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What Can We Learn from the Recent Research on E-scooter Usage?

Thursday, September 1, 2022

International Day of Micromobility on the 25th of August 2022 was a special day since Voi Technology released its latest annual user survey revealing that people across Europe are increasingly using e-scooters for commuting instead of fun.

Every year, Voi Technology carries out an international user survey to better understand riders' behaviour. In particular, they are interested in what kind of transport modes are replaced by an e-scooter and the reasons for riding. This year they have extended questions in the survey to better understand how the existence of e-scooters and other micro-mobility services have impacted car usage. The results of this year’s survey of 10,000 riders across Europe shows that 36% of e-scooter riders have drastically altered their car usage, even fully replacing it with other mobility modes including e-scooter.

In comparison with the result from 2021, where over 40% of rides said that one of the reasons for riding an e-scooter was for fun, was 10% higher than the numbers from 2022 where only 30% are riding for fun. Their primary purposes for riding an e-scooter have also changed to commuting to work or education (48%) and travelling to socialising events (59%). Another result from this survey is that around 25% of riders have solely been using e-scooters for their journeys and 55% (47% in 2021) of riders typically combine e-scooter rides with public transport.

Interestingly that decrease of car usage has been noticed in suburb areas. Over 60% of riders that live within a 30-minute public transport ride of the city centre have reduced their car use. Regarding age groups, e-scooters are being adopted across Europe by riders of all ages.

Fredrik Hjelm, Co-founder and CEO of Voi, said:

“Since Voi was founded, we’ve been on a mission to help transform how people move around their cities to reduce car dependency and reclaim public spaces for living. We’re starting to see a significant impact with more people using e-scooters alongside public transport and people of all ages find a flexible alternative to car trips.”

Personal Comment:

These are good trends, and we can see across the industry that the results from Voi survey are supported by several other big providers. I think it is worth comparing data and surveys from different providers, since they are operating in different countries and cities and might have observe different patterns in their users’ behaviour.

For example, Lime is another big e-scooter provider based in the USA. Unfortunately, I only found a survey only for 2020 regarding COVID-19, but let's have a look at it. This survey showed that 75% of respondents (from Seattle, New York and London) said that they intended to ride scooters in the future. In fact, 35% respondents said that they would use it weekly or daily, implying it would likely become a regular commuting habit. This result completely supports the result from Voi for 2022, we see that riders make micro-mobility services part of their regular routes.  

The latest poll survey of 8,000 people from Tier, another major e-scooter provider, revealed that on average 17.3% of their rides already replace car rides. Since Tier’s founding, they have managed to replace over 12 million car rides and 1 out of 6 Tier rides already replace a car trip.  Whereas the Bird survey for 2022 shows that Bird riders in North America, Europa and the Middle East have taken about 2.3 million individual car trips off the road. Another takeaway from Tier is that 90% of e-scooter users are residents of the respective city or country and not tourists. This result is supported by the Lime’s result from 2019.

This is a positive turn because we see similar results from the surveys across all big providers of micro-mobility services, which means that incorporating e-scooters into cities have similar impact on users’ car use. Moreover, we see that predictions about the usage of e-scooters made in previous years are valid in 2022.


Written by Kateryna Melnyk,
RISE Mobility & Systems