If you’ve been to any major metropolitan area within the past year or so, you may have noticed a rather drastic, and somewhat, nostalgic change in the way people are getting around. Looking in any general direction you will most likely catch a glimpse of someone bobbing and weaving through pedestrian or vehicular traffic on a standing electric scooter.
Since their conception approximately two years ago, companies like Lime and Windy have popularized the use of electric scooters in urban areas to a remarkable degree. According to an October 6th article from Arab Times, the models Lime scooters introduced in Madrid only two months before had already been used over 100,000 times (2). Mainly, the influx and rise in popularity of electric scooters can be attributed to how accessible they are, not only in acquisition but in the opportunities they provide to visitors and residents of a particular city.
With an incredibly compact and efficient design, electric scooters have paved the way for an entirely new form of urban transit known as “Micromobility” which allows one to essentially go anywhere they can walk…but quicker! Cities, especially European, have begun to adjust themselves after the initial boom of electric scooters over the past summer. Explained in a recent article from Forbes, some cities, like Madrid, went about introducing completely new ordinances regarding where and how quickly people can ride their electric scooters (3). This new form of swift individual transit came as a shock to the municipal system on account of how quickly the craze arrived, but cities are now beginning to embrace the new found trend because of the benefits they’re bringing both to their citizens and their commercial districts.
Electric scooters are both more economical and more ecological than most other forms of individually based transit. With lightweight engineering and efficient battery life, a Wired article claims it’s typical for an average electric scooter to travel 80 miles on a single kilowatt hour charge (1). This means one will have to pay far less for charging time and fueling than a normal automobile and will have more money to put back into the city that they are travel within. It also means that far less energy/fossil fuels will be produced or consumed by a single person – per charge, a scooter on average only releases about .3 pounds of C02 (1).
Whatever your opinions on standing electric scooters, it seems that they’re here to stay, so you might as well see what all the hype is about (just make sure to watch out for twigs and pedestrians).