Micromobility Matters, It Seems

Gary S. Vasilash

Here’s a statement that ought to give pause to some people in the auto industry, this from one of the world’s leading suppliers (and a company that falls within the extended structure of the Toyota Group, from which the company originally emerged from): "While DENSO is certainly concerned about the projected future decline of new car sales in the United States, we are also very excited about the growth possibilities offered by the new types of mobility that are being pioneered by startup companies around the world." That’s Tony Cannestra, Director of Corporate Ventures at DENSO. DENSO had just taken a stake in Bond Mobility, an e-bike sharing company based in Palo Alto, which operates micromobility services in Zurich and Bern, Switzerland.

“Concerned.” “Decline.” Yikes.

Denso International Logo

DENSO’s New Mobility Group had led Bond’s $20-million series A funding round.

DENSO, which makes things vehicles that are solely powered by ICEs, hybrids, EVs, and even fuel cells, is taking into account that (1) CO2 emissions are a problem and (2) the congestion in major metropolises isn’t getting any smaller.

Characteristics of Bond’s e-bikes that makes them more of a car replacement than a recreational mode of transportation is that with a top speed of 30 miles per hour, it has been determined that the average trip taken on one is four miles as compared to 1.5 miles of other micromobility services.