With the current UK HGV driver shortage could this be an opportunity for micromobility?
At the start of the pandemic, it was estimated that there were about 200,000 privately owned devices in the UK. Sales boomed during the pandemic with Halfords and others reporting a surge in demand of up to 450%. Current conservative estimates put the number of privately owned devices at in excess of 300,000. In the current e-scooter trials 7,500 rental devices covered 2 million km in 9 months (to March 2021) 300,000 privately owned devices could cover many millions more, if their use was legalised.
FleetEurope and the Spectator have cited evidence that about a third of e-scooter rides replace car journeys. The 2 million km covered by rental trial e-scooters in 9 months therefore have replaced in the order of 600,000 car km.
How many more car kilometres would 300,000 privately used micromobility devices replace?
Brussels Mobility surveyed over a thousand e-scooter users and in doing so they noticed a difference between responders who owned their own device and shared e-scooter users. Of those who owned their own device 44% reported that this was a replacement for the car.
Legalising the use of privately owned micromobility could significantly reduce car use and help alleviate current fuel shortages in the short term and bring benefits of reduced congestion and pollution in the longer term.