Sweden: E-scooter market skyrocketing, facing turbulence and still waiting to stabilize

Not even a year ago, sharing mobility was facing a major backlash in Stockholm. The shared bike system Stockholm had had for almost a decade, closed down and was not replaced by anything else. Then in September 2018 Voi launched the first fleet of e-scooters in Stockholm, which since then have skyrocketed. E-scooters are becoming a common way of transportation in a growing number of Swedish cities. Five cities have them today. Stockholm has five operators, will soon have even more – and we also see new entrepreneurs for shared e-mopeds and other kinds of shared micro mobility. 

The boom did not come without turbulence, The e-scooters were parked everywhere in the streets and on sidewalks, were driven recklessly, were seen to be part of accidents and were claimed to break down after just a few weeks. An attitude study showed that half of the residents in Stockholm were negative towards this new mode of transport, and people above 65 years of age were the most negative. 

It became obvious that a closer dialogue between the city and the operators was needed, and Stockholm city council recently decided to sign an agreement with every operator, regarding parking and speed limit issues, as well as where the e-scooters can and cannot be used. Some misunderstandings have also been clarified; the business model of renting out e-scooters by the minute simply wouldn’t work if they were only used for a few weeks before they had to be scrapped. 

This new wave of transport shows the progressiveness of Stockholm, which will thus refrain from banning the scooters and join cities like Paris in seeing the e-scooters as part of tomorrow’s sustainable mobility. Expect Stockholm to continue to lead the way for sustainable transport, with e-scooters from Voi and others as important parts of the equation.

Anna Lindén
Head of Mobility area, the 2030-secretariat