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Why Cities Should Adopt Electric Scooters

In recent years, electric scooters worldwide have been increasing in cities significantly. In fact, you can find electric scooters in Australia, the US, the UK, Singapore, and most parts of the world. 

As more cities try to develop into a smart city, sustainable micromobile transportations, such as e-scooters or e-bikes, will make commuting and travelling easier for residents and tourists. In fact, smart cities like London, Singapore, and Barcelona incorporate roads and lanes specifically for two-wheel vehicles or devices. 

However, despite its growing popularity and significance, more cities are also banning e-scooters because of their risks and reported deaths and injuries. Although accidents are mostly due to the riders’ unsafe driving, more governments are passing laws to undermine or ban e-scooters.

However, is this a good move? To learn more about the different benefits that electric scooters bring to cities, here are reasons why cities should adopt electric scooters today.

Why Cities Should Adopt Electric Scooters

Are electric scooters good for cities? Definitely. Here are five reasons that prove why.

1. Reduce harmful vehicle emissions

With road transportation being responsible for around 23 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, encouraging more people to ride electric scooters will help lessen pollution. But why are electric scooters good for the environment? 

Electric scooters don’t emit any harmful gases, so it helps reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A report by Ujet and SustainAbility notes that replacing 80 per cent of road vehicles with electric vehicles by 2050 will cut down harmful emissions by over 80 per cent. Moreover, a report by Lime, an e-scooter rental company, claims that their 6 million deployed electric scooters saved over 5 million pounds of carbon emissions.

Overall, electric scooters are just a part of the solution to reduce air pollution. However, its contribution will be significant, especially if more cities across the globe encourage e-scooter riding.

2. Eliminate health issues due to air pollution

Since highly dense cities have high air pollution, this takes a toll on people’s health. In fact, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. In Barcelona alone, air pollution has caused 3,500 premature deaths. Aside from this, high levels of exposure to air pollution can result in respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer. Electric scooters can prevent these by helping reduce air pollution in cities.

Aside from this, electric scooters also offer light physical activity. Some e-scooter companies claim that e-scooters offer a low-intensity workout. Although these claims have yet to be proven by research, standing has a more positive health benefit compared to sitting. 

3. Improve road congestion

Traffic is one of the major pain points when living in cities. Implementing and encouraging e-scooters in cities will help lessen traffic. After all, more commuters will choose to ride an e-scooter since it’s faster, more affordable, and helps them avoid traffic. As a result, there are fewer cars on the road. 

Moreover, for the working class, daily traffic takes away precious time and productivity that could have been spent on work, family, or one’s self. Riding an e-scooter will not only get them from point A to B but also save them more time on the road. Cities can also avoid millions of financial losses due to traffic. With less congestion, travelling within cities is faster and more convenient.

4. Free up parking and road space

One of the best things about electric scooters is their compact size and portability. These factors helped in the popularity of e-scooters since riders can take their e-scooter anywhere, anytime. Moreover, because of its size, it takes up less space on the road. Even if you have electric scooters everywhere, it will not take up much space. In fact, around 10 e-scooters can be parked in a single parking spot. 

Having fewer cars on the road also reduces the number of cars parked on the side of the roads. This means, people have more space to walk on and streets will have more space for cars and other road transportation. If more people use e-scooters over cars, then cities can reclaim spaces that are often used by cars and convert them into pedestrians or recreational spaces.

5. Make travelling more affordable

Who rides e-scooters? They are usually low to middle-income workers or students who find it cheaper and/or more convenient to ride e-scooters than a car or public transportation. By promoting e-scooters in cities, you tap on a market that needs an affordable, quick, and convenient mode of transport.

Riding an e-scooter rental usually costs $1 plus $0.15 per minute. This means short trips are more affordable compared to a taxi or car ridesharing rental. However, which is better: owning vs renting an electric scooter? Owning one may be more cost-efficient, especially in the long run. Although the initial cost may be expensive, commuters can buy a decent e-scooter for around $300 to $500. It’s also very low maintenance, so there’s little to no costs in the long run.

A Necessary Change for Smart Cities

If cities want to upgrade their infrastructure and quality of living, then cities should adopt electric scooters and other micromobile transportation. Cities should be ready for this as there’s no sign of e-scooters dying down soon. In fact, some studies expect that more people will use an e-scooter after COVID

A SustainAbility ranking revealed that e-scooters offer the most social and environmental benefits to cities including efficiency, inclusivity, sustainability, and safety. Cities and authorities should start exploring how to include micromobile transport solutions into their urban development to make the most of what smart cities and micromobility have to offer.

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