Sustainability and the Contribution of Electric Scooter Sharing Business Models to Urban Mobility

Henna Sundqvist-Andberg, Anu Tuominen, Heidi Auvinen, Petri Tapio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a rapid uptake of electric scooter (e-scooter) sharing services in cities in recent years. However, the academic literature is still scarce on how e-scooter operators contribute to sustainable urban mobility through their business models. In this qualitative case study, we analyse the sustainability of these rapidly evolving sharing services through a frame of sustainable business model archetypes, and study value transfer, its obstacles, and its controversies within the Finnish urban transport system. While e-scooter services mainly target delivering functionality over ownership, according to the operators, combinations of approaches are applied that contribute positively to sustainability. These include, for example, increasing the lifecycle of scooters, recycling of scooters and their parts, using renewable energy, commi ing to climate compensation, and promoting road safety and the responsible use of scooters. The findings indicate that in Finland, e-scooter services are seen to have potential in serving the first and last miles of public transport journeys. Due to a lack of binding regulation, co- and self-regulation is emphasized and is supported by active information and data sharing with public authorities. While sustainability is embedded in many ways into the business models of e-scooter operators, there are still potential sources of unsustainability aff ecting the urban transport system. For example, current business models favour convenience over physical activity, which can reduce the amount of active travel and use of city bikes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-558
JournalBuilt Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • e-scooter sharing
  • Finland
  • first and last mile
  • micromobility
  • sustainability
  • sustainable
  • business model
  • urban transport system
  • Sustainable business model
  • E-scooter sharing
  • First and last mile
  • Micromobility
  • Sustainability
  • Urban transport system


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