The start of 2023 has brought challenges and changes to the shared mobility market in Europe. Cities and operators have discontinued services and implemented vehicle limits, with Paris banning shared scooters and companies like Bird and GO Sharing exiting unprofitable markets. However, amidst these transitions, the shared mobility market is adapting and finding new ways to meet the rising demand for flexible transportation options.
The European Shared Mobility Index, recently issued by Fluctuo, offers an overview of the entire European market. The analysis is based on a selection of 100 European cities, chosen to showcase diversity in size, geography, and market characteristics. A subset of 33 cities was utilized to capture the overall ridership trends and provide valuable insights for the report.
Bikes: Leading the urban commuting scene
During Q1 2023, bike schemes emerged as the dominant mode of urban commuting in Europe's Shared Mobility landscape. Outpacing scooters, mopeds, and cars, dockless* bikes experienced remarkable growth, expanding by 33%. These dockless systems cater to the increasing demand for flexibility and convenience among riders. However, the usage of these bikes is influenced by weather conditions, which can impact ridership. Despite this, operators have successfully maintained stable fleet sizes, indicating effective efforts in diversifying their fleets. Overcoming weather-related challenges will be crucial to ensure a reliable and consistent bike-sharing experience.
Scooters: The role of public tenders
In Europe, public tenders have become the standard method for regulating shared scooters, and they have yielded both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. Well-designed tenders establish clear participation criteria, transparent selection processes, and quality standards for operators, such as maintenance, safety, and environmental sustainability. These tenders also have the power to limit the number of vehicles and operators, leading to increased profitability and improved service quality. Cities like Bordeaux and Oslo have set excellent examples by reducing the number of operators and implementing maximum fleet sizes through successful tenders. As a result, these cities have experienced soaring rider numbers and improved profitability.
Mopeds: Limited presence and challenges
Among shared transport modes, mopeds have the least prevalence. The performance of individual moped markets significantly impacts global ridership due to their limited presence. Recent exits of moped services in Barcelona, Dutch markets, Milan, and Rome have contributed to slower ridership growth. However, drawing conclusions based on Q1 alone may be premature since it is typically the weakest quarter for all modes. While countries like France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands are observing steady growth in moped usage, operators such as TIER and Felyx face challenges in achieving profitability in this segment. This raises the question of whether mopeds, like scooters, have reached a glass ceiling in terms of market potential.
Cars: Evolving landscape and challenges of electrification
The European car sharing industry has undergone significant changes, moving away from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) dominance to a diverse landscape of independent players. Notably, overlooked markets such as Poland and Belgium have seen growth in car sharing. Operators are experimenting with new approaches, targeting smaller cities and exploring station-based models. The industry faces challenges with fleet electrification due to limited charging infrastructure and supply constraints. Overcoming these charging infrastructure challenges is vital for successful electric vehicle integration and the sustainable growth of car sharing.
In conclusion, the shared mobility market in Europe is undergoing a period of transition and adaptation. While challenges and changes have emerged, such as the discontinuation of services and vehicle limits, the market continues to evolve and cater to the growing demand for flexible transportation options. Bikes have emerged as the leading mode of urban commuting, while scooters and mopeds face varying levels of challenges and potential market limitations. Car sharing is witnessing significant changes, with a shift from OEM dominance and a focus on smaller cities and sustainable models. Overcoming infrastructure and profitability challenges will be critical for the shared mobility industry to thrive and provide accessible and convenient transportation solutions in Europe.
*Dockless bikes - New concept for previously known as "free-floating" bikes.
Would you also like to explore free city data on Shared Mobility trends in Bordeaux, Frankfurt, Malaga and Eindhoven? Don't miss the opportunity to download the full report from the files section below.
Published on 16 June, 2023.