It’s an interesting shift that appears to be being made towards carbon footprint reduction, congestion averting modes of navigating through cities, in particular. Electric alternatives such as scooters and bicycles offer convenience, in terms of being able to digitally disable and abandon these at will. Cities have been trialing this rental system, the jury is still out on it.

Society is still adjusting to the transport shift

Like great many changes in this modern world, there are proponents and opponents of the use of electric scooters. Those in tune with the new transport, of which there are some on the market that have a top speed of 52 miles-per-hour, point to the energy savings versus traditional transport modes.

According to ‘Wired Magazine’ and the US Department of Energy; the energy savings of electric scooter use against car use, stems from the fact that average weight of a car is 4,100 lbs, against 28 lbs for an electric scooter running off an electric engine. They cite the fact that most of the car’s energy is used to simply move the vehicle itself. Also, the use of fuel is factored in. In a similar vein, noting that an individual walking or cycling would burn nine and four times more energy walking and cycling, respectively.

As you have no doubt deduced: the benefits of electronic scooters seemingly relate to capacity and efficiency. Although, there is an evident flaw in the positives claimed - particularly in relation to the walking and cycling alternatives.

The claims of saving energy in this respect, loses force in the fact that using non-carbon emitting human energy, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is crucial in the on-going battle against obesity in society and of course it ignores the benefits of general exercise. Not to mention the gym fees saved through natural exertion such as walking, jogging or cycling.

The energy saving argument definitely needs a face-value caveat attaching to it.

Safety is paramount

Whilst still illegal on public highways in the UK, electronic scooter sighting on roads and pathways are not rare. The Highways Act 1835 still prohibits the use of what some are purporting to be a green friendly mode of transport.

There is growing pressure for this legislation to be updated, but at the moment, Scooter ownership is similar to a 50cc petrol scooter: a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) certificate and insurance are compulsory.

You do not have to go back far to understand the serious safety considerations that need to be considered. In Hornchurch (Essex) a scooter ride was left fighting for their lives after a collision with a bus, in early December 2019.

In Prague, July & August 2019 saw the number of scooter-related injuries double, compared to the same time last year.

United Kingdom takes conservative approach to E-Scooters

The UK, arguably, has taken a backseat regarding allowing the increasing usage of E-scooter usage.

You are more likely to encounter them in public in countries like Czech Republic, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. However, Spain, once one of the more liberal countries in terms of electronic scooters has had its confidence dented. This is due to 300 accidents associated with this mode of transport in 2018. They are no longer permitted on Spain’s pavements.

There is certainly a great deal of mileage left in the E Scooter debate.