Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.



episode 76: Ebikes, Maps and Adword Dystopia

This week Horace joins Oliver for a discussion about ebikes and the state of micromobility, including which potential other potential players might want to get into the industry. This leads to a discussion about the job-to-be-done of maps, and Horace’s dystopian warning that they will end up as the browser of the mobile era.

Specifically they dig into:

- How e-bike sales have been doing during COVID

- The current structure of the industry for standard bikes and ebikes, including where the margins are

- How this mom-and-pop style industry parallels the early days of the PC industry

- A discussion about the Taiwanese ‘golden book’ for bikes

- Why distribution is one of the great unsolved aspects of e-bikes

- Whether micromobility best parallels the computer industry or the early auto industry, and what implications are there for either framing

- Which players are likely to get into building the next generation of e-bikes, and why Amazon, Google or Apple are all potential contenders.

- Why maps are so important, and why they might be the software layer that may start to drive the next Micromobility wave

- The worry that Horace has about an Adwords approach being directed to Google Maps in the mobility routing, and the incentives that stem from distraction as we move from A to B

- How and why micromobility operators should be aiming to participate in the forthcoming mobility-as-a-service layers

- The implications of what software enabled transport will enable.

The Micromobility Industries blogpost outlining e-bike recommendations -https://micromobility.io/blog/2020/6/1/best-ebikes