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Shared e-scooter market tops 40,000 in Italy, second largest in Europe

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There are 40,000 shared e-scooters available for hire on the streets of Italy according to the latest research by Zag.

This tally means that the country has the second largest rental e-scooter market in Europe, behind only Germany.

E-scooters have been legally equivalent to bicycles in Italy since early 2020, although some e-scooter sharing fleets had already launched before this.

In the summer of 2019 some cities adopted an experimental law, including Milan, to introduce e-scooters although the very first was Bit Mobility in Cattolina on 27 July 2019.

There are at least 12 operators present in the country (and potentially more as we don’t have information on all single-city operators). Unusually, there is not a dominant operator, and the largest European player, TIER, is entirely absent. Instead, a number of operators have similar numbers.

Top of the list are Helbiz and Bit Mobility both with around 7,000 scooters. Helbiz is an Italian-owned American company with its only European presence in Italy, while Bit Mobility is the only Italian multi-city operator. Bit has the largest number of fleets in Italy – over 20 distinct operational areas.

“Helbiz is currently a global leader in micro-mobility services,” Helbiz Chief Marketing Officer Ruggero Cipriani told Zag.

“And within the next few weeks it will be the first publicly traded shared electric micro-mobility company on the Nasdaq in New York.

“Helbiz was founded with the intention of revolutionising transport by becoming a seamless last mile solution that prioritises simplicity and convenience. We are operating with our own vehicles in over 40 cities worldwide, including the USA, Canada and Italy, and in all of these places, we are leaders. Our goal is to continue pushing technological boundaries and exploring services for the future of tomorrow.”

The American duo of Bird and Lime have around 6,000 each, and France’s Dott and Spain’s Wind have around 4,000 each. Mid-size Italian players include Reby (a Spanish company but until recently only in Italy), Superpedestrian’s LINK and Voi each with just under 2,000.

There is also Pony with 500, and TiMove and Freedom Mobility’s FAST with a small number each. TiMove is just in Florence and FAST is just in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia.

Thirty-six Italian urban areas have e-scooter sharing in total. The capital, Rome has the largest, with around 14,000 scooters present, split among seven companies.

Turin and Milan have around 5,000 e-scooters each for sharing, with an impressive eight operators vying for custom in Turin, and six in Milan. Verona is a surprise fourth place with 2,000, and other cities with over 1,000 shared e-scooters include Naples, Palermo, Bari, Florence, Bergamo and Rimini.

Although Italy has no national open data repository covering live data on e-scooter sharing availability, many operators in Italy do provide open data in the emerging global standard “GBFS” format, including Pony, Superpedestrian’s LINK and Helbiz, along with Bird and Lime for some Italian cities.

This means Italy is likely to see widespread easy integration of e-scooters into journey planner software and other initiatives to enhance the use and benefits of this new urban mobility option.

Two countries are enclaves of Italy – Vatican City and San Marino – but we are not aware of any e-scooter sharing activity in either. They would no doubt be a popular option in the latter country, at least, due to its steep hills.

You can see many of Rome’s e-scooters on our mapping feature.

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