Micro-Mobility Reform in Australia – Electric Scooter Craze Sweeps Across Australia

Australia’s short-distance travel market is gradually being covered by electric scooters and electric bikes, driven by rising fuel prices, as discussed in an article on the important factors contributing to the growth of the Australian e-bike market. With fuel prices in Australia continuously rising, remaining persistently high, micro-mobility transportation devices with lower travel costs have become a new choice for residents.

Shared electric scooters dominate the electric scooter market, with shared electric scooters being more common than privately-owned electric scooters, at a ratio of 49.6% to 12.2%. However, as various cities lift restrictions on privately-owned electric scooters, the market for personal scooters is rapidly expanding. According to data from the Micromobility Report, there are over 250,000 personal electric scooters being sold and used across Australia, and since 2017, the micro-mobility market in Australia has started to steadily grow, with sales increasing fivefold by 2022.

More Popular Shared Electric Scooters

The current prosperity and growth of electric scooters in Australia cannot be separated from the driving force of the widespread shared market. In the shared sector, the popularity of electric scooters far exceeds that of electric bikes, with Beam stating that in cities where both electric scooters and electric bikes are operational, the usage ratio of electric scooters to electric bikes is 5 to 1.

At the end of 2018, shared electric scooters first appeared on the streets of Brisbane. After several years of development, shared electric scooters are now widespread across various Australian cities. As cities loosen restrictions on electric scooters, the development of this market is further propelled. According to data from the shared operator Beam, the number of electric scooter riders in 2022 was 3.6 million, and the number of adults using micro-mobility nationwide was 6.5 million. Electric scooters account for nearly half of the usage rate.

Over 97% of users stated that electric scooters are more fun and relaxing compared to electric bikes, and 85% of users use electric scooters for leisure rides. In future electric scooter usage surveys, about 40% of electric scooter users stated that they would maintain their current usage rate, and 30% of users indicated that they would increase their usage frequency in the future.

Increased Sales of Personal Electric Scooters

Australians have made 10 million trips on electric scooters and electric bikes. According to a well-known scooter dealer, since the government in the state of Victoria legalized private electric scooters from earlier last month, sales at a prominent electric scooter retailer in Melbourne have significantly increased, and other retailers are also optimistic about sales growth this year.

John Dunnachie, Sales and Marketing Manager at Bikecorp, stated that retailers with electric scooter inventory have experienced particularly strong sales growth. Since the government announcement, the number of retailers for Bikecorp’s scooter brand has increased by 15.

The growth in the use of personal electric scooters has led to a significant decline in the use of cars, and the resulting environmental benefits are outstanding. While the number of cars owned by users of shared short-distance travel devices in Australia remains high, with 80% of Beam users owning cars, a survey showed that 67% of passengers stated that using electric scooters reduced their reliance on cars. Beam’s latest study of riders nationwide shows that if there were no shared micro-devices, 48% of users would switch to using cars for travel.

Introduction of Seated Electric Scooters

The use of electric scooters is mainly concentrated in inner-city areas, with most trips being less than 15 minutes. In order to extend the range of electric scooters, Brisbane, Geraldton, Esperance, and Rockhampton have introduced seated electric scooters in the past month. Data shows that seated vehicles can extend ride distances by nearly 30% compared to the standing riding mode.

Beam, Australia’s largest micro-mobility company, will first launch seated electric scooters in Geraldton, Western Australia. In August, 50 shared seated electric scooters will be deployed citywide, and 100 electric scooters will be redeployed in Rockhampton and Esperance. The design of seated electric scooters features the same safety features as Beam’s “L-shaped” standing electric bikes, including triple brakes, phone mounts, Bluetooth helmet locks, and dual front suspensions. Seated electric scooters can also be rented through Beam’s app-based service, with prices the same as Beam’s purple electric scooters.

The development of the electric scooter market in Australia is still in its early stages. Although the use of shared electric scooters is widespread, many cities have not yet lifted restrictions on the use of personal electric scooters on public roads due to an increase in riding accidents. However, electric scooters bring obvious benefits to residents’ convenient living and the growth of the urban environment. It is expected that the electric scooter market will continue to grow rapidly in the future.

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