In Catalonia, 119 companies working in the micromobility sector have shown a collective turnover of over 255 million euros so far in 2022. Furthermore, Catalan micromobility sector companies have received 222 million euros in investment, carried out 21 investment projects, and created 372 jobs.
As regards where the companies are operating within Catalonia, the report highlights the significant percentage of companies established in the province of Barcelona, representing 88% of the total.
Micromobility, a strategic priority for urban development
This industry is essential for reducing the environmental impact of urban transport and is being promoted by the European Union through aid and funding platforms such as Next Generation funds, the Horizon Europe programme, and the EIT Urban Mobility initiative. The industry comprises lightweight and sustainable means of transport with either low-power electric motors or none at all.
Catalonia covers the entire range of the micromobility industry
Almost 40% of these 119 Catalan companies are dedicated to manufacturing vehicles considered to be micromobility, such as bicycles and tricycles (both manual and electric), electric motorcycles, scooters or skateboards.
Apart from vehicle manufacturing, Catalan companies are also dedicated to vehicle rental (29%), the development of shared mobility services (12%), component and charger manufacture (9%), app development (7%) and engineering (5%).
Barcelona as a testing ground for the future
The Barcelona City Council estimates that by 2024 the use of micromobility vehicles in the city will increase by some 31%, compared with an increase of just 0.5% in private vehicles and 2.2% in public transport.
Given the importance of micromobility to reduce the ecological footprint in urban and interurban areas, the Barcelona City Council is also allowing specific areas of the city to be used as a test area for companies undergoing and researching innovative transport solutions; as well as offering technical assessment and resources such as sensors, systems and databases.
A fully committed startup ecosystem
This interest in micromobility has logically had significant repercussion in the startup ecosystem. A Catalan success story is the local unicorn Wallbox, which creates advanced electric vehicle charging and energy management systems.
Cooltra and Yego are two other startups here working in the area of innovative sharing and renting systems of two-wheel vehicles in order to make cities more sustainable and efficient. And as regards vehicle manufacturing, another noteworthy Catalan startup is Silence, which uses proprietary tech to develop electric scooters and battery packs.
On the global micromobility map
Catalonia is also considered to be a great place to develop micromobility projects for international investors, too. For example, Volkswagen Group’s tech company SEAT:CODE – with a focus on micromobility and urban mobility – has recently expanded its offices in Barcelona with the creation of 90 new jobs. Hive, an electric scooter rental company belonging to Free Now – backed by Daimler and BMW – has its European headquarters in Barcelona.
The Moovel Group, helping cities boost access to mobility, has also opened a scooter-sharing service in Barcelona. Furthermore, Trek, the US manufacturer and distributor of bikes and cycling products, has also chosen Catalonia’s capital to open a repair and maintenance center.
Leading the change of tomorrow’s transport needs
As a clear sign of the future of this sector, leading OEMs and operators in the automotive sector are fully committed to urban mobility and micromobility. Locally, SEAT Mó is the largescale Catalan automotive project for new urban mobility and micromobility vehicles, comprising electric motorbikes, scooters and quadricycles.
What’s more, according to a study by the Barcelona Metropolitan Region Industrial Pact association, 58% of automotive sector companies in the metro area have stated their intention to invest in new mobility, with almost half of this investment focusing on electric vehicles.