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Kick Scooter Market Overview
The global kick scooter market is currently in its nascent phase; however, it is expected to observe notable growth during 2019–2024 on account of the increasing demand for last-mile transportation solutions and the emergence of kick scooter sharing fleets. Megacities across the world are facing issues of pollution and congestion as a result of rapid urbanization. Nearly 45% of the traffic in the U.S. is caused by cars that are used for traveling less than three miles a day, and micromobility solutions, such as kick scooters, can help reduce this snarled-up traffic substantially.
Based on battery type, the market has been categorized into lead acid and lithium-ion (li-ion) kick scooters. Between the two, li-ion kick scooters are expected to witness faster growth in demand during the forecast period. This can be majorly attributed to the advantages of li-ion batteries over lead acid batteries. Li-ion batteries offer more energy density, are compact and lightweight, and hold the charge for a longer time. Furthermore, the falling price of these batteries is propelling their adoption, thus boosting the category growth in the kick scooter market.
The kick scooter market has also been classified into personal, rental, and sharing applications. Of these, kick scooters used in the sharing fleet are projected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. Kick scooter sharing service is evolving and is gaining ground across several countries. The service has enabled the users to travel to their destinations without having the need to own vehicles and bear secondary charges, including maintenance, insurance, and parking. Such advantages are expected to boost the demand for these vehicles for sharing services in the near future.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific holds the largest share in the kick scooter market, owing to the major adoption of these vehicles in China. The presence of key electric kick scooter manufacturers, developed electric vehicle value chain, extensive government support for electric vehicles, availability of low-cost batteries, and strong customer base are some of the factors that are boosting the adoption of these vehicles in China, thus driving the market in the APAC region.
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Kick Scooter Market Dynamics
Investments in kick scooter companies are accelerating. The electric kick scooter market is currently at its nascent stage, but is steadily growing with the increase in scooter startups offering kick scooters for sharing purposes. Competition in the market has grown in recent years and so have the investments. For instance, in July 2018, Google Ventures, an Alphabet Inc.’s venture capital division, led a $355 million funding round for Neutron Holdings Inc. (LimeBike).
Besides, several ride-hailing and automotive companies are focusing on acquiring electric two-wheeler sharing companies so as to increase their service offerings. In November 2018, Ford Motor Company acquired Spin, an electric kick scooter startup, for around $40 million.
Other major electric kick scooter companies, such as Spin, Skip, Scoot, PopScoot Singapore Pte. Ltd., Tier Mobility GmbH, WIND Mobility, VOI Technology AB, Vogo Automotive Pvt. Ltd., Dott, and LMTS Holding S.C.A. (formerly known as Flash), have also announced large capital investments in recent times. Since 2018, in Europe alone, five electric kick scooter companies have emerged and raised more than $150 million. Thus, increasing investments and acquisitions have been the major trends observed in the kick scooter market, globally.
Deployment of kick scooters for sharing services is one of the major factors boosting the growth of the kick scooter market across the world. In comparison with other types of vehicles used for shared mobility, electric kick scooters can be more hyper-localized and can be leveraged to solve the problem of last-mile connectivity. Besides, as a means of shared mobility, these vehicles are compact, easier to operate, and do not require any physical exertion.
Moreover, several companies have expanded their scooter sharing services to different locations and geographies. For instance, in 2018, Sharing Muving SL, a Spanish electric scooter sharing company, launched its service in Atlanta, the U.S. Also, in 2017, Neutron Holdings Inc., which conducts its business as LimeBike, started providing dockless electric kick scooters and bikes for sharing purposes across several cities in the U.S. Thus, the growing use of these vehicles for sharing services is propelling the kick scooter market across the world.
Lack of clarity on guidelines for the operation of kick scooters is a major factor limiting the growth of the kick scooter market. Kick scooters have flooded the cities across different countries in the past two years, with vehicle sharing service providers such as Neutron Holdings Inc. and Bird Rides Inc. expanding their service offerings. However, government authorities are concerned about public areas inundated with scooters, primarily on account of unmanaged and improper parking.
Kick Scooter Market Competitive Landscape
Competition in the global kick scooter market is getting fierce, with key players focusing on investments and acquisitions to offer more efficient and economical products to the customers. Some of the major players operating in the industry are Razor USA LLC, Segway Inc. (Ninebot Inc.), Xiaomi Corporation, Shenzhen Xiaobaima Energy Tech Co. Ltd., Ningbo MYWAY Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd., Spin, Skip, Scoot, PopScoot Singapore Pte. Ltd., Tier Mobility GmbH, WIND Mobility, VOI Technology AB, Vogo Automotive Pvt. Ltd., Dott, and LMTS Holding S.C.A.