5 things that make Micromobility great

"Micromobility is serious business with a serious mission. It’s to give back the cities to humanity and save the planet at the same time. In this blogpost I will highlight 5 things that I believe matter most. Some of the content below is stolen from a great blogpost on the subject by Florent Crivello. Kudos to you my friend."

1. Efficiency

Imagine yourself, enjoying some Joy Division on the Harmon-Kardon hifi system, the seatheat heats the rear, the latte-schlafiato in the cupholder and a yummy roof that protects the scalp from humidiness. Life is good, right? Well, You, the human, weigh about 80 kg. The car weighs about 1500 kg. The human is about 5% of the total weight. If you put petrol or such in the tank the efficiency is about 35% since the rest vanishes into heat. Let's do the energy efficiency calculation. 5% x 35% = 1.75%. The bucks you put into petrol, only 1.75% goes into moving you, the rest goes into moving the car or just vanishes in heat. Painful.

Compare this to using a small electric vehicle where the weight ratio is shifted. The electric engine converts 85% of the energy into movement and weighs on average 20 kg.That gives a total energy efficiency of about 70%. That is a 40x improvement. Say no more folks."

2.Space

"The next big thing that will blow up is parking. In the US there are about 8 parking lots for every car. In urban areas we get annoyed with scooters laying around in a messy manner. Totally see and understand that. But what I have big problems getting my head around are all the cars that occupy street after street in all our cities. On top of that they stand still and only used for about 2% of the time. So they basically take up valuable land in vain, since they are not being used. The way we also value this piece of land is truly disconnected.

Just meters next to the parking lot there is a property that we value at 10 k EUR per m2. The parking lot cost 2 EUR per hour. So the city doesn't even monetize the cars that are not being used. Weird in my mind. I encourage a city valet parking startup to address this problem. Park the cars outside of the city and use this space more joyfully.

3. Sustainability

Obvious one. Small vehicles don't pollute. Small vehicles are also cheaper to produce, cheaper to buy and have less of a footprint when it comes to production than cars. It’s just a more manageable solution to make it sustainable. The big obvious trend is that production moves from Asia closer to the sales markets. The reason is to make the supply chain more sustainable, cut lead times, optimize logistics and be more on-demand.

4. Safeness

Many people get this one wrong I believe. Many feel unsafe when riding a Micromobility vehicle. It’s not because of the Micromobility vehicle itself. It’s because you might get hit by a car or a truck. This will cause a fatal outcome. The way to address the problem is to make more protected infrastructure for Micromobility but even more, reduce the amount of cars and trucks in urban areas. That will allow more space to Micromobility while making it safer and improve the city life and quality.

5. Wellness to cities

Cities are to a large extent made for cars and roads. That pretty much dictates the planning of the city. But lately more and more cities focus more on city health than roads and people love it. In Stockholm quite a few streets become car-free during the summer and the streets come to life. Restaurants expand, greenery is planted, chill-areas are implemented etc. If you ask the inhabitants in these neighborhoods I’ll eat my hat up if one single person misses the cars.

  • Rickard Bröms, Founder & CEO Vässla.