How is shared e-scooter regulation shaping the market?

Expanding in number from virtually nothing in 2017 to a peak of 350 million trips among leading global players in 2022, shared e-kickscooters have caught the attention of regulators worldwide. McKinsey identified and examined the regulatory archetypes of the top 100 cities worldwide to understand better how guidance may evolve.

Ban of shared e-kickscooters: These cities generally forbid the operation of shared e-kickscooter services, while the private use of e-kickscooters is allowed. Today, of the top 100 cities, about 35 cities, with a cumulative 290 million people, ban shared e-kickscooter operations. This is mainly driven by China, which generally forbids shared e-kickscooter services. Several cities outside China also strictly prohibit shared e-kickscooter operations, such as Barcelona, Philadelphia, Sydney, and Toronto. Recently, Paris followed suit, one of the first European cities to do so.

Tender regulated: This archetype includes cities that permit shared e-kickscooter operation but limit their operating services by imposing specific rules and restricting the number of operators, vehicles, or both. These cities have created regulations for using shared e-kickscooters, including a minimum age for the driver, a maximum device speed, and a defined operating area. In the United States, for example, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles are tender regulated. In Europe, Madrid is in this group.

‘Open but regulated’ environment: This archetype refers to cities that permit shared e-kickscooter operators and do not state a player limit. Operators must register their businesses with local authorities. This type has defined rules for using shared e-kickscooters: driver’s minimum age, maximum device speed, or permitted operating area. Roughly 23 out of the top 100 global cities are categorized as open-but-regulated cities, covering about 280 million people in densely populated areas of Japan (Tokyo), Brazil (São Paolo), Mexico (Monterrey), and European cities (Berlin). In Japan, the government has also issued a new law to make access to shared e-kickscooters easier: users will no longer be required to have a driver’s license or wear a helmet.

No regulation in place. These cities generally do not have any regulations in place for shared e-kickscooter operators. McKinsey’s analysis shows that 29 of the top 100 cities (covering about 310 million people, or roughly 32 percent of the total) have not yet defined any regulations. Nine of these cities are in India, covering around 40 percent of the population (about 120 million). Some cities in other countries in South Asia, as well as in the Middle East and Africa, have yet to put any regulations into action (Dhaka and Cairo).

Source: McKinsey

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Walther Ploos van Amstel  

Passie in logistiek & supply chain management