E-mobility startups in France: COVID-19 boosts micromobility?

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COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed the way we travel in the city. And certainly, it is gradually remodelling the mobility industry too. Essential travels are more dependant on personal transport rather than public ones and people are using bikes, e-scooters more than cars.

A report by Bike and Scooter Rental market estimates the global bike and scooter rental market to rise to nearly $7 billion by 2026. At the same time, France is also encouraging people to cycle to keep pollution levels low once lockdown restrictions end. The country also plans to invest €20 million to develop and subsidise two-wheel travel, which, like Britain, will include temporary bike lanes.

According to the French government’s Multiannual Energy Programme, the country also aims to increase the current size of the national e-mobility market twelvefold, with a goal of 1.3 million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, for both private and commercial ends, on the road by the end of 2023 and 5.3 million by the end of 2028.

While cities like Paris are also aiming to create cycle routes along the paths of its three busiest Metro lines, here is a slew of French electric mobility startups that are shining well during the COVID-19 crisis and can be used to travel around the city, once the lockdown eases a bit more.

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Picture credits: EcoVelo

EcoVélo

Founder/s: Sébastien Bourbousson.
Funding: €2 million
Founded year: 2013

EcoVélo is a turnkey solution for self-service electric bikes for cities. With onboard technology and XXL ticketing revolutionises the use of self-service bicycles. It is available both in classic and electric versions wherein the latter can be installed sans civil engineering or electrification of terminals. Users can choose from a wide range of vehicles designed for self-service such as city bikes, electric bikes, mountain bikes, cargo bikes and more. The box fitted on these bikes provides access to a range of functions such as NFC, GPS, screen keyboard interface, updates, and assistance levels among others.

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Picture credits: Zeway

Zeway

Founder/s: Amaury Korniloff, Stéphanie Gosset
Funding: €15 million
Founded year: 2019

Zeway works with the mission to reinvent the electric scooter market segment. The company wants to bring major urban changes to respond to environmental challenges, and come up with an unconstrained electric mobility solution. Zeway is a new player in the French e-mobility market offering personal electric mopeds with swappable batteries in a network of stations installed throughout the city. The swappable batteries can be recharged in less than one minute. This innovative service aims to foster the shift towards electric mopeds with a smarter and faster way.

Earlier this month, Zeway secured investment from Fonds de Modernisation Ecologique des Transports (FMET) managed by Demeter alongside others such as InnovAllianz fund managed by Allianz France, WaterStart Capital fund managed by NCI to launch the service.

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Picture credits: Carlili

Carlili

Founder/s: Arnaud De Cazenove, Vincent Moindrot, Matthieu Charron
Funding: €3.1 million
Founded year: 2015

Carlili redefines vehicle rental standards such as pooling of private fleets, digital services, and leading delivery service to promote a change in the mobility industry. Carlili offers an efficient service and platform that is easy to use so that it can meet the existing challenges in the industry and the evolutions of the future. The on-demand car rental solution lets users book a vehicle in a few clicks and get it delivered at their doorsteps. The delivery and collection are managed by professional agencies and carsitters. In March 2020, Carlili secured funding of €2 million from Caisse des depots.

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Picture credits: Cityscoot

Cityscoot

Founder/s: Bertrand Fleurose
Funding: €78.6 million
Founded year: 2014

Cityscoot is one of the leading scooter-sharing service providers that lets users book scooters via its official app in just a few clicks. This startup lets users access a network of electric scooters for short distance trips in the city. Via this app, users can pick up and drop off electric scooters any time. Back in 2019, Cityscoot teamed up with Uber to let commuters in Paris book electric mopeds and pay directly via the Uber app. Earlier this year, Cityscoot secured €23.5 million funding from Demeter and Allianz France with the intention to open its service in two new European cities this year and expand its fleet of electric mopeds.

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Picture credits: Pony

Pony

Founder/s: Clara Vaisse, Paul-Adrien Cormerais
Funding: €2.2 million
Founded year: 2017

Pony aims to decentralise ownership of vehicles as it believes that shared vehicles should belong to those who use them. It is the first shared micro-mobility scheme that lets users acquire and share ponies and ensure that profits remain within the local economy. Pony changes the way the world goes around by eliminating limits, hassle and docking of its vehicles. Recently, the startup revealed that future Pony bikes and scooters will have renewable batteries that can last up to 10 years. And, the carbon footprint from the company’s vehicles is likely to be reduced by 52%.

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Picture credits: Moustache Bikes

Moustache Bikes

Founder/s: Emmanuel Antonot, Grégory Sand
Funding: NA
Founded year: 2011

Moustache Bikes is the strong conviction that electric bikes represent an incredible opportunity for the development of the use of the bicycles. It operates with an innovative, contemporary and qualitative vision. Being a customer-centric mobility service, it offers unique bikes that combine comfort, design, and ergonomics. There is a balance bike for learning and is the only one sans electric assistance. The bikes offered by this startup have contemporary handlebars and each bike is unique and is recognisable giving a strong Identity to these bikes.

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Picture credits: Veligo

Véligo

Founder/s: NA
Funding: NA
Founded year: 2019

Véligo is a perfect opportunity to test-drive and find out how it will be to ride an e-bike. You can ride a Véligo e-bike for six months for as low as €40 per month and get standard bike equipment, maintenance and repair services. Also, you will get the Véligo Location app. And, it provides a discount for students charging them €20 per month provided they give a proof. The service provides additional equipment such as adult helmet, one child seat and helmet, waterproof rear bike bag, extra battery charger, and standard bike rack for car.

Stock photo from Jerome LABOUYRIE/Shutterstock

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