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Will micro-mobility be the next hot ‘concept’ sector?


A close friend of mine purchased an electric scooter. Amazing little thing it is. Hardly makes a sound yet it can whizz you up to speeds of around 20-30km/hr for up to 65km before needing to recharge. I wanted one. Funny thing, I began noticing e-scooters all over the place. UberEats and Deliveroo zipping around on e-scooters weaving in and out of traffic. These things were everywhere.

Electric scooters or E-scooters and motor scooters are all part of the micro-mobility market which has exploded in popularity alongside the rise of the Gig economy. That is; freelance jobs, involved with connecting customers through an online platform such as UberEats or Airtasker.

The big players such as Uber, Didi Chuxing, and Lyft, have all partnered or bought major bike sharing companies to offer integrated services to its users. These zippy scooters are a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to get to and from public transport and around the city. It’s the perfect way to commute to work once you’ve got off the train or to get to your next customer.

E-scooters and e-bikes are in and it is changing the way Australians travel. Electric Bikes being used for food delivery services like UberEats is an increasingly common sight on Australian roads. But it’s not just Australia, this is a global phenomenon. China has over 150 million electric bikes. Cars simply take up too much room and spit out too much pollution. People are starting to ditch the petrol car and search for a much cheaper solution with a lower environmental impact. Governments around the world too have embraced and encouraged the electric scooter adoption. E-scooters and e-bikes are the solution.

  • Surprisingly the ASX has only one electric two-wheel manufacturer, Vmoto (ASX: VMT).

    According to Grand View Research, the “global electric scooters market size was estimated at USD 18.6 billion in 2019. The rising need for fuel-efficient vehicles, backed by increasing concerns over carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, is expected to drive the adoption of electric scooters (e-scooters) over the forecast period.” The electric scooter industry is now worth $AUD 59bn and has well surpassed earlier estimates. Market Study Report estimates the figure to be somewhere north of $73bn by 2026. Irrespective of the number, the trend is up which is great news for Vmoto.

    Vmoto has been an Aussie success story, quietly growing sales year after year sending its share price on an upward trajectory since 2019. Shares rose 77% in 2019 after it inked a deal with world renowned Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati to launch a special edition two-wheel electric scooter, a “high-end luxury product at a premium price.” Early this year shares rose again following a substantial order from longstanding European customer Greenmo Group. And last month, VMT signed a MOU with India’s largest travel technology companies, Bird Group, for the distribution of its two-wheel electric vehicles (EVs) across the region with a minimum of 10,000 units in the first year, for $13.8 million.

    The Indian deal is ground-breaking. The country is by far the biggest market for two-wheelers, having sold 162.6m units from 2011 to 2020. India is fast pushing through policies to go green supporting EVs. This represents a massive opportunity for Vmoto to supply and capture a US$175m market. On paper the company is exhibiting exponential growth. Total revenue was up 34% to $61m and NPAT was up 174% to $3.7m. The company achieved these figures despite headwinds from the global pandemic. Total sales were 23,547 units up 18% yoy. Its manufacturing plant is located in China.

    The future is bright for the micro-mobility industry. Given the popularity for UberEats, MenuLog and Deliveroo remains strong, demand for micro-mobility should be well supported. According to FutureBridge, “the market demand for micro-mobility is poised for significant growth in the next 5-7 years. The market is expected to grow at a 20.3% CAGR from 2018, to reach $10.2 billion in 2025.”

    Vmoto is in its infancy yet is in prime position to seize what could be a huge opportunity. A deal to supply India and Europe, would be a game changer for Vmoto considering it is already the “leading electric moped and electric motorcycle company in Europe.” With a market capitalisation of $128m, the Perth based small cap’s has one of the widest global distribution networks of any electric scooter manufacturer in the world. In-fact Vmoto is listed as one of the main manufacturers being represented by more than 30 distributors in 29 countries with no local competition. Vmoto is in prime position to lead the world in manufacturing two-wheeled EVs.

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