Micromobility Europe 2023 returned to Amsterdam last week for a two-day microEV extravaganza. Personal electric vehicles from all over Europe and beyond converged on the venue, bringing in e-bikes, e-scooters, e-unicycles, electric micro-cars and more. To cap off two full days of product displays, expert panels, startup pitches and more, the conference joined local cyclists in Amsterdam for a massive rave ride, complete with a DJ on a cargo e-bike blasting music along the route.
Below is a selection of some of the many interesting things I saw at the show.
I couldn’t include everything (and if you want to see even more, make sure to attend the US show this coming Fall in San Francisco). But I’ll do my best to feature many of the most interesting and sometimes far-fetched designs below.
Check out my video also to get a sense of what it was like to attend the show and take in the highlights.
Micromobility Europe 2023 video highlights
Clip electric bike conversion kit
I covered Clip’s kit a couple years ago when they launched it, but this was the first time I’ve seen it in person. After watching them install it on a bike in under six seconds, I knew I had to test this thing out myself.
The elegantly simple design uses a friction drive to power the front wheel from a wirelessly controlled throttle button. It’s not a true throttle since you have to be pedaling for it to work, but it gives you handlebar control so you won’t start receiving any assist unless you actually want it.
The design may look a bit funny sticking out in front of the wheel, but it works surprisingly well. The price is somewhere around the $500 mark, so it’s a cheap way to get an e-bike without buying an entire e-bike. Instead, you just plop it on your existing pedal bike.
It turned out to be a crowd favorite as well, taking home the top prize in the Startup Awards as well. You can see my test ride in the video above.
Ampler Bikes makes some of the slickest looking stealthy e-bikes out there, meaning you can barely distinguish them from pedal bikes.
That’s great for two reasons: They look sexy without the eyesore of big batteries or chunky frame tubes, and they also don’t draw the attention of thieves looking for pricey e-bikes or components to liberate from those bikes.
Ampler has several models for various styles of riding. I’m a big fan of the Stellar for its laidback and relaxed geometry, though the Junta’s hybrid style is a nice compromise. The Curt is the go-to model for those that prefer a more old school style with a forward tucked riding stance.
All of the bikes are made in Ampler’s Tallinn-based factory in the heart of Estonia. I visited the factory last year, and it is impressive to see the company’s dedication to quality manufacturing.
Navee with waterproof drivetrain
This one blew my mind a bit. Navee was at the show with their electric scooters, but what really grabbed my eye was their demonstration showing off how waterproof their drivetrain was.
What better way to get the point across than to fully submerge it?
That’s right, they had the battery, motor, and controller operating inside of a tank of water.
I guess if your Navee electric scooter ever goes for an accidental swim (or just rides through a puddle), you’ll be good to go.
Unless you live in India then this one likely won’t affect you anytime soon, but it’s still fun to see new electric microcars!
WingsEV is developing a tandem-style (one seat behind the other) tiny electric car for the Indian market. In a country where two-wheelers rule the road due to their ability to wiggle through traffic jams, the team behind this narrow car knew it was important to build a microcar that could do the same.
The company is still early stage, but I’m looking forward to seeing big things from them!
Swobbee is a battery swapping company with an interesting model. Unlike Gogoro, which has become the defacto standard for battery swapping thanks to their highly-refined battery model and swapping stations, Swobbee doesn’t have their own battery standard.
Instead, Swobbee offers battery swapping as a service that uses other manufacturers’ batteries. Companies like NIU have worked with Swobbee to customize Swobbee’s battery cabinets to fit OEM batteries. That means Swobbee can deploy different battery stations that fit different manufacturer’s batteries – or even one station that can fit several different styles of batteries.
It’s a slick setup that has helped the company already complete around 80,000 battery swaps and counting.
Speaking of battery swapping, Vammo was at the show to share their South American-based battery swapping solution. They’re certainly more early stage than Swobbee above, but are progressing towards their own first automated battery swapping cabinets to augment the current manual swapping operations.
With a focus on the Latin American market where motorcycle use is higher due to increased reliance on daily two-wheeled travel, Vammo likely has plenty of room for expansion ahead of them.
This one is a bit weird, but I love it anyway.
SoFlow has normal electric scooters. That’s all fine and good, but what caught my eye is their super weird people mover platform. It’s like a scooter, but with a wide deck so that people and cargo can move around warehouses or other areas on a more stable platform.
It’s glorious in its odd appearance, which only makes me love it even more.
What’s a micromobility show without Segway?
I’m not talking about the old school two-wheel balancing scooter. That’s long gone. But the company is still around under the Ninebot umbrella, now with many other electric scooters and e-bikes that were on display at the show.
Inokim, the Israeli electric scooter company that has been around nearly as long as electric scooters have existed, was also on site to show off their latest models.
I’ve tested several Inokim electric scooters and always been impressed with their build quality.
They aren’t cheap, but they build very good scooters that don’t cut the same corners seen in cheaper e-scooter companies.
I’ve seen all-wheel-drive electric bikes before, but never like this.
The Ellio doesn’t use two hub motors to achieve AWD performance, but rather a single hub motor in front and then a mid-drive motor to power the rear wheel.
Combined with a large battery in a compact bike design, it results in a fast Class 3 or Speed Pedelec e-bike with some serious performance.
Three-wheeled electric scooters are rare, but leaning three-wheeled electric scooters with suspension are even more rare.
That’s exactly what the team at Taito have created, though, and it works better than I expected! I was able to pick up the carving nature of the vehicle in just a few seconds, making it much more intuitive feeling to control than other three-wheeled electric scooters I’ve tried in the past.
The team also picked up one of the Startup Awards at the show, so I wasn’t the only one impressed with their work!
I’ve been following the Microlino quadricycle for years, but this was my first chance to actually get behind the wheel of one.
Theses electric microcars can reach speeds of around 90 km/h (56 mph), though I was testing the Microlino in a parking lot which meant I wasn’t able to really open her up.
Even so, the power is palpable when you step on the accelerator. I was also surprised that the admittedly spartan interior was still quite nice. It’s certainly an odd vehicle, but I think small (and cute) electric microcars like these have a big place in cities as replacements for unnecessarily large cars.
I can all but guarantee that you’ve never seen an electric scooter quite like this one. The Hilo is a folding electric scooter unlike any I’ve covered in the past.
It folds so small that it seems like it is part scooter, part origami.
The creator says it’s likely a year or two away from commercialization though, so don’t start pulling out your wallet just yet. Even so, we can still enjoy the impressive design!
If you ever wanted to start your own scooter sharing company, Joyride is the service you’ll want to check out.
They’re a one-stop shop for operators that need to manage a large fleet of micromobility vehicles. So if you ever want to take on Lime or Bird with your own Micahshare e-bikes or e-scooters (but get your own name), Joyride can make it happen.
Async’s new moped-style e-bike is another one of those heavy duty, motorcycle-inspired electric bikes, but with a new look. This one takes on more of an industrial-style than I’ve typically seen, espeically compared to the retro-styled SUPER73 type of of e-bikes that are more common in this category.
With 750W of power in on-road mode and 2,500W in off-road mode, this isn’t a “for looks only” type of e-bike. It has the aggressive powertrain to match.
The company has apparently already sold a bunch of e-bikes, so they’re brand new at this. Despite this being my first time seeing or hearing about them, though, they seem to be serious about snagging a piece of the moped-style electric bike market.
NIU has just updated their NQi line of electric scooters, with the two major updates being a new display and repositioned batteries.
The display is a major upgrade over the old style that I have on my own personal NQi GT Pro electric scooter. But the bigger deal is that by moving the underseat battery down under the floorboard with the second battery, there’s a bunch of new space under the saddle for storage. That was always a weak point on the model since the underseat area had barely enough space for a wallet. But the scooter now matches others with more room for a bag of groceries or small backpack.
NIU was also showing off a proof of concept for wireless charging through a partnership with Tiler. The add-on to the scooter’s kickstand allows an owner to charge simply by parking with the kickstand positioned on the charging pad. It’s not ready for primetime, but it’s a feature that I’d love to see NIU roll out.
Sure, plugging in a scooter to charge isn’t hard. But removing that step entirely would be even better!
Äike is one of my favorite electric scooter companies for two reasons: The team is equal parts awesome and silly, and the scooters are equal parts awesome and high-tech. Ok, maybe that’s four reasons.
Äike showed off their Äike T electric scooter, which I’ve featured before. But now there are several new upgrades to the scooter to make it better than ever. One thing that didn’t change, though, is that you can still charge the battery with your laptop’s USB-C charger, meaning you can grab a charge when you’re on campus or at a friend’s house, even if you didn’t bring your scooter charger. By including a pair of USB-C ports (one on the scooter and one on the removable battery), any USB-C charger can become a scooter charger.
The removable battery also works like a portable power station or battery bank for charging your cell phone or other devices. You could even charge your laptop up from it too, coming full circle.
You know how tactical vehicles use run-flat wheels so they can keep driving even if they get a puncture from picking up a nail or getting their tires blown out in a Hollywood-style shooting car chase? Well, Tannus’s tire liners are kind of like that for bicycles.
They make it much less likely that you’ll ever get a flat since they add a thick layer of protection to the inner tube, but they can also serve as a sort of run-flat by keeping the tire partially supported if the tube somehow still gets punctured.
Tannus also showed off their new solid tires at the show, which are 100% impervious to flat tires since they don’t need any air!
Last but certainly not least, the event ended with a huge rave ride. Hundreds of event attendees and locals from Amsterdam joined together along with DJ Dom Whiting for a rave ride through the streets of Amsterdam. Dom’s custom built DJ stand is actually a three-wheeled electric cargo bike, allowing him to cruise while blasting out tunes.
We wound our way through the streets in a mass of smiling and arm waving cyclists, dancing to the music while pedaling, and enjoying the waves and shouts from onlookers along the way.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’m so glad I had the chance to be a part of. What a way to end an incredible event!
I’m not sure it’s something that they’ll be able to recreate when the show returns to San Francisco later this year for Micromobility America, but if last year’s US event was any indication, the even larger show this year will still have plenty of treats in store!
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.