Episodes

  • Hey team, this week Oliver interviews Olaf Sakkers about his new book, Mobility Disruption Framework. Olaf is one of the General Partners at Redblue Capital, a new mobility venture investment firm that he founded. Prior to this, he was at Maniv Mobility for 6 years with Michael Granoff, a friend of Micromobility Industries and a previous guest on the podcast. This is one of our favourite episodes. Olaf’s work feels seminal, which is always a good place to start from. It covers a lot of the same ideas covered on this podcast all in one, coherent and cogent framework, and helped us really get our head around concepts that we’ve been thinking about for years but have struggled to  articulate. We cannot recommend it highly enough. 

    Thank you to Reilly Brennan for putting us onto it via his excellent Future of Transportation weekly newsletter.

    Specifically they talk about:

    - Olaf’s history with Maniv Mobility and his new venture Redblue.

    - The origins of the Mobility Disruption framework and its audience.

    - Why Olaf is bullish on hydrogen for vehicles.

    - His framework around CATS and DOGs and why the dematerialisation of transport matters

    - His framework for Throughput Construction Cost, which in our opinion is revolutionary.

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    In the meantime. The next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be at the Craneway in Richmond, across the bay from San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500+ startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details.

  • This week Oliver interviews Horace about his recent thoughts on the impact of lithium ion batteries on power tools and how the market and products have developed. He also spawns a new framework: batteries we carry, batteries that carry us and batteries that carry themselves. It’s Horace at his best - riffing and letting his brain do what it does.

    In the meantime, make sure that you get your tickets for Micromobility America, the world’s largest summit devoted to small electric vehicles. It returns to the SF Bay Area on September 23, 2021 for an immersive, in-person gathering. The team are hellbent on breaking the old paradigm of car dependency and getting the world moving again, safely and sustainably. The event will be a jam-packed day of talks, demos, meetings, and test rides with micromobility’s top global founders, policymakers, investors, and influencers. Meet over 500 startups and established players, test the latest technology and vehicles for the first time in nearly two years. It’ll take advantage of the beautiful California weather, doing as much as possible outdoors and headliners include political upstart Andrew Yang, veteran tech reporter Lauren Goode, and e-scooter racing trailblazer Lucas Di Grassi, and dozens more. Check it out more at micromobility.io. 

    The sponsor of the episode is Segway Commercial, the sharing business division of Segway-Ninebot. Their job is to help people and companies launch their own micro-mobility business. No matter the size or location of your scooter fleet, their mission is to make shared micro-mobility simpler and more accessible to all. They will be bringing a full line of electric vehicles to Micromobility America and encourage listeners to reserve their test ride. They’ll have their full range, such as Segway’s IoT-enabled e-Bike and e-Moped, and their full line of shared scooters featuring latest AI technologies, including T60 & T60 lite. 

    To RSVP your test ride, please click on this link. 

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  • Today Oliver interviews Michael Dunne, founder of Zozogo, former VP of JD Power in China, GM of General Motors Indonesia and host of the Winning in Asia podcast which covers the auto sector in China. Mike has a huge depth of experience in China, which is an area that the team haven’t covered as much as we’d like on this show. The conversation gave rise to a lot of discussions about the lay of the land in the Chinese auto sector, the role of the Chinese auto sector in Micromobility and how micromobility will need to change to see adoption from those who are coming from poverty into wealth and are looking for highly performant and high status vehicles. It’s a great discussion and one that we think you’ll really enjoy.

    Specifically they dig into:

    - Mike’s background and how a kid from Detroit ended up in China in the 1990s.

    - the Dynamics of the local Chinese car industry, including a breakdown of local vs joint ventures vs Tesla. 

    - what (totally crazy!) excess capacity in the auto sector looks like and why that might matter for Micromobility 

    - the top down vs bottom up nature of industry in China, and why the incentives matter.

    - infrastructure in China - roading vs existing Micromobility

    - the cultural enablers and disablers for Micromobility in China - and why Micromobility will struggle in the quest for status

    In the meantime. The next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be at the Craneway in Richmond, across the bay from San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500+ startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details.

  • Today Oliver interviews Kyle Doerksen, founder/CEO of Onewheel, about the companies journey. Kyle has been in the space since the very beginning and epitomises the builder mentality - having tinkered with lots of components back in the late 2000’s to build his first prototypes. They also talk a lot about funding and manufacturing as OneWheel has taken quite a different approach to others in the space in the USA. This video is also up as a Youtube video, complete with images of the vehicle as well. 

    Specifically, they dig into:

    - The origins of Onewheel/Kyle’s background and motivation for starting the company

    - The vehicles and where they're finding a market including the breakdown between commuters and recreational users.

    - How Kyle thinks about community building, including Onewheel racing events.

    - How they think about countering the learning curve for the vehicle and their target demographic.

    - What the market for funding etc. has been like on your journey since the late 2000’s and why Kyle is a fan of bootstrapping.

    - What Kyle’s excited about in the micromobility space

  • Today, Oliver interviews Erdem Ovacik, CEO of Donkey Republic, the first shared micromobility player to go public globally. Donkey Republic is listed on the Nasdaq First North exchange in the Nordics. It’s a great discussion about how the market has evolved, and why they see increasingly tight cooperation with governments being the next phase of shared market developments.

    Specifically, they dig into: 

    - the backstory of Donkey, including where the name came from and the development of the bikeshare market in Europe

    - Donkey’s unique approach of being both an operator and SaaS business and the economics of the varying parts of the business.

    - Why they’ve pursued a ‘virtual dock’ solution rather than just straight free-float and what that’s enabled them as a business.

    - Why they see the growth of the business being in publicly funded bike share systems in the EU.

    - How their valuation compares to other companies in the shared space, and what the reception of investors has been like.

    - what the listing has provided them in terms of options and what the costs have been

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    Thanks to our sponsor for the episode, Ubiq, who is making shared mobility profitable with data-driven services to automate operations and ensure vehicles are in the right place, at the right time, to meet demand. Ubiq’s customers have increased revenue by 20% while also decreasing operational costs.

    Ubiq offers services including Automated Rebalancing and Charging as a Service (ChaaS), using the power of the crowd to exploit the full potential fleets. The StreetCrowd also service matches vehicles requiring repositioning, or charging with crowd users, allowing shared mobility providers to automate operations. 

    Ubiq is also increasing the efficiency of ops teams, by helping identify underutilized vehicles. With its plug-in forecasting models one can easily see where improvements can be made. Ubiq’s systems are plug and play and you can get started right away. Check them out at Ubiq.ai. 

    _________________

    The next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be in Pier 70 in San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500+ startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details. 

  • This week Oliver interviews Richard Thorpe, CEO of Gocycle. Gocycle are the world’s premier electric folding bike manufacturer, and Richard has been at the game longer than most, starting to work on the project back in the early 2000’s. In this episode, they dig into the history of the company, why folding matters in a multimodal future, and the importance of vehicle weight. 

    Specifically: 

    - Richard’s background at Mclaren and how that informed his view on weight

    - The challenge of building an electric bike company in the 2000s

    - What matters for consumers, and how that informs how they bring their bikes to market

    - The new G4 range, and what that offers over prior models

    - What has helped and hindered with marketing

    Also, the next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be in Pier 70 in San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500ish startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details.

  • This week, Oliver and Horace interview Amir Haleem, CEO of Helium, about the rise of distributed telco infrastructure. This was originally recorded for the Critical Path, but given that Amir has been a guest on the podcast in the past and there’s a direct link between what they’re building and low cost connectivity for micromobility, we wanted to share here as well.

    If you’re interested in Helium and wondering how it sits within the telecommunication industry business model, this is a great episode.

    Specifically they dig into:

    - The Helium model for telco and what problem they were trying to solve.

    - Why Horace calls this the first 'useful crypto' he's found.

    - Horace talks about the traps of infrastructure financing, and ponders whether the Helium model invalidate these challenges.

    - Horace and Amir break down whether/how the model is disruptive to existing infrastructure.

    - They talk about the future challenges they can foresee, and how Helium will potentially react.

    Also, the next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be in Pier 70 in San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500ish startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details.

  • This week we’re releasing an audio version of the recent Micromobility Membership webinar on low end micromobility that Oliver did with reporter Lavender Au and Nat Bullard, Head of Content at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. They discuss Lavender’s lauded RestofWorld article on low end micromobility in China. In lieu of full-size cars, Chinese commuters are flocking to tiny alternatives that look and perform more like golf carts or rickshaws than Teslas. In 2019, these low-cost, low-speed vehicles actually outsold traditional electric cars by 2 to 1.

    It’s a great discussion about how the sector these lightweight electric vehicles in China have emerged, and where they might fit into a global transport future going forward. It is an incredibly illuminating discussion about a topic that receives far too little press.

    Also, the next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be in Pier 70 in San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500ish startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to micromobility.io to find out more details.

  • In celebration of Earth Day 2021, Oliver interviews Horace about his latest project - looking at the carbon emissions in the transport sector and modelling the pathways for the current options. You can probably imagine where they get to, but they don’t want to spoil the show.

    This is still a work in progress, and they are putting this out as a primer so that folks may understand the narrative arc, and the background/context of why Horace is looking at this.

    Specifically they look at:

    - The math of emissions, and why transport is hard

    - The lifecycles of vehicles and why the shift to electric cars will take a long time

    - The ‘gap’ that exists between existing emissions reduction plans and reality

    - Where micromobility might contribute

    Also, the next Micromobility America conference is now scheduled for the 23rd of September. It’ll be in Pier 70 in San Francisco and have more than 50 top speakers from the industry, more than 1000 global participants and 500ish startups and brands represented. If you love this space and want to find your tribe here, head to miicromobility.io to find out more details. 

  • Between COVID work stoppages, a massive stock surge, a strategic tech acquisition, partnering with legendary automotive engineer Sandy Munro, and the general fits and starts of pre-production, Arcimoto, maker of semi-enclosed electric three-wheelers, has had an eventful year. This week Oliver interviews their CEO, Mark Frohnmayer, to shed light on the company’s manufacturing progress and long-term ambitions—and why he believes heavy micromobility is vital to the future of electric vehicles.

    This is the audio version of the video from the Micromobility Show on Youtube. Check out the link to the video here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTzO9wekyiA).

    If you like this, you will also likely like the interview we did with Mark back in November 2019 on Episode 46.

    Specifically, they dig into:

    - What is Arcimoto and the FUV?

    - How Mark got into lightweight electric vehicles

    - The no man’s land between bikes and cars

    - Arcimoto’s coming "Platform 2"

    - The regulatory situation for 3-wheeled vehicles

    - Licensing requirements to drive

    - Sandy Munro’s influence

    - Technical debt of Arcimoto

    - Arcimoto’s mini delivery vehicle, the Deliverator

    - How Arcimoto sees competition

  • This week Oliver brings you an exclusive interview with Salvatore Palella, CEO of Helbiz, which is about to list on the NASDAQ as the first shared micromobility player to go public globally. It’s a fascinating conversation about the current state of the market, how valuations are reached in the SPAC space, and what possibilities are enabled for micromobility by the public markets.

    Specifically, they dig into:

    - Salvatore’s background, including as one of the youngest professional football club owners in Europe.

    - The origin story through to the current state of Helbiz, including where they started, how they operate and how many vehicles they have.

    - They talk through the SPAC fundraising journey, and how Salvatore raised early capital for the company.

    - They talk through the post-public market plans for the company including thoughts on mergers and acquisitions strategy.

    - How they have viewed hardware.

    - A discussion of their early forays into cryptocurrencies, and what Salvatore thinks the future will look like for advertising-driven micromobility.

    - A discussion about the operational and behavioural differences between US & EU markets

  • This week, Oliver interviews Jameson Dietweiler, CEO of Fantasmo. 

    Fantasmo has been around since 2014 to build maps for machines, and has been working specifically on micromobility since the earliest days in 2017. With the recent announcement that they’ve partnered with Tier to roll out an innovative phone based parking verification technology Oliver was excited to have a chance to bring them on the show. They use camera based positioning to better locate vehicles like scooters and ebikes in cities where often GPS is an insufficeint technology to provide highly accurate location data. 

    They talk about the pivots that the company has made and why their ultimate goal is to own the basemaps that are used for positioning in cities all over the world, using micrombility as the first step. 

    At Micromobility Industries, we’ve been long excited about companies that are building software layers to the micromobility experience. It also provides a good answer to regulators and city officials who ask how hard it is to enforce parking solutions for shared operators across cities, which as we know was an early issues with shared schemes. 

    It can be a little hard to visual, so we would recommend that you check out the short video here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPsXU0Vbctg].

    Specifically, they dig into:

    - The origin story of Fantasmo and how Jameson came to be working on ‘maps for machines’

    - The details of the pivots that they’ve made as a company - on-device to parking on phone via cloud etc.

    - They talk through the Tier pilot and what they’re seeing in the early data.

    - How they think about the move of computation into mobility, and where it’ll sit (discussing Horace’s thesis that these vehicles will become computing platforms)

    - They discuss how defensible the moat for a company like Fantasmo is vs. Google or Apple opening up an API for this based on their mapping tech

    - How the the funding environment is for a software company in the boom-bust Micromobility industry.

  • This week, Oliver interview Joseph Brennan, co-founder of Zoba, an analytics company working on optimizing micromobility operations. It’s a pretty nerdy topic, but the topline is that their clients have seen up to 74% more rides per scooter simply from operational tweaks that Joseph and the team have suggested. As micromobility operations get more sophisticated and cities get stricter on operators and rule enforcement, services like what Zoba offers will become even more important.

    This was originally published as a video on our Youtube channel. Check it out here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79ipNkpCEN4].

    Specifically, they dig into:

    - The history of Zoba and how Joseph and his team came to found the company.

    - The variables that they’re working with, and how they engage with customers

    - A discussion on the benefits of new technologies coming down the pipe, including swappable batteries.

    - The biggest operational challenges for both operators and governments

    - How has their business fared in the boom/bust of the wider sharing industry, and what are they seeing now?

    - The challenges and opportunity for raising money in the software-for-micromobility space and what he’d recommend to other entrepreneurs.

  • We're excited to bring you this interview with Carson Brown, co-founder of TAUR Scooters who are building one of the best designed and coolest looking scooters we've seen on the market. With their team based in London, it’s an excellent discussion about the role of design in micro, and why these new vehicles reflect the culture and environment that they’re designed in. We really hope that you enjoy it. 

    This was originally a Youtube video for Micromobility Industries - if you’re keen to check that out, check out the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elwybg1Vmeo

    Specifically they dig into: 

    - Carson's background working on electric unicycles

    - Why they decided to chase after personally owned scooters

    - The importance of design in owned objects

    - What does their development process look like, and what were the design decisions they had to weigh up.

    - How they thought about the TAUR brand from the get go.

    - How they think about the 'hard' part of being in hardware, and what they're facing as a company when getting into production

    - How they're thinking about support and maintenance 

    - The irony of designing one of the most innovative personally owned scooters in a market (the UK) where ownership is banned. 

    - His long term aspirations for TAUR.

  • This week, Oliver interviews Horace about the ‘Trillion Dollar Question’. With Arcimoto (who we’ve covered on episode 46) hitting a $1b market cap, and the recent article from RestofWorld covering the rise of low end Chinese micro-EV’s, we wanted to circle back to the question of what will heavy micromobility - those vehicles in the 50-500kg category - look like and why could they be where we find the defining vehicles of our time. 

    Specifically we cover: 

    - A quick summary of Horace’s research into carbon emission modelling for micromobility (more to come on this soon!)

    - How Horace and Oliver both got into micromobility

    - The rise of the Chinese low-end and what’s interesting about them

    - How small cars like the Gordon Murray T25 or the golf cars sit in ‘no-mans-land’

    - Why the criteria for disruption in vehicle type might sometimes require getting creative with the rules, and being ‘unsafe’

    - The rise of Arcimoto and their creative interpretation of the rules

    - Why these vehicles will answer the ‘trillion dollar question’ when they emerge, and why they’re inevitable.

  • This week, we release the first of the many incredible sessions from the 2021 Micromobility World conference, wherein Benedict Evans and Horace Dediu discussed the disruptive potential of micromobility. It was an incredible conversation between two people who clearly have a lot of time and are excited by each others ideas. We hope you enjoy it! 

    Specifically they dig into:

    Why Benedicts background as a historian makes him a great analyst.

    The micromobiltiy disruption thesis - low end, the asymmetric nature of unbundling trips (market for vehicles vs. market for miles), the role of fun/enjoyment, speed of interaction

    Why micromobility is more interesting that autonomy

    The role of Marchetti’s constant in transport, and why that matters for micrombility’s unique capabilities

    What the rise of elevators can teach us about new urban transport technologies

    What the platform game will look like in this space.

    What the impact of COVID has been on how we think about transport

    How micromobility will enable Amazon logistics API to fulfil deliveries

    Tackling ‘Should the thing move, or the person move?’, and why that matters to micromobility.

    Why the low cost of micromobility platforms will allow real world marketing kickbacks similar to how ‘surfing’ on the internet works now - ’take me somewhere interesting’

    Why the rise of new forms of transport like automobiles enabled new crimes and the rise of Bonnie and Clyde

    Why cities will likely eventually move towards dynamic road pricing

    If you prefer video, check out the video of it on the Micromobility Industries Youtube page here.

  • On this episode, Horace joins Oliver on the show to talk about what an entry by Apple into the mobility market would look like, and why a car is perhaps the wrong form factor to be looking at. They talk through the growth prospects for micromobility, and why Apple’s entry into the market would be a meaningful contribution to the world of mobility.

    This is on the back of Horace’s post ‘Apple Computer’ published on the Micromobility Industries blog recently. Check it out here: https://micromobility.io/blog/2021/1/11/apple-computer

    Specifically they dig into:

    - The parts of the upcoming Micromobility World conference that Horace is most excited about

    - The size of the car market vs the micromobility market as it currently stands

    - Where the margins lie

    - Why Apple has typically entered into industries that are still ‘embryonic’

    - What a meaningful contribution could look like and what technologies would materially affect the user experience

    - The constraints of infrastructure on useability and the ‘feel’ of a vehicle

    - How computation becomes more personal over time, and why that will apply to vehicles too

    - The revisit Microsoft’s decision in the 90’s to get into the lounge, and why that was the wrong question.

    - Horace coins the term ‘smartphone-y’

    Thanks again to the sponsors of this episode, Christensen Group.

    Christensen Group, a lead player in the micromobility insurance category. As the micromobility space continues to grow around the world with a diverse spectrum of business models, Christensen Group continues to be a leader in the space servicing: e-scooter, moped, motorcycle, e-bike sharing operations along with: subscription & private based programs,  manufacturers, AI technology providers and more. They will have a virtual booth at this year’s Micromobility World event on January 27-29.  They invite you to stop by and have a chat with them about safety, fundraising, regulatory requirements, and trends in the risk and insurance marketplace, or whatever else is on your mind. They’re also going to have folks from Zagster, ZipCar, Ford Mobility, and others dropping by their booth to discuss litigation trends, regulatory missteps, fundraising and start-up strategies, and more.

  • Fun fact: Seoul, South Korea is the largest market for shared scooters globally, and Beam is one of the largest players there.

    This week, Oliver interviews Alan Jiang, founder of Beam, the largest shared Micromobility operator in Asia-Pacific. Asia is one of the hotspots for micromobility given its home to the majority of the world’s population experiencing the growth, density and ensuing urban congestion where micromobility really thrives. We’re very excited to cover more of it in 2021. Alan has a great view over the market and it's nuances.

    Speciflcally they dig into:

    - Alan’s background at Uber and then Ofo

    - how he’s seeing the market develop in Asia and Australasia

    - Seoul - it’s the worlds biggest scooter market, and you're one of the largest players. What are the benefits to scale and what are they seeing?

    - Beam’s unique commodity hardware strategy

    - fundraising and what he’s seen change in the conversations over the last 12-24 months

    - how Alan think of the ridehailing players, and whether Grab/Go-Jek/Didi are going to go hard into micromobility

  • Today on the show, Oliver interviews Puneeth Meruva, Associate at Trucks VC about their latest report: The Three Axes of Micromobility: Supply Chains, Distribution and Maintenance about the often unseen world of getting Micromobility into the hands of consumers. This is a topic that hasn’t received much coverage to date, so it was a fascinating conversation fully of nitty-gritty and relatively technical details about the opportunities for development and investment in the micromobility ecosystem. 

    Specifically they dig into: 

    - A recap of Trucks VC, their thesis and other portfolio companies in the Micromobility space

    - Puneeths background and how he got there

    - What the research was about, and why Trucks undertook it

    - Key findings in the fields of components, distribution, maintenance etc

    - Whether timelines for new product development are getting shorter vs longer and why

    - Who the interesting businesses are in the distribution and maintenance space

    - Future opportunities in design and tech both in vehicles and business models (including a reference to www.nimbus.green - one of the companies Oliver is most excited about at the moment)

    - A discussion about vehicle platforms, and whether Puneeth agree’s with Horace’s thesis that these vehicles will become computing platforms.

    The report itself can be found here [https://www.trucks.vc/blog/the-three-axes-of-micromobility-supply-chains-distribution-and-maintenance]

  • This week Oliver interviews Chinmay Malaviya and Charlie Depman, cofounders of Ridepanda, about their efforts to build a better customer journey for purchasing owned micromobility. The platform is relatively new, but it hits on a very relevant need. Thanks to Reilly Brennan from Trucks VC for putting us onto them.

    Specifically we dig into:

    - Their backgrounds at Bird, Scoot and Lime and how that led them to starting this business.

    - The core customer needs that they’re trying to solve

    - The importance of trusted reviews and reliable servicing for customers

    - What matters to customers, and why brand is far further down the list than expected

    - What early traction they’re seeing

    - How COVID 19 has impacted the buyers guide

    - Their fundraising journey and what they’re seeing for Micromobility related startups in general.