Of course things are not always so ideal. Thereby, during this year several systems had to close. The main reasons (amongst others) were the lack of support from the local authorities, the inability of fleet growth and the dysfunctional technological system which couldn’t ensure the efficiency of the operations. Consequently, city schemes had to close in cities like Frankfurt, Hamburg, Paris, Rome, Milan and Catania. However, the closure of one system in a particular city doesn’t signify the end of scooter sharing in this specific area. On the contrary, other players are eager to replace the closed schemes and make new opens, learning from the mistakes of others. This is a clear sign that, albeit the market can be turbulent in certain moments, nevertheless, it is still under constant development and growth.

Based on those facts, we can conclude that the cornerstone of each sharing scheme is the technology behind it, which guarantees the proper function of the holistic system, as well as the reliable vehicles that offer a pleasant ride experience. Equally important is the relationship between the operator and the local municipality which has to be collaborative. So, the overall feedback which is expressed from the operators’ side is that technology is the backbone of the whole sharing operation, because it ensures both the maintenance of the fleet, as well as the direct customer support. COMODULE’s principle is to offer the operators an agile product, tailor made to their needs, in order to ensure the highest quality service for the riders.

Nowadays, most of the fleets are free floating systems with two-wheel scooters which allow the riders to choose any vehicle is nearby them and drop it off within a defined service area. During 2016 & 2017 there was a boom in the market, hence, 8,000 scooters have been deployed all over the world. According to the forecasts, this number is expected to grow and exceed 10,000 vehicles globally. Surprisingly, for some people, there is a speculation that in the future, scooter sharing market will overpass car sharing industry! The reason for that is twofold: a) the large potential which is mainly driven due to lower capital investment needs and b) the ease that an operator can deploy a fleet with great benefits for the social welfare.

There are several vehicle manufacturers that provide vehicles to sharing business. Most of those vehicles are electric and the minority are combustion scooters. Although combustion engines are costlier, however electric scooters dominate the market. So far, dominant manufacturers in this business are: Govecs, Gogoro & Torrot. Besides those manufacturers, there are other prominent suppliers, such as emco, Genze, Kumpan, Kymco, and others. Moreover, according to the Director of International, Joseph Constanty, NIU is another company which is expected to play a dominant role in the scooter sharing market is NIU from China. Another interesting insight comes from the Key Account Manager of emco who anticipates that the future production of sharing scooters will be doubled next year! From the side of combustion manufacturers, key players are Piaggio, Yamaha and SYM.

The estimated number of registered users in scooter sharing services approaches half million, and this fact shows the rapid growth of this business in urban centres, as well as the need for change away from the car-centric notion. The people who make use of this service are mostly young and familiar with using technology. The proportion of usage between men and women seems to be almost equally distributed between the two genders. The scooters are mostly used wither for commuting from point A to point B or for leisure time activities. Shared services are mainly used for short to medium distances. The average distance made is around 3km per ride and the average time is approximately half an hour. Based on researches, there are roughly 3 rentals per scooter daily. This service is mostly popular during the spring and summer period, whereas the winter season there is a decrease in rentals due to weather conditions.

Sources:  Part of the information which are contained in this article came from Innoz Global Scootersharing Market Report 2017 & through direct discussions with people from the industry.