How Bikes Are at the Forefront of Future Urban Mobility with Mikko Ampuja, Vapaus

How Bikes Are at the Forefront of Future Urban Mobility with Mikko Ampuja, Vapaus

Show Notes

E-bike sales outpaced EVs and hybrid cars in both 2021 and 2022. In fact, research shows that by 2030, E-Bike sales are expected to 3x, outpacing even the rapid growth of passenger cars! There is a Bike Revolution taking place across the world and it is not only reshaping personal commuting but also freight and last-mile delivery services.

In today's episode of Things Have Changed Podcast, we dive into the world of urban mobility with Mikko Ampuja, the founder and former CEO of Vapaus, a Helsinki-based startup reshaping the way we think about city commuting. Miko brings a unique blend of personal experience and industry expertise, making this episode a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, sustainability, and urban planning.

Miko delves into the evolving bicycle industry across Europe, particularly in cycling-friendly cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, highlighting how innovations in cycling are not just about transportation, but also about fostering healthier, more sustainable cities.

Join us on Things Have Changed Podcast as we explore how Vapaus is leading the global movement, with their unique approach to making cycling an accessible and attractive option for commuters.

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The Rise of Cycling Cities
  • Many cities, like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and even the snowy Oulu in Finland, are embracing a cycling ethos, where bicycles play a central role in shaping urban life.
  • Urban planning plays a significant role in this shift, as cities prioritize cycling infrastructure over cars.
  • Cities like the Netherlands and Denmark have been designing their urban spaces with a focus on cycling for over 50 years.
Introducing Vaupaus: Cycling as a Solution

Enter Vapaus, a platform that not only addresses our sedentary habits but also aims to solve the practical aspects of commuting to work in a cost-effective and zero-emission manner. Their secret ingredient? Cycles.

The Vapaus Offering
  • Vapaus provides an employee benefit bike, a fringe benefit that companies can offer their employees.
  • Employees can choose from over 200 different bicycle brands and hundreds of partner stores.
  • The bicycles are leased, and the employer covers the cost, which is deducted from the employee's paycheck, similar to a company car benefit but more sustainable and healthier.
Tackling Affordability
  • The average price of a bicycle offered by Vapaus is €3,200, reflecting the high-tech features and quality of modern bikes, including e-bikes.
  • Vapaus addresses affordability through leasing options, tax incentives (20-35% discounts in many European regions), and a focus on the circular economy, offering a large inventory of well-maintained secondhand bikes.
Expanding Horizons - Expansion into larger European markets
  • Vapaus started in Finland and is now focusing on market entry into Sweden, a larger market with its own unique challenges and opportunities.
  • The company sees immense growth potential across Europe and globally, as cities worldwide grapple with sustainable mobility and public health challenges.
The Impact of Cycling
  • Vapaus' data shows that almost 90% of their customers have increased their cycling through the service, and more than half are driving their cars less – a significant positive impact on health and emissions.
Navigating the Future
  • Safety and infrastructure remain crucial considerations for cycling adoption, with separate cycling lanes and dedicated urban planning playing a pivotal role.
  • Cities like Bogotá, Colombia, are embracing cycling culture, offering inspiration for further expansion.
  • Vapaus is actively fundraising to continue its mission of sustainable mobility and positive impact.

As Co-founder of Vapaus, Mikko Ampuja eloquently states, "We can really combine the positive net impact with revenues and growth, doing really good business. The more revenues you do, the better is the positive net impact. This is the future of business."

With companies like Vaupaus leading the charge, the quiet revolution of urban cycling is poised to reshape our cities, our health, and our planet.

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