Startups, E-Scooters and Swappable Batteries – Catalyst for Titanic Shift in the Making

A German startup, TIER Mobility, has recently deployed 200 e-scooters equipped with swappable batteries on the streets of Paris. The use of e-scooters is nothing new in Europe, but the change to swappable batteries, thus eliminating the time-consuming need for e-scooters to be transported back and forth to warehouses everyday for charging, is. 

With this adaptation, TIER Mobility, which was established last year, becomes the first electric scooter ride-sharing service provider to implement an operating model utilizing swappable batteries. The startup intends for their entire Paris fleet to run on swappable batteries by the end of this year. In addition, the new swappable battery-powered e-scooters will come with more features, for instance a larger front wheel designed for use in winter.

Lawrence Leuschner, chief executive officer and co-founder of TIER Mobility, said: “Swappable batteries are a real ecological game-changer for the entire e-scooter industry. As the leading European player, we are proud to be the first ones to operate with this model. This is a huge step forward in our mission to change mobility for good and becoming carbon neutral as a company in the next 12 months fully.”

TIER Mobility was founded by Lawrence Leuschner, Julian Blessin and Matthias Laug as a company that provides electric scooter ride-sharing services to reduce pollution in cities, and to offer an alternative to the current status quo of transportation modes, which can be pricey and inefficient. They also involve their users and local communities in achieving these aims.

The German startup recently raised around US$60 million for its Series B funding round. The round was led by Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of Mubadala Investment Company which is one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, and Goodwater Capital, a VC firm that focuses on consumer tech startups.

The repercussions of such a development need not be limited to just Europe. Indeed, Southeast Asia has much to gain from adopting a similar model on its streets and highways. Home to almost 10% of the world’s total population, traffic woes and gridlock are usually a common issue faced by most inhabitants of the region. Additionally, the pollution caused by gas-powered vehicles does much harm to the environment and seriously affects the health of its people. 

Startups taking the initiative of introducing e-scooters equipped with swappable batteries to Southeast Asia can solve many of the congestion and traffic woes faced by its drivers, as well as reducing pollution and smog that plagues the region’s big cities. One big concern previously was that e-scooters need to be transported back to a charging base or warehouse to be recharged regularly, but the introduction of swappable batteries has eliminated the need for that. These kind of e-scooters can power ride-sharing services as they are environment friendly and can compete with ineffective/overpriced transportation modes. Ride-sharing services are on the rise in Southeast Asia and swappable battery-powered e-scooters can play a huge role in it. 

In regards to the maintenance and service of the e-scooters, local operations teams can be responsible for safety checks and ensuring the proper positioning of these e-scooters in accordance with local regulations and laws. For startups wishing to adopt the swappable battery e-scooter model, this new operating model ensures that the level of maintenance and service is kept very high while adhering to local laws and regulations in regards to e-scooter placement.

Swappable battery-powered e-scooters can be a potential game changer in the ride sharing services scene in Southeast Asia. Startups with the gumption to introduce this new concept into Southeast Asia may stand to gain much. Indeed, the region is always looking for promising solutions for its traffic congestion and pollution woes, and battery-powered e-scooters may offer just that.