Increased government funding and innovations in design and technology across the world are two of the main factors driving the growth of the global mobility scooter market.
The global market will grow by 8% in the next few months as demand increases, according to new research.
Demand for mobility scooters is being boosted by the increasing number of governments allocating funding for mobility scooters, and launching schemes and initiatives for their use, London-based market research firm Technavio said.
Such programmes include the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme (MASS) in Australia.
Researchers noted that accelerating demand for mobility scooters is an overall improvement in the technology and features of mobility aids.
“Factors such as the technological advances and advanced features of medical mobility scooters also aid in the market growth,” said Technavio.
The research broke down mobility scooter use and projected demand in global markets by type — three, four and five-wheeler — as well as region (Europe; the Middle East and Africa; the Americas; and the Asia-Pacific region) and examined individual markets to see where the drivers, trends, opportunities and challenges lay.
It found that four-wheeler mobility scooters were the most popular in each region and commanded more than 66% of the market share, which is projected to continue up to the forecast period of 2022.
Meanwhile, the Americas dominated the global market for motorised mobility aids in 2017, with a massive almost 48% share, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and then the Asia-Pacific region. The researchers said they don’t expect any change in this trend in the next few years.
In the UK, the report noted that there is concern that not enough is being done for elderly or disabled to provide them with the mobility aids they need to live active and enjoyable lives.
Earlier this year, the Red Cross estimated that around 3.6 million people may effectively be “trapped in their homes” because they are unable to get hold of the mobility equipment they need — especially wheelchairs.
This is particularly the case, it said, with people who need wheelchairs on a short-term basis, but find the NHS mostly only provides them for long-term use.
But, as the new research notes, more governments are starting to make funding available for mobility aids, including at a local level in the UK.
North Lanarkshire Council, neighbouring Glasgow in Scotland, for instance, recently announced that it is allocating as much as £10 million for the provision of mobility aids.