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The Economic and Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters
Written by Hubert Pablo – Mearth, Guest Contributor at Cleantech Geek
Electric scooters are now more than just a leisurely ride for children and teenagers. They now help clean the transportation sector. Cities across the globe have been seeing the benefits of legalising and implementing shared and private electric scooters on city roads and lanes.
For one, it helps replace car trips and reduce road emissions in highly congested cities. In fact, shared e-scooter scheme Lime reported that their e-scooters helped save 330 tons of carbon emissions in Paris. Because of its emission-free nature, more countries have legalised electric scooters in public, including Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark.
Aside from its environmental impact, several studies also found that electric scooters help contribute to a city’s economy. From providing low-cost transport alternatives to increasing tourism in cities, electric scooters also offer economic benefits as it helps move people within cities.
With this, here are some of the economic and environmental benefits of riding electric scooters.
Save time, save on emissions
Traffic jams are one of the struggles of commuters anywhere in the world. However, this daily phenomenon not only impacts the road but also people’s productivity and the environment. In fact, the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia reports that commuters spend 4.5 hours more per week on the road. This time could have been spent more time at work or home.
With electric scooters, commuters can bypass traffic and help save time on the road. In fact, NACTO reports that protected bikeways move three times more people than roads. With no traffic and fewer obstacles in the way, commuters can arrive at their destination quicker. Moreover, having fewer cars on the road will also help save time for other vehicles, contributing to the overall efficiency of a city.
How does this affect the environment? Using more electric scooters than cars will help reduce the number of road transport emissions. Since road transportation is one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gases, it can have a significant impact on a city’s emissions. Implementing and encouraging more electric scooters in Australia and other countries can help cities reduce their carbon footprint without limiting the commuter’s transport options.
More affordable, more accessible
One of the benefits of electric scooters is their affordability. Buying a new car can cost Australians an average of $40,128. Meanwhile, you can buy decent commuter electric scooters for around $500 to $1000. Even when you buy premium electric scooters for $3,000, e-scooters are relatively cheaper than buying a car. It’s also worth mentioning that e-scooters have little to no maintenance costs.
However, if owning an electric scooter may still be too expensive, ride-sharing electric scooter platforms offer affordable and hassle-free commutes. Usually, shared e-scooters have a $1 base fee for unlocking a shared e-scooter, and then rates are counted by the minute. This is a great transport alternative for commuters who don’t need to use e-scooters regularly.
Thanks to e-scooters being budget-friendly, it enables all kinds of commuters to have access to any part of a city. In fact, a Lime survey in Washington, DC found that 44% of riders used electric scooters as it gave them access to job opportunities. Moreover, 57% of riders surveyed use shared e-scooters for work or school.
Overall, electric scooters provide an affordable and accessible personal transport option for commuters. Because of this benefit, more people will be encouraged to use e-scooters. As a result, there will be fewer cars on the road and fewer emissions in the atmosphere.
Less pollution, more tourism
Are electric scooters good for the environment? The short answer is yes. In fact, electric scooters are greener than you think. For example, some electric scooters are made from aluminium alloy, a durable and lightweight metal that can be recycled. Some manufacturers are also using recycled or sustainable materials on small e-scooter components. These efforts help make e-scooters recyclable after being discarded, reducing waste in landfills.
Aside from this, e-scooters also help lessen noise pollution in cities. It’s a lesser-known pollution, but it’s very present, especially in highly dense cities. Cars, trucks, and buses all contribute to noise pollution with their loud engines and horns. However, electric scooters are relatively quiet. So, if more e-scooters replace cars on the road, it can make cities quieter and less of a headache.
Moreover, since more people are being conscious of their carbon footprint, more people are actually looking for eco-friendly transport alternatives. Electric scooters offer an affordable and eco-friendly solution to this concern. These benefits will encourage people to not only commute but also explore the city.
In fact, a Lime survey from Washington, DC found that 72% of e-scooter riders visited more local shops and attractions after using shared e-scooters. Meanwhile, a study at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School found that local food and beverage shops increase in sales thanks to shared e-scooter systems. Overall, e-scooters also contribute to better local tourism in cities as it makes travelling easier and more convenient. As long as people ride electric scooters safely, then there will be no issues with electric scooters.
The all-in-one solution for cities
Electric scooters have proven that it’s more than just a leisure activity. They have proven various environmental benefits, and they can also contribute to cities’ economies. It’s an all-in-one transport solution that cities must consider implementing to make commutes more convenient, make travelling more accessible, reduce emissions, and contribute to the economy.
However, legislators must come up with the right policies and infrastructure to support the safety and convenience of electric scooters. Moreover, there should be proper education on riding electric scooters so that riders can navigate safely within cities. Collaboration among legislators, communities, and organisations will help implement safe, efficient, and effective electric scooter policies.