Matthew BeedhamEditor, SHIFT by TNW
Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.
The coronavirus pandemic is causing economic downturn across numerous industries. How and if they will recover remains to be seen, but new research suggests that the e-scooter market could bounce back once lockdown measures are lifted.
According to new figures from market analysis firm Berg Insight, the global e-scooter market will experience a temporary contraction in 2020, but over the next four years the number of shared scooters in use is expected to boom.
[Read: Study: Teslas cover more miles in their first 3 years than other auto brands]
As of 2019, there were 774,000 shared scooters in operation around the globe. By 2024, Berg Insight expects there to be 4.6 million shared e-scooters in operation, with 482,000 of those being sit-down vehicles. Stand on scooters like Dott, Lime, and Bird devices are going to dominate the market, Cities Today reports.
The e-scooter industry hasn’t exactly had a great time recently. As a result of coronavirus lockdown measures, it’s been marred by a drop in users, and many companies have paused their services, or laid off workers.
Last month, Lime and Bird pulled its scooters from streets in cities across the US and Europe as the devices weren’t being used.
According to a report from The Verge, e-scooter company Bird laid off more than 400 of its employees, rather unsanctimoniously, through a series of Zoom calls.
There’s certainly plenty of bad news in the short term, but as Berg Insights suggests, the longer term prospects still look good.
Earlier this year, New York passed long awaited legislation that legalized the use of e-scooters and throttle controlled ebikes in the state. It’s effectively laid the groundwork for scooter share companies to move in. That’s not likely to happen any time soon due to the pandemic, but the laws are in place for when it does.</p>
The UK government is also taking steps to achieve a similar goal too. Last month, it took the next step to launch consultations and real-world product trials of e-scooters and autonomous driving tech in some parts of the country. The trials will serve to inform how the country regulates the technology nationally.
It’ll be a bumpy road in the coming months for mobility companies, but the long term outlook still looks promising.
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