In recent years, Australia has seen the quick rise of micro-mobility devices like electric scooters, electric bikes, and electric skateboards. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its popularity and demand in the country are still at their peak. In fact, the global micro-mobility market is expected to grow a CAGR of 17.0% from 2019-2024.
Seeing that micro-mobility devices are here to stay, should you also get one? Moreover, which micro-mobile vehicle should you get? This quick guide will give an overview of the different micro-mobility devices and why you should choose them.
What are micro-mobility devices?
First, let’s define micro-mobility. First used by the business analyst Horace Dediu in 2017, micro-mobility refers to small, lightweight vehicles that have an average maximum travel speed of 25 km/h. These personal mobility devices can only carry one person and these include electric bikes, kick scooters, electric scooters, electric skateboards, and shared micro-mobile systems, among others.
The term’s scope and meaning are still evolving due to emerging micro-mobile devices and changing transportation landscape. However, Dediu said that micro-mobility devices should be defined around their purpose, and that is to move or transport a human being. Thus, micro-mobility devices offer riders the freedom to move around with the least amount of carbon footprint, size, and weight.
The different micro-mobility devices
Here are the most popular micro-mobility devices that you can own or try today.
1. Kick Scooter
Kick scooters are light and compact scooters that consist of a handlebar, stem, deck, and wheels. Riders push or kick against the ground to move forward. Kick scooters are easy to balance and anyone can ride them, from young children to adults. Nowadays, most kick scooters are made of aluminium or titanium, making them durable and long-lasting.
Why choose a kick scooter
Kick scooters are great for short trips or leisurely travelling. It’s also low-cost since it doesn’t need fuel or electricity. However, it can be tiring to use since you physically need to push it forward. Despite this, it is still fast and a lot of fun to ride.
2. Electric Scooter
Electric scooters are a motorised version of the kick scooter. This micro-mobile vehicle uses a small electric motor to run and is usually designed with a larger deck than the kick scooter. It runs on batteries that can be charged for hours depending on the battery capacity. Electric scooters have become more popular thanks to low-cost ride-sharing services like Lime and Neuron.
Why choose an electric scooter
An electric scooter is faster, more efficient, more comfortable and less tiring than a kick scooter. Because of its motor, it offers longer distances. That’s why it’s perfect for commutes or trips around the city.
3. Electric Bike
Electric bikes or e-bikes are bicycles that use electric motors to assist the riders with pedalling. E-bikes have two categories: e-bikes that assist with pedalling and e-bikes that add throttle. Regardless of which type of e-bike you choose, riders still need to pedal when using electric bikes.
Why choose an electric bike
Electric bikes enable riders to travel from 25-32 km/h without the hassle. These are perfect for people who want more physical activity than an electric scooter. For people who love bikes, the added features make pedalling easier and more enjoyable. Because you’re not tired, you can travel longer distances. It’s perfect for everyday commutes or short leisure trips.
4. Electric Skateboard
An electric skateboard is similar to a normal skateboard minus the electric motor, battery, brake, and remote control. Riders control the speed using a hand-held remote control. Meanwhile, the rider shifts their body weight forward or backward to move the e-skateboard forward or stop it.
Why choose an electric skateboard
This micro-mobility device is easier to ride than a normal skateboard and is the most portable among the others on this list. Overall, it makes riding skateboards effortless. Plus, the added features like the brakes provide added safety. It’s great for short trips around the city or even commutes to work.
5. Balance Scooter or Hoverboard
This personal electric mobility device goes by many names such as the self-balancing scooter, self-balancing boards, balance scooter, and hoverboard. As its name suggests, riders balance themselves on two motorised wheels connected by two pads. Using these pads, riders control the balancing scooter’s movement and speed. This is thanks to sensors that detect how the hoverboard tilts or moves.
Why choose a balance scooter or hoverboard
Although it can be difficult to balance or control, riders will have fun using it once they get the hang of it. However, it’s only recommended to use balance scooters in recreational areas like parks. It’s best to avoid riding on city roads for your safety.
6. Electric Unicycle
An electric unicycle is a micro-mobility transportation that runs using one wheel and an electric motor. No pedalling is required. Instead, a rider controls the speed and direction by leaning forward, backward, or side-to-side.
Why choose an electric unicycle
Electric unicycles have a no-nonsense design, compact size, and light weight, making them a portable vehicle to bring anywhere. Moreover, some models go faster than electric scooters and electric skateboards. However, for safety reasons, it’s not recommended to ride them in public, especially on the road.
Get your own micro-mobility device today
As more cities in Australia and across the globe establish smart cities, commuters are likely to see more micro-mobile devices and vehicles in the streets. Moreover, the micro-mobility industry is pushing for the legalisation of micro-mobility devices and the development of infrastructure to promote micro-mobility.
Given that micro-mobility seems here to stay, should you own one? Riding a micro-mobile device will not only make your trips faster and more efficient but will also impact the environment positively. To help you find the right micro-mobile vehicle for your needs, Ride Hub Australia provides a one-stop-shop of electric scooters, electric bikes, electric skateboards, and more from leading brands in Australia. Browse through our shop, and find the right ride for you.