An introduction To Electric Scooters

Xiaomi Electric Scooter

Whilst the Savvy Cycling website is primarily aimed at electric bikes we feel that electric scooters should be mentioned as there are increasingly being used for city transport around the world.  The type of electric scooters we are discussing here are those than can be ridden whilst standing up (although some can be modified to include a seat).

Like the conventional children scooters, modern electric scooters have 2 wheels, a platform called a deck, a handlebar for steering, a battery, electric motor, air filled tyres and brakes.

Electric scooters are produced by a wide variety of manufacturers including Kugoo,  Segway, Boosted, Glion, GoTrax, Xiaomi, Swagtron, Zero, Unagi, Pure Air, FreeRide, Kaabo, and MiniMotors. The Xiaomi range of e-scooters are particularly popular.

A typical adult e- scooter  has a 250-watt motor, a 250 watt-hour lithium-ion battery, a top speed of around 15 mph, an approximate range of 10 – 15 miles miles, and costs around  £300-£400.

Compared to e-bikes, e-scooters have a number of advantages / disadvantages.

Advantages

  • more portable. Easily folded
  • less prone to theft as most can be folded and taken indoors
  • easier to handle due to be lighter than an electric bike.
  • require less physical effort as they dont need pedalling.
  • less expensive than an e-bike

Disadvantages

  • more difficult to lockup
  • less stable than an e-bike due to smaller tyres and upright steering angle.
  • less range due to smaller battery.

There has recently been a big surge in interest in e-scooters as a form of micromobility especially in cities. many cities already have e-scooters hire schemes. A number of  scooter hire schemes are available including

Lime

Lime provide electric scooters and bike rentals in numerous city locations throughout the world including the US, Australia, UK, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France and many more.  Vehicles are rented via the Lime App which helps the user location, scan and then ride.

https://www.li.me/en-us/home

Bird

Bird provides electric scooter rentals in various cities throughout Europe, the US and the Middle East. Like other schemes electric scooters can be located and rented via the Bird app.

https://www.bird.co/

Bolt

In addition to provide e-scooter rentals, Bolt also operates as a ride hailing app, 

https://bolt.eu/

Lyft

Whilst Lyft is most well know as a ride share and taxi service, it also provides electric scooter rentals. Again e-scooters can be located and rented via the Lyft app.

https://www.lyft.com/

Spin

Founded in San Francisco in 2016, Spin is reimagining urban mobility. Combining high-quality scooters, a reliable and easy-to-use app, excellent customer service and affordable prices, Spin provides an optimal and responsible scooter riding experience.

https://www.spin.app/

Jump

Jump is operated by Uber. Like most e-scooter schemes the e-scooter is located, unlocked and paid or via the Uber phone app. Lime scooters can also be booked via Uber.

https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/scooters/

Razor

One of the leaders in e-scooter hire around the world. Like all other Razor scooters are located and hired using a smartphone app. Razor scooters have a 36v battery giving a runtime of up to 80 mins and a range of up to 20 miles.

https://www.razor.com/share/

Safety

Whilst there is an enormous interest in using e-scooters in urban areas as a way of reducing car use and so easing congestion, e-scooters are not without some drawbacks. Many cities do not have the infrastructure of segregated cycle lanes so users of e-scooters are often sharing roads with cars, buses, lorries.

There are some concerns about inexperienced riders using e-scooters capable of speeds of up 20mph without the need for any safety equipment etc.

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