100 episodes

Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

Micromobility Horace Dediu and Oliver Bruce

    • Technology
    • 4.7 • 41 Ratings

Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

    Designing iconic ebikes - Job Stehmann, Chief Product Officer at Vanmoof

    Designing iconic ebikes - Job Stehmann, Chief Product Officer at Vanmoof

    This week Oliver speaks with Job Stehmann from Vanmoof. Job is the chief of product design and technology at Vanmoof and responsible for bringing you the beautiful bikes that they produce.

    Specifically they tackle:

    - Vanmoof’s new bikes, the A5 and the S5 and the innovations that they have on them.

    - The wider context of Micromobility and design, and what works.

    - Job's journey with Vanmoof from where it was when he arrived (around the start of ebikes) to now, and how that journey has been for him

    - Vanmoofs pivot to proper integration of a phone/app and how Job sees that integrating with the overall experience.

    - What Job is excited about in micromobility design overall.

     

    Learn more about Job and Vanmoof by heading to their website.

    Our sponsor for this episode is Joyride.

    Joyride’s SaaS platform powers every point of the micromobility journey, from vehicle selection to turnkey software to extensive resources. As one of the world’s first micromobility platforms, Joyride’s shared mobility customers span more than 200 global markets and thousands of multimodal vehicles. These micromobility operators - no matter their size - are on a fast-tracked road to profitability with Joyride’s low-cost operating platform, exclusive hardware deals and industry hand-holding through obstacles like insurance, RFP writing and data compliance. 

    • 35 min
    138: RAMPing heavy micromobility with Mark Frohnmayer of Arcimoto

    138: RAMPing heavy micromobility with Mark Frohnmayer of Arcimoto

    This week Oliver interviews Mark Frohnmayer, CEO of Arcimoto. Mark has been on the podcast before on episodes 111 and 46, and this time they discuss the latest progress with the vehicles they’re building, like the FUV and where they’ve got to with future vehicles like the Mean Lean Machine. They get into the revisions to the platform they’ve made for manufacturing with one of Oliver’s industry favourites, Sandy Munro, as well as the various variants that they’ve developing.

    Specifically, they tackle:

    - The latest on Arcimoto production and the development of the FUV platform.

    - The journey through Arcimoto’s project with Sandy Munro.

    - Mark’s vision for the Mean Lean Machine and how they manufacture the vehicles locally.

    – Funding, and how the Arcimoto stock 30x’ed and then corrected heavily in line with a lot of other EV manufacturers, how they can bring this technology to the market without going bankrupt.

    Learn more about Mark and Arcimoto by visiting their website right here.

    Our sponsor for this episode is Joyride.

    Joyride’s SaaS platform powers every point of the micromobility journey, from vehicle selection to turnkey software to extensive resources. As one of the world’s first micromobility platforms, Joyride’s shared mobility customers span more than 200 global markets and thousands of multimodal vehicles. These micromobility operators - no matter their size - are on a fast-tracked road to profitability with Joyride’s low-cost operating platform, exclusive hardware deals and industry hand-holding through obstacles like insurance, RFP writing and data compliance. 

    And now, the Joyride team is taking their micromobility know-how on the road to host the first-ever Joyride Academy Experience. This one-of-a-kind, hands-on workshop made entirely for micromobility operators is being held on June 1 as part of Micromobility Europe. They’ll be covering Financing, Advanced Operational Efficiencies, Data-Driven Insurance and hosting a fireside chat with some of the industry’s biggest players. If you’re managing - or thinking of managing - a micromobility fleet, this is the place to be on June 1.

    The best part? The Joyride Academy Experience is completely free to Micromobility Europe ticket-holders, so register today and head over to our blog to see how to sign up for the workshop before spaces fill up.

    • 36 min
    The interplay between technology, politics and the social contract with Laura Fox, GM of Citi Bike

    The interplay between technology, politics and the social contract with Laura Fox, GM of Citi Bike

    This week Oliver interviews Laura Fox, General Manager of the Citi Bike bike sharing service in New York, and Senior Director of Lyft Bikes. This podcast was also released on our sister podcast project, Infinite Block.

    Laura has a very deep background and thinking about the future of cities, not only in an operational sense - running a Micromobility firm, before that working for Sidewalk Labs for Google and working with former world bank urban economist, with whom she edited one of Oliver's favourite books on urban economics “Order Without Design.”

    In this episode, Laura talks with Oliver about the implications of Micromobility on the city and also new forces calling upon her background at Sidewalk Labs, and consulting on the interplay of regulations and housing supply in Mexico City with Alain Bertaud.

    In this weeks episode, they talk specifically about:

    - How Citi Bike is a novel means of accessing high performance city vehicles, but it's highly dependent on government interventions for things like street space, allocation and funding. What would happen if NYC voted in a new council that took Citi Bike very seriously as a transport option? 

    - Laura reflects on her time at Sidewalk Labs: What went well, and whether their new focus on software enabled tools is a step down.

    - A city often builds up complex regulations over time, and that deregulation, especially around things like zoning and building codes (for example in Mexico) can unlock cities to be more responsive to their citizens. Oliver and Laura discuss how this can be achieved.

    - Where are there cities who are not as fast at responding to tech advances, and how the process can be accelerated.

    - How we can trust in governance in an age of quicker change, and what countries are doing this well.

    - Whether there have been any alternative methods for infrastructure funding that have been successful.

    Check out Citi Bike and their developments within New York right here

    Our sponsor for this episode is Joyride.

    • 49 min
    Building Cities for people, not cars - the story of Culdesac with founder Ryan Johnson

    Building Cities for people, not cars - the story of Culdesac with founder Ryan Johnson

    This week Oliver interviews with Ryan Johnson, CEO and founder of Culdesac. This was first released over on the Infinite Block, our sister podcast looking at the intersection of urbanism, technology and the social contract (more on that below).

    Ryan is building the first Micromobility-focused real estate development in the US, with the goal of eventually building the US’s first car free city. 

    The majority of people want to live in walkable/bikeable neighborhoods, yet only 8% do. Culdesac are developing a system for building real estate that will bring that to the masses, and with it, put micromobility at the centre of how we can get around in these new developments. 

    Oliver and Ryan discuss the implications it will have on things like zoning, parking, housing and cities. It’s clear that what Ryan is doing is super important and something that is hopefully becomes the example others point to for a new micromobility-centred real estate model going forward. 

    Specifically they talk about:

    - What Culdesac is trying to build, and why that matters.

    - How Culdesac came together in Ryan’s mind.

    - Why they chose Tempe in the first place and what they did as a city that enabled being there

    - The roles and responsibilities of Culdesac as a developer/landlord in terms of the contract that it has with its citizens. 

    - The role of capital formation in unlocking this type of urban form innovation.

    - Is it really just as simple that they’re packaging all the things that have been done in Europe and working out how to bring them to the US?

    - How we can increase a city's capacity and flexibility without getting tied up in council and regulatory purgatory.

    - How Culdesac convinced venture capital to invest, and what they saw that other urbanists didn’t.

    - Whether getting MPR amendments is a sustainable advantage in creating differentiated built form

    - How Ryan considers cities emerging and responding in response to economic opportunity.

    - How we can avoid the common pitfalls seen with the new urbanist movement in the past.

    - How they consider emerging new forms of transport when selecting sites and designing communities.

    Check out Culdesac’s website right here - https://culdesac.com/

    The Infinite Block is a podcast about the intersection of tech, the social contract and cities, using the lens of disruptive technologies like micromobility and crypto to understand how cities of the future will work in an age of declining trust and agility in governments. Check out our newsletter and podcast.

    • 35 min
    A full stack electric motorbike and battery swapping solution in Rwanda! - Ampersand

    A full stack electric motorbike and battery swapping solution in Rwanda! - Ampersand

    This week Oliver interviews Josh Whale, the founder/CEO of Ampersand, based in Rwanda. This is a story that we've wanted to bring our listeners for more than two years - ever since we first heard that there was a team trying to build their own full stack motorbike and battery swapping hardware and software in one of the world's most underserved mobility markets. We're excited that it shows the adoption of micromobility in markets purely on the basis of its economic merits, and helps develop low-carbon pathways to mobility market growth.

    Specifically they talk about:

    - How Josh, a New Zealander, ended up in Rwanda building electric motorbikes.

    - What is Ampersand and how their growth has tracked so far.

    - Why micromobility matters for countries like Rwanda.

    - How they source vehicles, why they chose to go to route of building their own and what has worked/not worked.

    - Over time, might they build a Gojek style application for Ampersand

    - How have they managed to fund the operation to date and what have they learnt in that process

    - what are the unit economics like in Rwanda for motorbike taxi operators, and how Ampersand improves this

    - What the scene for local indigenous vehicle production is like in Rwanda and surrounding countries

    - What Josh would like people to know about the micromobility scene in Rwanda

    • 42 min
    Navigating the regulatory traps of innovation with Bradley Tusk

    Navigating the regulatory traps of innovation with Bradley Tusk

    Bradley Tusk is a political fixer-turned-venture capitalist who specializes in working with startups like Bird, Coinbase, Eaze, FanDuel, and Wheel to break through in highly regulated markets. He was formerly the campaign manager of Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 NYC mayoral bid, the Deputy Governor of Illinois, and the first political advisor at Uber. In addition to his firms, Tusk Strategies and Tusk Ventures, Bradley is currently exploring mobile voting technology and blockchain solutions to help fix political polarization. 

    Specifically they tackle:
    - Bradley’s most prominent experience of rapidly changing technology squaring with cities, their governance and their citizens was Uber. Bradley talks through that story.
    - Bradley has built your career on this trend of politics intersecting with tech, but when did the penny drop for him that this was going to be a thing?
    - How does he think think about derisking investments and the need for appropriate regulation with Tusk Venture investments?
    - Specifically with micromobility, the equilibrium we’ve reached feels sub-optimal - there is more demand vs. the supply that could be enabled. How did that happen? What will change it going forward?
    - Does he believe that there are instances in which tech can transcend politics?
    - Bradley talks through his project for mobile voting that he’s driving through Tusk Philantrophies.
    - What is the attraction to crypto for Bradley and how he thinks that that squares with local regulations.
    - The No1 thing that gov regulators don’t understand about the tech coming down the pipe and vice versa for tech folks about how government works.

    This is a syndication of the podcast that was originally launched on Infinite Block. If you like the Micromobility Podcast, you’re also likely to enjoy our new project, Infinite Block. As we’ve gone deeper into micromobility we can see that it’s connected to everything that we have in cities - zoning decisions and urban form, tech platforms, infrastructure funding, governance and at it’s core, the social contract. We’ve long wanted to be able to talk about some of the other disruptive innovation developments that we are seeing that are relevant to cities but aren’t quite the right fit for the Micrombility Podcast. So, if you like what we do here and ask in the age of accelerating innnovation, where and what is the city to be and do please come and join us by signing up to the Infinite Block Substack email and the Infinite Block podcast.

    Check out Bradley’s Firewall podcast: https://www.firewall.media

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

EmergencyPoncho ,

I was a Math PhD student with no purpose

I slaved on my Real Analysis homework assignments every day, staring into the dark abyss that is my home chalkboard—driving the struggle bus every day into oblivion.

Then I discovered the Micromobility movement.

Now...now...I have hope for mankind.

I jest. But for real, this podcast is fire.

TrustedrTraveler ,

Great guests, not a well balanced pod

Has a ton of potential but has the standard SF agenda where they think their pre determined outcome is bound to happen instead of looking at market forces.

Good guests but needs some more researching and real world experience from the hosts

anomjyt ,

Love subject matter;can’t stand dynamics

I love the coverage of Micromobility subject matter but the reoccurring snobbery of Horace- who takes every opportunity to endlessly talk and barely acknowledge his cohost- is draining to endure. I wish their episodes with one another were truly more of a dialogue instead of Horaces contentious and condescending monologues. Interviews are more solid.

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