South Korea Micromobility Market on the Cusp

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Puneet Shah
Noida Sector 2
UP 201301 

The South Korean micromobility market reached a value of $120.3 million in 2020, and it will generate $11,178.5 million revenue by 2030, as per the estimates of P&S Intelligence, a market research firm based in India. The market is being driven by the rising focus on mitigating traffic congestion in cities, burgeoning requirement for reducing air pollution and traveling expenditure, and soaring need for better first- and last-mile connectivity across the country.

Due to their low cost, abundant availability, and ability to provide greater convenience than conventional transportation systems, the popularity of micromobility services is growing rapidly in South Korea. Moreover, the increasing concerns being raised over the escalating pollution and deteriorating air quality levels are also driving the requirement for micromobility services in the country. According to a study conducted in February 2017, South Korea recorded the second-worst air quality level out of all developed countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As the adoption of micromobility services reduces the requirement for personal vehicle ownership, the soaring popularity of these services is predicted to solve the issue of road congestion, which will, in turn, mitigate the air pollution levels in the country. Besides this factor, the surging demand for better first- and last-mile connectivity is also expected to propel the growth rate of the South Korean micromobility market in the coming years. Depending on vehicle type, the market is classified into e-mopeds, bikes, scooters, e-bikes, e-pods, and e-scooters.

Amongst these, the e-scooters category is predicted to hold the largest share in the market in the forthcoming years. This will be because of the ability of e-scooter sharing services to solve the issue of first- and last-mile connectivity in the country, which is something the other public transportation options are failing to achieve. When sharing system is taken into consideration, the South Korean micromobility market is categorized into docked and dockless. Of these, the dockless category dominated the market in 2020, owing to the enactment of supportive government regulations regarding the adoption of these services in the country.

The market is also divided, on the basis of model, into multimodal and first- and last-mile categories. Between these, the first- and last-mile category contributed higher revenue to the market in the years gone by. Moreover, this category is expected to demonstrate rapid expansion in the coming years as well. This will be because of the growing preference of people for availing these services for efficient first- and last-mile transportation.

The players operating in the South Korean micromobility market are actively focusing on partnerships in order to expand their operations and bolster their position in the industry. For example, KT Corporation announced in March 2021 that it has entered into a partnership with Omni System Co. Ltd. and the city authorities of Goyang for deploying 400 Tazo bikes near subway stations and other populated areas in the city. The organization also announced that it would start charging a fixed fee of $0.4 (KRW 500) for every 20 minutes from April 12, 2021.

Hence, it can be safely said that the market will register substantial growth in the coming years, mainly because of the rising requirement for better first- and last-mile connectivity and increasing road congestion in the country.