The future of electric scooters is potentially bright, as more cities are offering them as an option for transportation. Programs similar to bike-share programs are leaving undocked eScooters available for people to use.
As a result, more people are beginning to use them for short trips, as opposed to using their cars. This change, and other changes that are occurring, are leading to some possible benefits that may make cities better as a whole.
Better Road Safety
The number of pedestrians killed by cars has continued to increase over the last few years. In 2018, over 6000 pedestrians were killed by a car. As more people use eScooters as a replacement, it can cause a reduction in the number of vehicles that are on the road.
As a result of the reduced number of vehicles, the roads become a little safer for pedestrians. The increased safety may potentially increase the number of pedestrians, which can create a “safety in numbers” effect. The more numbers that a driver sees, the more they’ll be aware of any vulnerable road user, which can encourage the driver to drive more safely.
Reduced cost of Transportation
In comparison to other forms of transportation such as public transit, personal cars, and taxis, eScooters are found to be generally cheaper to utilize. The main key to this form of transportation being less costly is fueling. The cost of putting fuel into an eScooter is slightly over one percent of the cost of filling up a car that provides 28 miles per gallon.
The large difference in cost potentially adds up to a large amount of savings from using this transportation over weeks, months, and years. Lastly, eScooters cost less to maintain.
A car can have several engine problems that need repair over time, which can quickly become costly. Regular oil and filter changes, cost of gas, and other required maintenance checks will also add to the cost.
In contrast, the eScooter requires very little maintenance other than occasionally replacing the tires and the brake pads. The cost of purchasing an eScooter is far cheaper than purchasing a car or a motorcycle. A well-functioning electric scooter can cost, on average, under $300.
Lastly, it’s been found that those of low-income statuses are taking the most advantage of eScooters, suggesting that it’s opening up more transportation opportunities for those who most need it. Some eScooter sharing companies are even beginning to offer discounts for those who receive food stamps or live in public housing.
As more citizens are trying to do their part in the fight against climate change, eScooter is a transportation that can help in that fight. They’re powered by electricity, which means they emit very little emissions, thus making an improvement in the air quality of a city.
It’s also been concluded that electric motors are three times more energy-efficient than combustion engines from cars. Much of this depends on how the electric scooters are being used.
When eScooters are being chosen for going to areas in walking distance more than walking, it can cause an increase in carbon emissions in a city. If, however, the eScooter is being used more as a replacement for cars when going a short distance that would take long to walk, the fewer cars on the road help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, another potential added benefit to fewer cars being on the road is public and private transportation may become quicker with less traffic.
The rise of the eScooter has also provided a way for people to make a little extra income. Some eScooter sharing companies are allowing customers to apply for jobs charging up eScooters. If they’re hired, whenever they use the app, eScooters that need charging in the city are highlighted on their phones.
A person can then locate the eScooter that’s low on energy, plug them into their homes, and place them back into specific locations that the app directs them to. The job opportunity provides people a chance to earn a significant amount of extra income based on the number of eScooters they’re able to pick up and recharge daily.
The Future of eScooters
While eScooters are providing some benefits to society, there are still some drawbacks that communities are having to work through.
Some of those drawbacks include scooters being left in areas that blocked pedestrians and wheelchair users, riders not safely adhering to traffic regulations, and unauthorized use of electric scooters on sidewalks, which many cities do not allow.
Nonetheless, with the possible benefits that city leaders, eScooter sharing companies, and citizens can gain from more eScooter use, it’s likely they’ll continue to rise in popularity for the foreseeable future.