FREE NOW report reveals emerging mobility trends in Europe and Ireland

Posted: 9 February 2022 | | No comments yet

FREE NOW has released a new report highlighting emerging transport trends across Europe and Ireland in 2021, including an increasing demand for e-mobility and micro-mobility options.

Dott and FREE NOW announce international integration partnership

Credit: Dott

European mobility app FREE NOW has launched a new report revealing emerging transport trends across Europe and changing consumer preferences in Ireland for 2022, with the data drawing on passenger trips and insights among its 54 million user base, spanning 16 countries, including Ireland and the UK.

Rise of multimodality

The report highlighted the growing popularity of alternative forms of transport in Europe, which passengers are using as part of a multimodal approach to daily transport – with e-scooters, e-mopeds, e-bikes, taxis, private hire vehicles and car sharing among the options available for booking with FREE NOW.

Data shows a 483 per cent year-on-year increase in e-scooter, e-bike and e-moped trips and a 931 per cent rise in car sharing bookings on the FREE NOW app across Europe in 2021, compared to 2020. This increased use of car sharing, e-mopeds and e-bikes aligns with the transformation of FREE NOW into a fully integrated multi-mobility platform, with new partnerships with SHARE NOW, TIER Mobility, Cooltra and Dott.

While interest in new transport options is rising across Europe, consumer demand for taxis as a key public transport option also remains strong. Indeed, FREE NOW data shows a 45 per cent increase in taxi trips across Ireland in 2021, compared to 2020.

Increasing demand for electric journeys

Across Europe, the average annual increase of electric taxi bookings in 2021 doubled compared to 2020. In 2021, in Ireland, FREE NOW recorded a growing national demand for electric taxis, with 48 per cent more passengers making ECO bookings than in 2020, meaning that more passengers were choosing electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid vehicles. The ECO fleet now comprises 30 per cent of FREE NOW’s nationwide taxi offering in Ireland.

This growing consumer interest in electric trips reflects data showing that three quarters of FREE NOW passengers think that Ireland needs more sustainable, electric transport options in line with other European countries.

Popularity of micro-mobility options

With 58 per cent of FREE NOW passengers sharing the view that there are too many private cars on Irish roads, a shift towards new transport approaches might also be on the horizon in Ireland. Interest is growing in micro-mobility options, like e-scooters – in line with the introduction of e-scooters to Irish roads in late 2022, 40 per cent of FREE NOW passengers intend to use e-scooters for everyday transport use.

FREE NOW plans to launch micro-mobility options for passengers in Ireland in 2022 and partnerships have been confirmed with mobility providers including TIER Mobility, Dott and Zipp Mobility to facilitate aims of e-scooter integrations on the FREE NOW app.

Niall Carson, General Manager at FREE NOW Ireland, said: “At FREE NOW, we are aiming to provide passengers with a dynamic range of sustainable, low-emission and efficient transport options across Ireland. The transport sector has ambitious sustainability targets to meet as per our Climate Action Plan, but with growing public appetite for sustainable transport and a collaborative effort from transport providers across the country to deliver electric and multi-mobility options, we can hopefully bridge the gap between where we stand currently and where we need to be by 2030.”