The future of Mobility in 2035 - Evolution is imperative | April 28, 2023
Also, Aventon launched upgraded Sinch.2, Cruise robotaxis started daytime operations, Lyft lays off 1200 employees, and Autotech Ventures is investing $230 million in mobility-related startups.
Issue [#185] - Every week, we deliver analysis and curation of emerging mobility news - post a job listing here!
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While electric cars are being hyped up for their role in reducing carbon emissions, another groundbreaking solution to combat climate change has emerged, i.e., e-bikes. E-bikes have the easy, if not a little obvious, ability to change people's behaviors and contribute to environmental preservation by getting people to swap their cars for two-wheels for short trips. This not only cuts on the miles covered with cars but also helps reduce the overall car dependency for people / Insider
Rad Power Bikes and Redwood Materials are collaborating to recycle e-bike batteries when they are no longer usable. Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla co-founder Jeffrey JB Straubel, will receive the depleted batteries from Rad Power Bikes, after which they'll be processed and recycled. This partnership will help prevent e-bike batteries from ending up in a landfill after they are worn out and reused to make new batteries / The Verge
Tiny Japanese pickup trucks are becoming all the rage among rural Americans but for all the right reasons! These four-wheel-drive minitrucks, sometimes known as "Kei" trucks, are in demand because they are affordable, can get into tiny spaces as compared to the normal pickup trucks, are easily modified and repaired, and are excitingly efficient, while it is getting difficult to get them registered for road use due to some safety issues / The Economist
Mobility is revolutionizing, but despite all the innovative solutions to make transportation more efficient and sustainable, the problem of road congestion remains. Governments are working to solve the issue by building more parking spaces and public garages, leading to taking up more urban land. This calls for an evolved and immaculate mobility ecosystem. McKinsey & Co. recently studied regional trends and technologies across the globe that could transform the mobility sector by 2035. Here's what they've found / McKinsey & Co.
Product Launches & Updates
Known for its e-scooters and mopeds, Swedish mobility company Vässla has now entered the US e-bike market with its latest Vässla Pedal. Launched in Europe last year, the Scandinavian e-bike is available as a direct-to-consumer vehicle for US $2,690, but that's not all! According to the subscription model, citizens of New York City can ride this little-to-no-maintenance bike by paying only $109 per month, with no compromise on the specs! / Electrek
Aventon's first-ever foldable e-bike is here with an upgraded version, Sinch.2! With 4-inch fat tires, a foldable frame, torque sensor, rear rack and fenders, turn signals, and stylish color schemes, it has everything you need to ride as efficiently as possible while maintaining the Sinch style / Aventon
Ridehailing, Carsharing & Delivery
Economic headwinds have caused yet another major company to lay off its workforce. Lyft, a ride hailing and mobility-as-a-service provider, decided to lay off about 1200 employees by next week. As the company claims, the decision has to be made to minimize expenses and make Lyft more competitive by offering cheaper rides, raising drivers' earnings, and generating more profit in the future / The New York Times
First-ever daytime operation of a "small" fleet of autonomous robotaxis in San Francisco is being carried out by Cruise, General Motors' autonomous vehicle subsidiary. While Cruise is focusing on expanding its operations, it already lost $561 million in the first quarter of 2023 and earned only $30 million in profits. Despite all that, GM is still optimistic about Cruise's future / The Verge
Instant food delivery workers have made our lives easier during the pandemic, but are they paid and protected enough for their services? Katie Wells, a Georgetown University researcher, studied the work lives of 40 Uber drivers in Washington, DC, and interviewed them in 2022 about the issues they face during their work. Recently, she sat down with CityLab to discuss her research, the experiences of the workers she studied, and what role people and the authorities should play to make the workers' lives better. Here's what she shared / Bloomberg
Investment & Deals
The highest and most well-liked mobility raise on Crowdcube this year, Cowboy, a Belgian manufacturer of e-bikes, easily exceeded its €1 million crowdfunding goal in less than 48 hours / ZAGDaily
A total of around 4.5 billion yen has been raised by Luup, Inc; henceforth, about 3.8 billion yen were generated through equity issuance, and about 0.7 billion yen were raised through debt and asset financing / Luup
Lisbon forbids automobiles from entering the city's core. The center of downtown will be off-limits to through traffic in the Portuguese capital. The strategy is only temporary for now / Bloomberg
Banpu Next led the transaction with an US$8.8 million contribution to buy 588,211 shares, according to VentureCap Insights, which analyzes regulatory filings in Singapore / TechInAsia
With its recently concluded $230 million fund, Autotech Ventures plans to grow beyond its initial group of fledgling ground transportation firms. Moreover, in response to our inquiry, Daniel Hoffer, Managing Director at Autotech Ventures, stated that "Ground transport persists to be an important source and driver of global innovation, and we are excited to continue investing in top young businesses around the globe inside the transportation sector with our new $230M fund." / TechCrunch / PR Newswire
Cities & Policy
A number of bicycle safety initiatives that city officials aim to introduce in NYC include ten miles of hardened bike lanes that are isolated from motor vehicles by barriers made of concrete or other solid materials / Daily News
Bike lanes are a fantastic place to start for cities that want to minimize the number of cars. Tokyo, the largest and most useful city in the world, is also the friendliest to pedestrians / Heatmap
California is actively exploring ways to make e-biking more accessible with its new incentive program. After reviewing the "final proposed criteria," staff are anticipating launching the statewide initiative in 2023 and making vouchers available to people over eighteen years of age from households whose income falls below 300 percent of Federal poverty level. To ensure everyone has a chance at partaking, incentives will be limited by person rather than household size or other factors / StreetBlogs Cal
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