Australian Economy

Largest-ever study on Australia’s cycling and e-scooter economy shows growing strength of micromobility industry

[15 November 2023] The largest-ever study on Australia’s cycling and e-scooter economy has shown the growing strength of the micromobility industry, with 3.6 million e-scooter riders contributing $728 million to the Australian economy in 2022. 

Beam has contributed data from its shared micromobility operations across the country towards the report, which reveals the significant positive economic, social and environmental benefits of cycling and e-scooters in Australia. 

In particular, e-scooters have made a significant contribution to the Australian economy in the short time since they have been introduced to Australia.

The report reveals that in 2022, the Australian e-scooter industry contributed:

  • $728 million in direct and indirect spend, with 18% of the Australian population spending money on e-scooters in 2022. 
  • Queensland accounts for the highest proportion of economic contribution related to e-scooters, contributing an estimated $91 million in direct output and $133 million in indirect output.
  • ACT and WA have the highest e-scooter use per capita, with ACT having the highest proportion of its population having used a shared e-scooter. 

E-scooter use in Australia was first legalised in Queensland in 2018, and is still not legislated for widespread use in half the country. 

Despite this, 3.6 million adults used an e-scooter in 2022 – a figure which when compared to cycling’s 6.5 million adults across the whole country, shows the high adoption rate of e-scooters in states and territories where they are legal for use. 

Beam General Manager (Australia and New Zealand) Tom Cooper said the data showed e-scooter popularity could surpass that of bicycles in the coming years, especially as governments continue to legislate for their use across the country. 

“The data shows how popular e-scooters are amongst Australians who have access to them, and this is only going to grow as e-scooters are legalised, with the potential for e-scooter economic contribution to match or even exceed that of bicycles in the coming years. 

“In cities where Beam operates both e-scooters and e-bikes, e-scooter usage outnumbers e-bikes 5 to 1, showing that e-scooters open up micromobility to a wider range of Australians.

“Both modalities – cycling and scooting –  contribute a significant amount to the Australian economy, bringing additional social and environmental benefits including carbon reduction and increased exposure to what a city has to offer. 

“In addition to direct economic contribution, Beam’s data also reinforces the contribution of e-scooters to local businesses, with 6 trips out of 10 on a Beam resulting in a purchase at a local business. 

“We see this figure poised to increase in the years to come, as improvements in technology allow us to provide greater targeted economic support to local businesses in the cities we operate.”

Looking beyond e-scooters and bicycles, early data from Beam has shown that the introduction of new micromobility types such as seated e-scooters could emerge as a strong alternative to e-bikes.

Beam has introduced seated e-scooters in 2023 to cities across QLD, ACT and WA, including Brisbane, Canberra, Rockingham, Esperance and Geraldton, with early data showing the seated e-scooters are twice as popular as standing e-scooters, and encourage 30% longer journeys. 

Download the report here.

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