1.1 Definition and scope of study
The electric scooter is a conventional scooter with electric motor which allows the user to move around effortlessly. It is part of what is commonly referred to as the NVEI, or New Individual Electric Vehicles as well as the electric bicycle, the electric mono-wheel or the electric bike hoverboard
The electric scooter is a mobility solution that is fairly well adapted to the new challenges of the urban transit because it can be sustainable, intermodal, light, or even shared . Appearing in major American cities in 2017 in its free-floating form - then in France in the summer of 2018 - this mode of transport has rapidly become a real phenomenon, and is now establishing itself as the most popular mode of transport in the world the essential vehicle for micro-mobility .
There are two types of electric scooter users
- users with their own electric scooter minority but growing
- users of self-service scooter rental solutions: the practice has so far developed massively via this solution.
The special feature of the study is that self-service scooters may compete directly with retail scooters, but we will deal with both market segments at the same time by comparing them.
Unlike self-service bicycles, self-service electric scooters are no station (free-floating) and arranged more or less randomly on the street - normally in reserved parking areas. All the driver has to do is order a scooter via a application downloaded to his smartphone so he can use it.
On a global level, in 2019 there are about twenty operators offering their shared electric scooter services The market is expected to reach a size of between 40 and 50 billion US$ in 2025 . The competition between the players - the main ones being Lime, Bird or Bolt - is extremely strong, and in view of the difficulties in becoming profitable, a movement of concentration appears inevitable. This movement has already begun. In the market for scooters for sale, we can mention the following Xiaomi and Segway-Ninebot which are global players and sell their products to both individuals and free-floating start-ups
In as of June 2019, France had 12 operators offering their scooter services on a free-floating basis, all of which are global players . The growth of this mode of transport raises questions concerning the framework of the practice: issues of security and occupation of public space in particular. In France, the use of electric scooters will be regulated by law in 2019 and the use of electric scooters will be included in the highway code. In 2019, the city of Paris also launched a call for projects to regulate the number of operators and scooters authorised, limiting the Paris market to 3 operators from 2020 Other cities have followed suit
Therefore, in view of the breakthrough - both media and economic - of self-service scooters, what room is there for scooters on sale to private individuals? The latter are also benefiting from strong growth, as the sales volume increased by 105% between 2018 and 2019 . And the Covid-19 crisis could well benefit the sector as a whole
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