It's a wrap!

Summary of a mobilised 2020

Looking back at a challenging but exciting year for new mobility ๐Ÿ›ด ๐Ÿšฒ ๐Ÿš— ๐Ÿš• ๐Ÿš around the globe ๐ŸŒ. Here are some of the my personal insights of 2020. Staying up to date & exchanging on developments and ideas with you was my personal pleasure - letโ€™s see what 2021 will bring for the ecosystem and all of us.

The mobility service industry was shocked at the beginning of the year by the impacts of the pandemic. Providers and stakeholders were slowly moving through four phases towards a more resilient business setup. The environment is still volatile, consumer preferences and perceptions are changing based on developments around the virus.

Micro mobility ๐Ÿ›ด๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ›ต

โžก๏ธ E-bike boom ๐Ÿ”‹ - seen at the dramatic demand increase in D2C and retail. D2C companies like VanMoof & Cowboy got significant funding rounds and reported strong growth YoY. Retailers in multiple regions were sold out on bikes and e-bikes. Canyon was sold for โ‚ฌ800 Mio. at the end of the year, supported by former Apple executive Tony Fadell.

โžก๏ธ Shared micro mobility (๐Ÿ›ด๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿ›ต) was called dead at the beginning go the pandemic but came back strong during the COVID-19 summer. VoiTier, Bolt and other providers have raised ambitious funding rounds (more than $500 Mio. ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ in total) recently - this will be an exciting 2021 with battle for tenders, innovation and markets in Europe. Bird, Lime and Link are faced with the challenges in Europe and NAR.

โžก๏ธ Bike sharing schemes around the globe have seen record numbers. Citi Bike in New York, Santander Bike in London or Vรฉlib in Paris have seen a strong user and trip growth.

The trends in micro mobility are fueled by multiple reasons: riding a bike/scooter is perceived as mode with low infection risk / cities push on slow streets and bike infrastructure / increased awareness for emission free mobility would expect the rise of to continue in 2021.

Car based services ๐Ÿš— 

โžก๏ธ The "2020 Free Floating Car Sharing" report was released in January - circumstances in 2020 had a twist on some of the trends. Overall car sharing has recovered to strong demand. Paused expansion of services could continue next year. COVID-19 lead to different use cases for car sharing, blurring the lines to rental cars even more.

โžก๏ธ Vehicle subscriptions were one of the hot ๐Ÿ”ฅ topics of 2020 - consumers are expanding flexibility and all in offerings. Startups and also some OEMs responded - the landscape of providers diversified, with strong players in Spain (Bipi), UK (Drover) and Germany (Cluno, Finn.Auto, Faaren) emerged. Industry experts predict an increasing demand for flexible ownership/usage models within the next 5 to 10 years, choices for consumers will diversify and increase.

Ride Hailing ๐Ÿš๐Ÿš•

Before the pandemic, ride hailing was one of the most hyped modes of new mobility - resulting in the IPOs of Uber and Lyft. This changed dramatically in pandemic - besides public transit, ride hailing and taxi services have seen a drop of 80% and more - with slow recovery ahead. To mitigate the risks, TNCs focusing on core verticals and cutting off risky bets

โžก๏ธ Back to the roots: Uber is selling off most of their big bets to focus on rides and delivery. Bikes, autonomous tech, flight taxis and freight is offloaded to other players

โžก๏ธ Didi ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ and Ola ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ are getting closer to the vehicle manufacturing business. Didi launched a purpose build EVโšก๏ธ with BYD for hailing services in China. Ola is building on of the largest factories for electric mopeds ๐Ÿ›ต.

โžก๏ธ Will we see autonomous shuttles soon? Some stakeholders are focusing on last-mile and long-haul logistics ๐Ÿšš first. In the US and China we could see more driverless setups like Waymo in Phoenix or AutoX in Beijing. Slowly moving from a security driver setup to full driverless, we might even see the first commercial project. Europe need to catch up.

Mobility as a service ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿš‰

The concept of the different setups in Mobility as a service is explained ๐Ÿ‘‰ here.

โžก๏ธ The deal between Moovit and Intel is one of the stories to remember - Intel paid around $900 for MaaS platform Moovit to integrate the data into the autonomous driving efforts at Mobileye.

โžก๏ธ MaaS is hyper local and needs a convincing strategy. Setups like in Augsburg and Pittsburgh are inspiring - deployments in Berlin and other cities are behind their ambitions.

โžก๏ธ Volkswagen is creating a climate-neutral mobility setup on a Greek ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท island. ๐Ÿ‘‰ Read on here. Blue print for roll out in other geographic areas and environments as well? 

Further impacts on COVID-19 on shared and new mobility

It doesn't matter, if a company is a startup or an established corporate - the agility and flexibility to respond to changed customer needs and market developments was a crucial success factor to manoeuvre through the first phase of the crisis. A "framework" to respond fast to a changes is more common for startups, but legacy corporates were forced to adopt faster as usual as well. If corporates keep the learnings and maybe embed them in the corporate culture, this could lead to increased customer focus and innovation speed. Disruption has less to do with competences than business model innovations.

โžก๏ธ In the recent years, Automotive OEMs and Transportation Corporates were investing in shared mobility offerings. Due to cost pressure and lack of expected results, resources are allocated to the core business and to the other CASE challenges: Connectivity, Autonomous Driving and electrification. The Daimler & BMW JV sold Reach Now to Deutsche Bahn/Mobimeo, Park Now could be next. Volkswagen is shutting down the parking service WePark and Deutsche Bahn was cutting most of the CleverShuttle Ride Sharing markets.

โžก๏ธ Venture backed shared mobility service companies were forced to execute hard measures on size and setup of the organisation and budgets. Reducing employees, closing offices or services is never easy. At the end it allowed the companies to reach a more resilient and performant position with a lower cost base. This could get most of them through the crisis and allow an even stronger come back. One example is the above mentioned shared micro mobility vertical.

โžก๏ธ More funding along the value chain. More than $ are on the table for mobility related SPACs (SPAC = Special purpose acquisition company, aka "blank check company) Companies like Nikola, Canoo or Luminar are already listed on the stock market, others will follow early 2021. Find a list of investors presentations here.

โžก๏ธ The importance of online channels was accelerated by the pandemic. More and more consumers expect to handle all processes around car purchase and ownership contacts and online. From interacting with customer support pre purchase, the whole buying/ordering process through managing maintenance and service events online.

Last thought: Some of the big tech and mobility startups we know today were founded during or shortly after the last crisis, the financial crisis in 2007 - 2008. In a few years I'm curious to see the "startups stars" founded during the pandemic, creating new markets with technology and customer focus.

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Augustin Friedel ๐Ÿšฒ ๐Ÿ›ด ๐Ÿ›ต ๐Ÿš˜

Corporate & sustainability strategy VW Brand at Volkswagen AG

Published โ€ข 54m

2 articles

๐Ÿ’ซ It's a wrap! ๐Ÿ’ซ Here is my summary of 2020 - please read the article and share your thoughts. Here are some highlights: โžก๏ธ What happened in the verticals of micro mobility ๐Ÿ›ต๐Ÿ›ด, vehicle on demand or ride hailing ๐Ÿš•? โžก๏ธ How did providers if shared services like Uber, TIER Mobility, pony, ViaVan and others manoeuvred through the first wave of the pandemic? โžก๏ธ Inspiring examples for hyper local MaaS ๐Ÿš‰๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿš— vs. big announcements are behind their ambitions โžก๏ธ Will the trends of vehicle subscriptions, SPACs and consolidation and focus ๐ŸŽฏ continue also in 2๏ธโƒฃ0๏ธโƒฃ2๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ?