Future of electric scooters
Looking through the prism of history
The best way to look at the development transport is to see how other technology rolled out 100 years ago. Automobiles.
When cars just started getting popular on the streets of 1910s-1920s cities, they were considered to be dangerous intruders. The street was moving with a maximum speed of 8 km/h since horses, omnibuses and people had to move in a dense flow together. Playground for children didn’t exist as a thing, so it was normal for kids to play in the middle of a street, where automobiles were passing now.
There were thousands of accidents so no wonder why people were eager to minimise this traffic. One of the soft examples was Cincinnati residents limiting car speed to 40km/h (55% of Model T speed). Some activists were even requesting the 25km/h limit, the same limit as the majority of eScooters has now.
There was no end to attempts of making streets even slower and safer — Detroit had the speed limit of 8 km/h until the dedicated regulation was rolled out in 1909.
In addition to the danger created by speeding drivers, parking became another source of chaos. Neither high-rise buildings had specific parking lots, nor there were any laws or common parking etiquette. Drivers were stopping in front of the building or on the intersection, leaving cars blocking the street for hours.
Chances of getting cars banned increased, so motorists, wealthy car owners and car dealers united under the common interest. Among other things, their information campaigns were educating people on ways to cross the street safely and normalizing the idea that cars are the new owners of streets.
Speeding, accidents, parking… Problems were similar to what we experience now. The question is, how much better is the scooter?
What’s good about eScooters arrival comparing to cars?
We have a significant infrastructure base. We don’t have to pour billions of dollars into gigantic interchanges. We don’t have to sacrifice additional hectares of public space for parking. We don’t have to engage in some crazy terra-forming activity (at least on this planet). What we do have to do is to expand the bike lanes.
Scooterists will never feel safe on the city roads among cars and pedestrians will never feel safe among the scooters. Currently, a lot of streets in Europe that are built just for cars, having tiny sidewalks and no protected bike lanes.
How green are the scooters? (Spoiler: very green)
We all care about ecology, and our governments regularly announce bright sustainability goals for some 2030s, right? If these are not just words, maybe it’s time for more government action in cities?
Typical scooter ride is below 3,2 km, so let’s take 3km as our distance. Siemens Combino tram in operation in Potsdam, Germany, requires 1,84kWh/km, regenerative braking included. Therefore, 3km ride takes 5520Wh. Average tram occupancy in the UK is 53 passengers.
-> 3km x 1840Wh/km /53 passengers = 104,2Wh/passenger/3km.
Meeko City has a battery of 280Wh and maximal range 30km. Bearing in mind that users don’t always weigh 60kg and drive perfectly flat roads, we can discount range to 25km.
->3km x 280Wh/25km=33,6Wh/passenger/3km
Electric kick-scooters are three times more energy-efficient than trams.
They are also 18 times more efficient than Tesla Model S
with 621,9Wh for 3km… We still need advanced public transportation, but when policymakers are going to redivide limited road space between sidewalks, tram lanes, bike lanes and roads, they should know what type of decision to make.
It should be a win-win game
At first glance, these activities may seem to be too altruistic, but if you look from the right perspective, you’ll see that each of them is a step on the way to make even more money.
And this is great: cities win — consumers win — companies win.
You all 👉🏻Have a great Christmas!