How profitable is scooter sharing business?

How profitable is scooter sharing business?

The mobile sharing industry is projected to grow at a rapid rate over the next several years. The economic shift towards micro mobility has shown that bike and scooter use is going to grow from USD $2.5 billion in 2019 to USD $10.1 billion by 2027. With an increasing demand for affordable mobility services, industry leaders are making adjustments to their financial models to accommodate changing regulations, as well as, growing production costs.

We put together a breakdown of the expenses that are currently going in to establishing a profitable MaaS company along with some other considerations to keep in mind.

What are the current pricing levels for leaders in Scooter and Bike Sharing?

The pricing levels for different services being offered around the world vary based upon initial upfront costs, cost per allotted time and total ride duration. These prices are also subject to change depending on the regulatory requirements of each location.

Scooter sharing:

Bike sharing:

At ATOM Mobility we have a specific calculation to determine the total income a scooter or bike sharing service makes based on ride time and pricing fees. This allows adjustments to be made for the different price levels each company offers.

Income Equation: (Unlock Fee + (Average Ride Time X Minutes)) = x

x = Average Price per Ride

How does vehicle ridership impact the financial model?

Ridership is impacted by a multitude of factors, including availability to travel lanes, density of charging/docking stations, level of integration within the overall transportation network, along with the extent of rider outreach and vendor education. Vehicle use rates tend to increase based on volume of available scooters/bikes and ease of access to stations. The systems with larger fleets, as well as wider spread sharing infrastructure tend to experience higher ridership.

According to research conducted by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, scooters are making up to two times more rides per vehicle per day compared to bikes. Bike services complete anywhere from 0.5 to 2.5 rides per day at an average of 1, with trends showing a shift away from traditional pedal bicycles as the interest in e-vehicles continues to grow.

Image source: nacto.org

Image source: nacto.org

The region where services are being offered can also influence ridership. Across our partners at ATOM Mobility for scooters, we are seeing from 1.8 to even 5 rides per vehicle per day, with even higher rates in colder regions where the proper infrastructure is in place.

Image source: City of Chicago, E-scooter Pilot Evaluation 

Image source: City of Chicago, E-scooter Pilot Evaluation 

An evaluation of the City of Chicago’s E-scooter pilot program found that over time the number of trips per day decreased from an average of 3.7 to 2.5. This aligns with the seasonality of mobility vehicles, which has been proven to impact ridership. Our research found that there can be decreases between 30 to 50 percent during the off-season.

The average rides per day you can count on for bike sharing services is 0.5 to 2.5, and 1.8 to 5 for scooter sharing services.

What additional factors need to be taken into consideration?

Once we have determined how many rides are being taken and the average price, we can calculate the average income per vehicle per month and outline cost positions. To begin growing revenue, mobility companies need to determine ways to extend the lifespan of their vehicles or off-set the costs once the limit is met. These factors are a major component in developing a successful financial model. In addition, it’s important to review the other expenses that impact vehicle maintenance and usage when constructing an accurate forecast.

Seasonality

Seasonality refers to the time of year a service operates as a result of environmental or weather factors. For mobility services, the usage season usually begins when the average temperature in a month is +10 Celsius or more.

Rides Per Vehicle Per Day

The number of rides each vehicle is taking in a day will impact both revenue but also maintenance and lifespan costs.

Rides

The rate for each ride will need to be considered when developing an overall financial plan for a company.

Maintenance Costs (ex. 13 percent of cost per ride)

Maintenance of the vehicle fleets is required and may vary depending on usage, as well as vehicle model.

Charging Costs (ex. 21 percent of cost per ride)

Whether the fleet uses docking stations or offers free floating services, the cost of charging the vehicles is necessary for continued use.

Bank Commission (ex. 3 percent cost per ride)

This includes any of the banking fees that are acquired.

Marketing (ex. 4 percent cost per ride)

Promoting the services being offered is an essential expense for business growth and expansion within the market.

Customer Support (ex. 5 percent cost per ride)

Most mobility services are offered through mobile apps that require regular support from customer service representatives to resolve customer inquiries and help with reputation management for the company.

IT System Support (ex. 5 percent cost per ride)

These services include IoT systems, sim cards, data, software and other technological requirements needed for the vehicles to operate.

Additional Costs (ex. 3 percent cost per ride)

Mobility companies like any other vehicle service are subject to additional costs such as insurance, city permits and/or other resources.

Our Excel-based Model

To help determine the overall impact of fluctuating costs for scooter and bike services, we developed a financial model that breaks down costs based on a percentage. Through this Excel-based Model we are able to maintain a proportionate evaluation of the expenses for each service.

source: ATOM Mobility

source: ATOM Mobility

To make calculations we assume an average ride time of 20 minutes then apply that to our Excel-based Model. Costs are shown as a percent from the ride price. Since cost and prices differ country by country, this model allows for the proportions to remain the same. For accurate forecast planning, we recommend using the average of two to four rides per vehicle per day on a period of wholesale. To learn more about our model, please email us.

Where do we go from here?

Mobility as a service is expected to continue growing as additional opportunities for expansion and profitability open in the market. At ATOM Mobility, we want to help your business thrive in the exciting new world of transportation services. There has not been a better time to join other industry leaders than right now. Reach out to us today so we can start building for the future.