Micromobility Solutions

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Micromobility solutions encompass lightweight, typically electric-powered vehicles designed for short-distance urban travel. This category includes e-bikes, e-scooters, electric skateboards, and shared bike and scooter services. Micromobility offers a sustainable, convenient, and often affordable alternative to traditional transportation modes, particularly for shorter commutes and last-mile journeys in urban environments.

Impact on climate action

Micromobility solutions like electric scooters and bikes promote a low carbon lifestyle by reducing reliance on cars. They decrease greenhouse gas emissions and congestion in urban areas, encouraging sustainable transportation choices. This shift supports climate action by fostering cleaner air and more efficient urban mobility systems.


  • Electric Propulsion: Micromobility vehicles predominantly rely on electric motors for propulsion, powered by rechargeable batteries. The electric drive system provides quiet operation, instant torque, and zero tailpipe emissions, making them ideal for navigating urban environments.
  • Lightweight Design: Micromobility solutions are designed to be lightweight and maneuverable, allowing for easy navigation through crowded streets and tight spaces. This focus on compact design also facilitates portability for users who need to combine their trips with public transportation or carry their vehicles inside buildings.
  • Shared Mobility Platforms: Shared micromobility services have revolutionized urban transportation. Companies like Lime, Bird, and Tier offer app-based platforms that allow users to locate, unlock, and rent e-scooters and e-bikes on demand, providing convenient and flexible transportation options without the need for ownership.
  • GPS and Tracking Technology: Micromobility platforms utilize GPS and tracking technology to monitor vehicle location, track usage patterns, and ensure responsible parking. This data is also used to optimize fleet management and rebalancing, ensuring vehicles are readily available in high-demand areas.

TRL : 9

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Advanced Battery Technologies: Continual improvements in battery technology are extending the range and reducing the weight of micromobility vehicles. Startups like Superpedestrian and Swiftmile are incorporating high-capacity batteries and advanced battery management systems to optimize vehicle performance and longevity.
  • Swappable Batteries: Swappable battery systems, like those offered by Gogoro and Swobbee, are addressing charging challenges by allowing users to quickly exchange depleted batteries for fully charged ones at dedicated kiosks, eliminating downtime for charging.
  • Smart Locking Mechanisms: Innovative locking mechanisms are enhancing the security and reliability of shared micromobility services. Startups like Link and Helbiz are deploying smart locks that utilize Bluetooth or NFC technology to prevent theft and vandalism, ensuring a seamless user experience.
  • Integrated Safety Features: Micromobility providers are increasingly incorporating safety features like geofencing, speed limits, and helmet detection systems to promote responsible riding and reduce accidents. Companies like Voi and Superpedestrian are leveraging AI and sensors to enhance rider safety.

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  • TIER Mobility:
    • Technology Focus: TIER Mobility specializes in electric scooters and e-bikes for urban transportation. Their technology enhancements likely include fleet management systems, battery optimization, and app-based user interfaces for rental services.
    • Uniqueness: TIER is known for its robust approach to safety and sustainability, incorporating swappable batteries for minimal downtime and efficient operations. They also emphasize city partnerships to integrate seamlessly into urban mobility ecosystems.
    • End-User Segments: Their services cater primarily to urban commuters and city dwellers looking for convenient, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional transportation methods.
  • Dott:
    • Technology Focus: Dott focuses on electric scooters and bicycles, aiming to provide reliable and sustainable transportation solutions. Their technology enhancements may include advanced geolocation systems, durable vehicle designs, and user-friendly apps for seamless rentals.
    • Uniqueness: Dott stands out for its commitment to safety and durability, using robust vehicles designed for urban environments. They also prioritize local partnerships and community engagement to ensure responsible deployment and usage.
    • End-User Segments: Dott targets urban residents and tourists seeking flexible, environmentally friendly transportation options for short trips within cities.
  • Lime:
    • Technology Focus: Lime offers electric scooters, bikes, and mopeds, integrating advanced technology for fleet management, battery optimization, and user engagement. Their platform likely includes features like GPS tracking, remote diagnostics, and smart charging solutions.
    • Uniqueness: Lime is distinguished by its global presence and scalability, operating in numerous cities worldwide. They emphasize sustainability through efficient vehicle design and battery management, as well as community partnerships for urban integration.
    • End-User Segments: Lime serves a broad audience of urban commuters, tourists, and recreational users looking for convenient, sustainable mobility solutions for short-distance travel.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  • University of California, Berkeley:
    • Technology Enhancements: UC Berkeley researchers are focusing on advancing micromobility solutions through the integration of electric propulsion technologies and smart connectivity. They are developing lightweight, energy-efficient vehicles and enhancing user experience through mobile apps for route optimization and vehicle sharing.
    • Uniqueness of Research: UC Berkeley’s approach includes studying the social and environmental impacts of micromobility adoption in urban settings. They are exploring how to integrate micromobility into existing transportation systems to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions effectively.
    • End-use Applications: The research at UC Berkeley aims to promote sustainable urban transportation by facilitating the widespread adoption of electric scooters, bicycles, and other micromobility solutions. These technologies offer convenient, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional commuting methods, benefiting both individuals and cities.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Technology Enhancements: MIT researchers are advancing micromobility solutions through the development of autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems. They are incorporating AI and machine learning algorithms to enhance the safety, efficiency, and reliability of micromobility services.
    • Uniqueness of Research: MIT’s research includes the development of novel materials and lightweight structures for micromobility vehicles, optimizing energy consumption and enhancing performance. They are also exploring the integration of renewable energy sources to power micromobility fleets.
    • End-use Applications: The innovations from MIT have applications in urban mobility, last-mile delivery services, and personal transportation. By promoting the adoption of electric and autonomous micromobility solutions, MIT aims to reduce carbon emissions and improve urban livability.
  • Imperial College London:
    • Technology Enhancements: Researchers at Imperial College London are focusing on improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of micromobility vehicles through advanced battery technologies and regenerative braking systems. They are also exploring innovative charging infrastructure solutions to support widespread adoption.
    • Uniqueness of Research: Imperial College’s approach involves conducting lifecycle assessments to evaluate the environmental footprint of micromobility solutions compared to conventional transport modes. They are also studying the socio-economic impacts of micromobility on urban communities.
    • End-use Applications: The research at Imperial College London aims to promote low-carbon lifestyles by providing scalable and sustainable alternatives to private car ownership. Micromobility innovations developed at Imperial College contribute to reducing air pollution and improving urban mobility efficiency.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Shared micromobility services have achieved widespread commercial success, with companies like Lime, Bird, and Tier operating in hundreds of cities globally. E-bikes and e-scooters are also increasingly popular for personal ownership, with a growing number of manufacturers offering a wide range of models to suit various needs and budgets.