Australia's short-distance travel market is also gradually being covered by electric scooters and e-bikes. As fuel prices in Australia continue to rise and remain high, micro-travel transportation devices that cost less to travel have become a new option for residents.
The shared section of the e-scooter segment is the dominant market, with shared e-scooters being more prevalent than private e-scooters by a ratio of 49.6% to 12.2%. But the personal scooter market is also growing rapidly as cities lift restrictions on private electric scooters. More than 250,000 personal electric scooters are being sold and used across Australia, according to Micromobility Report data, and the Australian micro-mobility market has begun to grow steadily since 2017, with sales roughly quintupling by 2022.
More popular shared electric scooters
The booming growth of electric scooters in Australia today could not have been driven by the broader sharing market. In the shared segment, e-scooters are far more popular than even e-bikes, the ratio of e-scooter use to e-bike use in cities that operate both e-scooters and e-bikes is 5 to 1.
Shared electric scooters first appeared on the streets of Brisbane at the end of 2018, and after a few years of development， shared electric scooters are spreading across cities in Australia, and the development of this market is being pushed even further as cities liberalize restrictions on electric scooters. According to sharing operator Beam, there will be 3.6 million e-scooter riders in 2022 and 6.5 million adults using microtransit nationwide, with e-scooters accounting for nearly half of that usage.
More than 97% of users say e-scooters are more fun and relaxing than e-bikes, and 85% use e-scooters for recreational riding. In a survey of future e-scooter usage, about 40% of e-scooter users said they would maintain their current usage rate, and 30% said they would increase the frequency of e-scooter use in the future.
Personal electric scooter sales grow
With 10 million electric scooter and e-bike rides taken by Australians, Melbourne's leading e-scooter retailer has seen a significant increase in sales since the Victorian Government legalized private e-scooters from the beginning of last month, according to a leading scooter distributor, and other retailers are optimistic about sales growth this year.
Introducing sit-down electric scooters
E-scooters are mainly used in inner-city areas and most trips are less than 15 minutes long. To extend the range of e-scooters, sit-down e-scooters have been introduced in Brisbane, Geraldton, Esperance, and Rockingham in the past month, with data showing that seated vehicles can extend the ride distance by almost 30% compared to standing modes of riding.
Beam, Australia's largest micro-motor company, will first introduce seated e-scooters in Geraldton, WA, with 50 shared seated e-scooters to be deployed across the city in August, and a further 100 e-scooters to be deployed in Rockingham and Esperance.
Designed with the same safety features as Beam's "L-shaped" stand-up e-bikes, including triple brakes, cell phone mounts, Bluetooth helmet locks, and dual front suspensions, the seated e-scooters can also be rented through Beam's app-based service, and are priced at the same rate as Beam's purple e-scooters.
The development of the electric scooter market in Australia is still in its infancy, and while the use of shared electric scooters is very popular, there are still many cities that have not yet opened up restrictions on the use of personal electric scooters on public roads due to an increase in riding accidents, but with the obvious benefits of electric scooters for the convenience of residents and the growth of environmental benefits in the city, it is expected that the electric scooter market will also maintain its rapid growth.