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E-scooters: are they more trouble than they're worth?
Hardware Mobility Opinion 3 min read 6 comments

E-scooters: are they more trouble than they're worth?

Before you ask: Yes, I've driven an E-scooter before, even if only for a few minutes. And yes, it's fun, at least in the beginning. But, many people who buy an electric scooter might eventually come to the conclusion that they can't really do anything with it.

Let's compare an electric scooter with a bicycle or an e-bike. The scooter is more compact, even if there are models like the BMW X2City, which you can't just fold and carry under your arm. But it's also less secure, as the mini tires struggle in front of every sidewalk. E-scooters are responsible for innumerable bone fractures, involuntary dives and even fatal accidents, especially if they're on the sidewalk or in the pedestrian zone. It's no wonder why these are illegal to ride in many places in the US.

The vast majority of models are not particularly easy to connect and disconnect, and the software is anything but secure. Most e-scooters are, at best, rudimentary. The utility? Basically nonexistent. A child seat or trailer cannot fit on it, and not even a bag or luggage rack of any kind. And the range? Certainly not comparable to an e-bike.

Of course, such an e-scooter is more environmentally friendly and cheaper than a car, but still costs a few hundred dollars and consumes both electricity during use and valuable raw materials in production. Hardly anyone drives more than a short distance at a time with such a scooter, and it is also simply no fun with most models. However, these are distances that can be easily covered on foot. This is even healthier, even cheaper and much, much more environmentally friendly than using an electric scooter.

Rental scooters are even worse

But wait a minute, I hear the dissenting voices..."You don't have to buy an E-scooter! Just rent one for a few dollard, they'll be everywhere soon!" While the latter alone sounds like a threat, you should take a closer look at the following video from The Verge. They found out that sharable scooters don't even last a month on average before they either break on their own or are destroyed by hooligans.

Let this sink in: A rental scooter like that won't last a month. In view of the fact that apparently nobody can earn money with it either (unless they're selling their customers' data), I probably don't have to worry about the sharing providers and their scooters for long anyway.

When I look at the pictures of the bicycle cemeteries with mountains of useless rental bikes, it brings a tear to my eye. If I then imagine that things will turn out the same for e-scooters, the feeling just gets worse. Especially because they contain much more electronics as well as a motor and a rechargeable battery. I'd really like to believe that these things will be disposed of correctly by the sharing providers after their short half-lives, and that parts that are still functioning will be recycled. But when I look at how these suppliers operate with rental bikes, I loose all confidence.

All in all, for me, the many disadvantages of an e-scooter outweigh the few advantages, whether borrowed scooters or bought. It's better to have a scooter without a motor or a reasonable bike, no matter if it's an e-bike or not. They're a nuisance to the cityscape anyway.

Ok, now it's your turn to weigh in: Are you for or against e-scooters?

6 comments

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  • Until they make one you don't need a drivers license to operate, I can't use them anyway. Lol.


    • No need for a drivers license, at least for Bird. It will work perfectly fine with a non-driver state ID, as long as it has a scannable barcode.


  • It's not necessary the Escooter it's who's piloting them .... common sense would tell you that Escooters need a separate space away from pedestrians (and not in the path of automobiles).

    Perhaps what is learned from Escooters can best be used on a Moped / Vespa (large enough for automobiles to see, fast enough to be traveling on the street, definitely does not need to be on a sidewalk).


  • Sorin 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Electric scooters are very practical and quite convenient to carry. It is important to arrange traffic areas for these, especially bicycle tracks, but many prefer to travel with the trotters on the sidewalk and that's not very good. Also, in order to travel on the street, there is an additional danger due to the movement of the cars. Whether the bicycle is different, it fits better in street traffic - trotters are not exactly fit to run on the street.
    They are very suitable for open spaces, large parks, camping areas, sports grounds, and why not, even inside large buildings (!). The pavement is still the pedestrians.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Get an eclectic bike much safer and drivers are used to seeing and dealing with them. these e scooter are just a bad idea.


  • storm 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    the riders need to get off the sidewalk and into the street, same as bikes