Almost a year to date in April 2023, citing reckless driving, haphazard parking, and safety issues, nearly 90% of Parisiennes voted to ban e-scooter rentals in the city. By September 1, the 15,000 strong e-scooter fleet headlined by companies like Lime, Dott and Tier was off city streets. With this year’s Paris Olympics round the corner, the ban could not have come at a worse time for operators. Is this an augury for the future of kick scooter sharing?

Our research suggests otherwise. We believe that the kick scooter sharing services – a transportation service where companies offer electric scooters for short-term rent, typically through a mobile app – will evolve and grow in synch with the demand for inclusive, flexible, and affordable urban mobility. Rapid market expansion will be reinforced by sustainability imperatives and public-private partnerships. Accordingly, we project the kick scooter market in the key regions of North America and Europe to increase from $2 billion in 2022 to almost $12.70 billion by 2030.

To learn more, please access: Growth Opportunities for Kick Scooter Sharing in North America and Europe, Global Kick Scooters: Strategic Overview, Evolution of Shared Mobility Infrastructure in Top 20 Smart Cities, Benchmarking of Technology Companies in the Shared Mobility Industry or contact for information on a private briefing.

Paris Notwithstanding, Europe Continues to Embrace Kick scooter
Among the main attractions of e-scooter rentals is their low set up costs and the fact that they are economical, easy-to-use, and convenient. In addition, e-scooter fleets are efficient, emission free, and alleviate traffic congestion. Moreover, they address growing demands for first-mile, last-mile, and short distance travel in cities. In parallel, improved utilization rates linked to the use of AI and IoT for fleet management, swappable batteries, and scaled up manufacturing will further underline their appeal in the bouquet of urban transport options.

While this bodes well for operators, key challenges persist in the form of the seasonal nature of demand, with ridership low during winter and rainy seasons, and varying regulatory frameworks across cities.

Currently, Europe has been more proactive in its embrace of kick scooters, marked by the presence of several kick scooter sharing operators and increasing integrations with public transport modes. While stringent regulations led to restrained growth in 2023, prospects are set to revive this year.

In North America, market growth has been steady in the US and more subdued in Canada. More than 66% micromobility operators in the region offer kick scooter services and over 200 kick scooter systems are active in the market. While this is good news, market participants in North America will need to look at ways to boost the average number of trips per kick scooter (1.2) which is less than half that of bicycles (2.1).Moreover, towards the end of 2023, Bird announced bankruptcy and Superpedestrian shut down. This could lead to uncertainty in the kick scooter sharing market in the US. In contrast, the average number of trips per kick scooter in Europe is much higher at 1.8, with the region buzzing with more than 95 kick scooter sharing operators. However, here too, stricter regulations related to safety and chaotic parking will require market participants to find ways to address such concerns.

Key Trends Shaping the Market
Looking ahead, what are the main trends that will define the market over the next 5-6 years? One of the major themes will be safety. Connectivity technologies will play an important role in improving both rider and pedestrian safety. With safety at the forefront, cities will increasingly implement stricter mandates governing kick scooter use and leverage technology to develop supporting infrastructure. Meanwhile, companies will make efforts to incorporate safety solutions at the manufacturing stage itself. For example, Voi, Bolt, Spin, and Lime, have begun deploying advanced sidewalk/pedestrian detection solutions in their fleets.

Safety concerns and uncontrolled parking have undercut many of the positives offered by kick scooters. Therefore, with wider commercialization and use, another theme we will see is evolving regulations that seek to iron out these problems. In this context, cities have adopted four broad approaches: fully unregulated, regulated with some caps, regulated without caps, and total bans. Understandably, regulations vary by city and region. For instance, Toronto has prohibited the use of kick scooters on sidewalks, pedestrian crosswalks, and within the city’s downtown core areas. California is the only state in the US that requires a valid driver’s license to operate a kick scooter. In Europe, Vienna and Brussels are capping the number of kick scooters operating in the city. This underscores the dual need for greater regulatory clarity and enabling infrastructure support.

A major theme in the near-term will be of vehicles becoming more user-friendly and intelligent.  Drawing on user feedback, advances will center on comfort that will allow for rides of longer durations or that are more easily ridden in challenging terrains. Durability will be in the spotlight, reflected in improvements in battery and overall life and through the introduction of swappable batteries. In tandem, technology will enhance rider and pedestrian safety, boost inclusivity and accessibility by designing more disabled-friendly offerings and promote sustainability by increasing recycled materials usage. For instance, the Segway manufactured Tier 6 kick scooter uses swappable batteries, has a 350 W peak output, adjusts maximum speed capabilities to align with local regulations, incorporates a slightly increased wheel size to promote stability, and has a display screen that alerts riders about areas where kick scooter operations are not allowed.

And finally, a focus on service diversification and new product launches will become critical for operators to maintain their growth momentum. For instance, kick scooter sharing operators are expanding into the delivery segment by introducing cargo eBikes.

As the market for kick scooter sharing develops, collaborations between kick scooter operators, public transport authorities, charging infrastructure developers, and parking solutions providers will lay the foundation for efficient, streamlined, integrated multimodal transit in cities.  With safety a priority, collaborations with companies specializing in geofencing technology, data analytics, maintenance and inspection services will be vital.  Furthermore, partnerships with battery manufacturers will enable the development of durable and dependable swappable battery systems.

With inputs from Amrita Shetty, Senior Manager – Communications & Content, Mobility

About Chanchal Jetha

Chanchal Jetha, a Senior Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan's Mobility Practice, has five years of market research and consulting experience in technology and automotive research. She was part of the team that developed Frost & Sullivan's Innovation Generator Platform for the New Mobility Segment.

Chanchal Jetha

Chanchal Jetha, a Senior Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan's Mobility Practice, has five years of market research and consulting experience in technology and automotive research. She was part of the team that developed Frost & Sullivan's Innovation Generator Platform for the New Mobility Segment.

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