Why Do Some People Hate Electric Scooters? (And why we love them)
Electric scooters are witnessing a surge in popularity, revolutionizing the way we perceive urban commuting. With their promise of quick, eco-friendly transportation, they’re becoming a common sight on city streets around the world. Particularly, shared electric scooter services have grown exponentially, offering convenient mobility at the tap of an app. According to Statista, revenue from e-scooter sharing in the US is expected to reach 5000.5 billion by 2023, a significant increase from the
Pedestrian Concerns: Scooter Clutter and Waste
One of the main criticisms against electric scooters stems from pedestrians who feel the sidewalks are being overtaken by these devices. Shared electric scooters, in particular, have been cited as the primary culprits, often left on sidewalks, parks, and other public places, leading to clutter and hindering pedestrian mobility.
Furthermore, critics argue that the surge of shared electric scooters contributes to waste, as the short lifespan of these scooters coupled with improper disposal practices can lead to environmental harm.
Although these concerns hold merit, it’s crucial to differentiate the environmental impact of shared electric scooters from that of personal electric scooters. As sustainability researcher Helie au points out, owning a personal electric scooter can cut its carbon footprint in half compared to shared ownership.
In fact, personal scooters such as those offered by Miniwalker tend to be more eco-friendly. Owners are more inclined to maintain their scooters properly, prolonging their life and reducing waste. over, the issue of haphazardly discarded scooters cluttering urban landscapes is mitigated, as personal electric scooters are usually kept at home when not being used.
It’s clear that the issue isn’t with electric scooters themselves, but with how they’re used and managed in shared scenarios. Personal electric scooters can offer all the benefits of convenient, green urban transportation without contributing to clutter and waste. Shared electric scooter platforms are also starting to provide solutions for scooter clutter, but we are still years away before legislation can catch up with the explosive growth of the industry.
While safety on the roads is a valid concern for everyone involved, it’s essential to remember that electric scooters, when operated responsibly, can share the road without posing a significant risk to drivers. Good riding etiquette, such as sticking to bike lanes where available and not weaving between traffic, goes a long way in ensuring a harmonious coexistence.
Implementing infrastructure changes, like designated bike lanes, can significantly alleviate the concerns related to electric scooters in the cities. In fact, numerous cities have seen improvements in traffic and safety following the introduction of designated lanes for bikes and scooters. Corey Harper from Carnegie Mellon University reports: The big takeaways are that micromobility could decrease congestion, especially on highly congested corridors. But you’re going to need wide-scale bike lane deployment”
While drivers and electric scooter riders may currently be at odds in some areas, better infrastructure, coupled with responsible riding, can lead to a safer, more efficient urban commute for all.
.6 billion it was estimated in 2018.
On the other hand, personal electric scooters are also gaining traction, attracting urban commuters who seek a sustainable alternative to traditional transport modes. Companies like Miniwalker are at the forefront of this movement, creating high-quality electric scooters designed for the speed, reliability, and freedom that city adventurers crave.
Despite their numerous benefits, electric scooters have garnered some criticism. Pedestrians and drivers alike express concerns, ranging from scooters cluttering sidewalks to obstructing roads. This article will delve into these concerns, dispelling misconceptions and exploring how city infrastructure and regulations can adapt to make room for the future of urban transportation.
The Urban Solution: Designated Lanes and The Best Scooter for City Life
When it comes to reconciling the needs of pedestrians, drivers, and scooter riders, city planning plays a pivotal role. The implementation of designated lanes for bikes and scooters could be a game-changer, offering a dedicated space for riders that doesn’t impede pedestrian walkways or disrupt road traffic.
Aside from city infrastructure, choosing the right electric scooter can make a world of difference in navigating the urban jungle. The best scooter for city life is one that is portable, reliable, and easy to handle. A scooter that can effortlessly glide through bike lanes, that’s light enough to carry into an office or apartment, and reliable enough to get you to your destination on time.
That’s where Miniwalker electric scooters come in. Our scooters are designed with the city adventurer in mind, balancing speed, build quality, and reliability with eco-consciousness. They are the perfect companions for those who view their city as a playground, who want to bypass traffic and traverse their urban environment with ease and style.
When cities embrace the potential of personal electric scooters and adapt their infrastructure to suit, and when riders choose scooters designed with the urban environment in mind, the future of city commuting looks brighter. We can look forward to cities where the streets are less congested, the air is cleaner, and mobility is a joy, not a chore.
Looking Toward the Future: The Role of Eco-Friendly Scooters
As we continue to seek sustainable and efficient ways to navigate our cities, personal electric scooters are emerging as a significant player in the future of urban transport. This future, often referred to as the ‘Future of Micro-Mobility’, envisages a world where personal, compact, and eco-friendly vehicles help reduce the strain on our transportation systems and the environment.
Electric scooters are leading this revolution in personal micro-mobility. Their compact design and electric operation make them a great choice for short city commutes, reducing the need for cars, and consequently, easing traffic congestion and lowering carbon impact.
over, when cities adapt and implement infrastructure to accommodate these scooters, like designated scooter lanes, the benefits are even more apparent. Such changes can result in smoother traffic flow, safer streets, and a more pleasant city environment for everyone.
People who use shared electric scooters enjoy the fact that they don’t have to charge them. Not having to carry a charging cable and commute short distances is a dream come true for city dwellers. But this isn’t really an issue with a personal electric scooter, as they can go 50 miles on a single charge. In addition, electric scooters can share the charging infrastructure with other electric vehicles in the future, removing the necessity to carry your own charger. Due to its compact battery, an electric scooter can charge much quicker using a fast charger, given its battery can sustain high currents.
Miniwalker scooters are designed to fit seamlessly into this vision of the future. We believe in empowering individuals with the freedom to navigate their cities efficiently and sustainably. By choosing Miniwalker, you’re not just choosing a high-quality electric scooter; you’re becoming a part of the solution for a better urban future.
The Problem With Electric Scooters
As I have been traveling through different countries for the past 7 years, I have a pretty good overview of how electric scooters have transformed cities. I still remember the first time I saw one. It was in Estonia (obviously :), from Bolt, and I rushed to create an account to give it a try.
At the beginning, I applauded the startups behind them. E-scooters, I thought, would not only reduce our dependance on fossil fuels and decrease air pollution, but would also transform the landscape (once massive adoption was reached) to a more human-first, people-centered setup. Finally, we would build and design our cities for their people, not their cars.
However, time has proven me wrong. The issue here, as we will see, is not the tecnology, but the business model. To illustrate my point, it’s neccesary to consider how these scooters work and who is using them.
The Wrong Business Model
These scooters were supposed to become an alternative for urban mobility, designed to replace one’s car. People would eventually abandon more polluting means of transport and start using these (supposedly) eco-friendly devices.
The reality is that not a lot of people is doing that. The costs of using the services of Bolt, Lime, Bird or Link on a daily basis, to go to work and move through the city, are quite high. The price of riding a Bolt from Alcantara to the city center of Lisbon can easily be 4-5x the price of a bus or tram ticket. The trip takes more or less the same time, and you are exposed to the traffic in some areas (without bike lanes). The main issue here, though, is that they are expensive, and there is no monthly pass or similar initiative to attract regular customers.
Also, the urban landscape can sometimes make it difficult to use them. Lisbon, with bridges between the riverfront and inner areas, and steep hills going up and down cobbled stone streets, makes it really uncomfortable to use them on a regular basis.
This means that, in practice, e-scooters are used mainly by turists. People who will drive them for a short time, once or twice at most, before going back home. This poses two problems:
- First, they are not careful with the devices, which means a short lifespan for them. This has an impact on its sustainability as we will see.
- Second, they leave them anywhere when they finish their ride, which at scale affects the urban landscape.
e-Scooters Are Cluttering The Urban Landscape
As people using these scooters are mostly tourists on a short trip to the city, they are not specially concerned about where they leave them when they finish their ride. They don’t use the city infrastructures much (bike lanes, bridges, roads, sidewalks), so it’s totally ok to abandon them anywhere.
However, that becomes a nuissance for the people who live in the city. I was about to crash with a girl riding a bike the other day when she invaded my lane. It was not totally her fault, she was trying to avoid a scotter parked in the middle of the way, just in the curve (with limited visibility).
While this may not be the fault of the guys behind these startups, it is the direct result of their business models, and I am sure there has to be Smart ways of fixing this, like using AI to check the photo users have to take when they finish their ride to identify when the vehicle has been left in a bad place and ask the user to move it. Another idea is leaving them only in designated points. It will probably be more costly, but it would greatly improve the relationship between these devices and the inhabitants of the city.
These companies may not feel the pressure of taking measures right now, but we know how governments work… When a new technology starts causing issues like these their reaction is banning that technology. This has happened already in many European cities.
e-Scooters Are Hijacking Our Spaces
The problem is not just that e-Scooters are carelessly abandoned by the users anywhere. The companies behind these devices are hijacking the public urban spaces for their own benefit.
The co-working space we are staying at has a very nice parking for bicycles at the entrance. The other day, when I arrived there, I was not able to park my bike. The whole parking was completely invaded by e-Scooters, parked in line one after the other in front of the parking spots.
e-Scooters don’t need to use these spots, but I cannot simply left my bike anywhere unless I want it to be stolen. These are public places for people to leave their bikes. These e-Scooters were not there by accident. These companies are using these (and many others) spots in the city as if they owned them.
This is one of the most infuriating things about e-Scooters for me. They are taking ownership of public spaces, bike lanes, bike parkings, sidewalks, roads, parks, and gardens.
What are the future trends in urban mobility ?
There are four main trends in mobility today. And the urban displacement of the future will be:
- PLURAL. Combined means of transport to move better
- Smart. Data to facilitate travel
- SHARE. Car-pooling, free-floating, self-catering
- ELECTRIC. Clean, quiet and easily refillable means of transport.
Shared electric scooters : Are they really eco-friendly ?
Researchers at the University of North Carolina have highlighted several factors that they believe make free-floating electric scooters not as environmentally friendly as one might think.
First, there is the issue of lithium batteries. Indeed, like any other rechargeable object today, electric scooters also work with lithium batteries. A mineral whose extraction is extremely energy and water-intensive.
For the moment, lithium recycling is still struggling to take off for several reasons:
- collection rates for batteries containing lithium are still low,
- high recycling costs compared to production costs.
Today, scientists are still trying to develop cheaper recycling processes. With the planned development of electric cars, it is hoped that in the short term lithium batteries will no longer be a problem. Thus, the defenders of fossil fuels will no longer be able to use this argument to defend that electric vehicles are no more eco-friendly than combustion engines.
In my opinion, the biggest problem with free-floating electric scooters is how they are recharged. Indeed, since operators do not set up charging stations, they use so-called juicers. Individual auto-entrepreneurs who walk the streets in the evening in search of scooters to recharge. In order to release them early the next day loaded, most often using their own vans or cars. According to the study conducted in the city of Raleigh in the United States, 4.6% of recharged scooters still had a full battery! In this way, the load represents a total of 43% of the ecological cost of the shared scooter.
Finally, self-service scooters have a very limited lifespan. According to Quartz, which studied data from 129 Bird shared electric scooters in Louisville, Kentucky. Their average life expectancy would be 28.8 days! And only 7 of the 129 vehicles lasted more than 60 days. This is mainly due to vandalism and the fact that scooters are abused by users. For these reasons, shared electric scooters are an unsustainable mode of transport.
How to travel in an eco-friendly way?
The good news is that the electric scooter is still more environmentally friendly than travelling by car! Indeed, it is estimated that taking a car alone represents 414g of CO2 for 1mile. With your own electric scooter, loaded only if empty and kept in circulation for at least 2 years, this number would drop to less than 140g.
However, travelling by public transport, by bicycle or on foot, remains the most eco-friendly means of transport. Walking or cycling even has the advantage of getting you exercising!
Combining state-of-the-art design with haute engineering, Series 1 brings the ultimate portability and convenience.
Unfolded, its long, wide deck makes for a safe, comfortable ride. When you’re not riding, fold it completely in a click, or lock it securely in position with ultra-sturdy automotive latches. The handles are fully foldable too.
The era of the kickstand is over. Use Flowfold™ to switch to park mode and set the Series 1 into its perfectly stable, padded, resting position.
Packed with meticulously researched ergonomic features, Series 1 takes comfort and handling to another level.
With a higher stem angle, like a motorbike, Series 1 gives you automotive-like steering. The forces acting on your handlebars when you’re riding tend to return it to a neutral position, with less wobbling, more stability, so you’ll flow through traffic in a smooth line.
With a longer, wider foot platform than most e-scooters, Series 1 is designed for you to ride in the safest, most comfortable position.
Scooting in a straight line or navigating corners will always feel smooth and steady. The Series 1 Flowfold™ folding mechanism, long wheelbase and design also absorb shocks and vibrations from road imperfections for a safer, more stable ride.
Light up the night
Series 1’s refined lighting system has been engineered to significantly improve safety. A light halo, presence lights, rear brakes and rider illumination LEDs all highlight your position on the road, while indicators make turning safer. Plus, an IP57 rating guarantees it stays waterproof in wet conditions.
Feel the exhilaration of dynamic power and next-level efficiency. Series 1 has our own customised motor delivering a peak output of 900W, reaching top speeds of over 40kph/25mph. You can control both the speed and power via the Lavoie app to comply with your local regulations.
Series 1 has three power modes, so you can choose how you want your journey to feel, from powerful to relaxing. Mode 1 is a slower eco option, cruise in the efficient Mode 2, or go full throttle with the ultimate power of Mode 3. Tune your ride modes in the Lavoie app.
Housed in a modular waterproof hard shell, the Series 1 battery is designed and certified to meet the most stringent American and European safety standards. State-of-the-art Samsung cell chemistry delivers over 40km/25mi of range with 468Wh of capacity, or 60km/40mi with the 702Wh of the Series 1 MAX.
30Nm of torque will effortlessly conquer any hill. And even if you push it to the limit, the Series 1 can handle the steepest inclines.
Seen and heard
Stay safe day and night, in all riding conditions. Use the left-hand controls to sound the horn, activate all lights and indicators as well as engage regenerative braking and the front hydraulic disk brake.
Controlling your Series 1 is easy with its unique dashboard as your cockpit. The integrated colour screen gives constant updates – everything from power consumption to time travelled. Pair with the Lavoie app and it will even guide you to your destination.
The right-hand powers on and off, switches riding modes, unlocks your passcode and connects to the app. Use the thumb throttle to get full acceleration and speed control.
Pneumatic reinforced tyres offer outstanding grip, suspension and shock absorption so you’ll glide along every surface. Braking is equally smooth and controlled with the front hydraulic disk brake providing maximum stopping power and the motor’s KERS system boosting range and efficiency.
World class safety standards
Series 1 has been developed by automotive and racing experts, elevating the design process of e-mobility to new standards of quality and safety. LAVOIE’s approach to safety analysis and design, inherited from McLaren Applied, is implemented through techniques such as FEA (Finite Element Analysis), DFMEA (Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), and enhanced lifecycle testing, so you can have peace of mind and ride with confidence.