First came the rental scooters, now it's the ones to buy, from popular brands like Segway and Boosted. Is the new generation of e-scooters really getting started? I hope not.
The e-scooter craze is taking over around the world
Electric scooters are becoming more and more popular, with cities all over the US starting to regulate them. Coast to coast, from Santa Monica to Washington D.C., rental scooter companies have been popping up, with reactions ranging from welcoming to...less than welcoming. For example, in San Francisco, people have been tossing the rental e-scooters into lakes and dumpsters just to keep them from cluttering the streets. With the regulations surrounding the ability to drive them on roads becoming increasingly complicated, the number of people investing in buying their own e-scooter is growing, but slowly.
Now that the first street legal e-scooters are already available where I live, in Germany, other brands are starting to join in. With Segway Ninebot, a big name is dedicated to the new speedsters which are already conquering the country in the form of rental scooters from the likes of Lime, Circ, Voi and Tier. The Segway scooter with electric motor will be fully unveiled at the IFA in early September. The new Segway scooter, whose name is still unknown, was specially developed for the German market to meet the specific legal requirements of the country.
But it's not just Segway Ninebot. Boosted, an extremely hip US manufacturer of e-skateboards - which are still not allowed on public roads in Germany - has also announced its own e-scooter. The scooter is also primarily intended for the American market, but should also make the leap to Europe. At $1,799, the Boosted Rev is anything but cheap, but also has a decent range of about about 20 miles and a top speed of about 23 mph to offer. In Germany, however, it will only be allowed to be half as fast.
How long will the e-scooter trend last?
I get the feeling that the e-scooters are extremely well received in large cities in Europe and in the US. There are countless of them standing around, you can see many people driving with them. In my eyes, however, this is just because of the novelty of them. That shiny new toy feeling will wear off.
Plus, many of the new scooter drivers are disappointed by the experience: they're too slow, not stable enough, too expensive, too short range...These are important disadvantages in the eyes of many people. You can borrow and try it out for a few bucks, but buying such an e-scooter costs a lot of money. The price hurdle is much higher, and you have to worry about whether the model you buy is street legal and covered by insurance.
My opinion of e-scooters isn't exactly positive, as you might have guessed from my previous articles on the topic. This hasn't changed even after some rides with the Berlin rental scooters, on the contrary. I think that people will soon realize that the advantages of the e-scooters don't outweigh the disadvantages in daily life. The things will continue to be driven by the real fans, but won't have broad appeal soon. Even popular manufacturers like Boosted or Segway won't change this.
What do you think? Are e-scooters a fad, or here to stay?