller cities offer opportunities in terms of growth and usage. Operations in mid-sized cities and towns are characterized by small fleets of vehicles, often not more than 100 to 200 scooters per operator. The challenge is to keep the fleets in a scattered market, set up and running (relocation, charging, maintenance), with a cost-efficient fleet operation. On the other side, smaller cities could be good for creating demand and increasing the utilization of the fleets. Service providers are often the only shared mobility player in mid-size cities, without any competition in the micro mobility space and beyond. The limited availability of the public transit offering in those markets is often also providing additional business opportunities for the shared micro mobility companies.

Another trend that could be seen from operator perspective is the path from a single mode to a multimodal offering. Companies like, Lime, Tier, or Helbiz started with just one mode, but added other types of vehicles to the fleet to offer bikes, e-scooters and mopeds on one platform. The number of different modes deployed is dependent by the size of the population per city. A majority share (70%) of cities in Europe has only one shared micro mobility offering deployed, dominated by shared e-scooters. On the other side, 5% of cities with micro mobility offerings have a mix of mopeds, bikes and e-scooters deployed.

Deep Dive

The Shared micro mobility report covers many more areas, like COVID impacts on services, substitution of modes by micro mobility offerings, or accident statistics.

To get a 50% discount on the full report, please use the discount code autonomyparis on the checkout page here: