Posted 12 Nov 2019
Reading time: 4 Minutes
Strolling down a German street, one will inevitably catch sight of scooters lined up on the sidewalk. Maybe a red Jump bike from the old friend Uber, the young but fast-growing chic, pink Voi. scooters, and the black-and-green glow of a Lime scooter - to name a few.
It is far from an exaggeration to say that e-mobility the new buzz word. E-scooter comes with the promise of convenience. Instead of worrying about your bike outside your apartment, which even if locked, is not always safe in an urban setting like Berlin, you can just grab a scooter. Making it easy to get on the road and carry on with your life without having to think about how to store the vehicle. Moreover, given the congestion of cars during rush hours, going for a route of less traffic might be a simple yet effective solution to getting to work on time. And when winter comes, though the European public transportation network covers most destinations, walking 800m under the rain, in your suit, to get to the subway station does not sound like the best way to start your Monday. E-scooters could be the answer to that last mile problem. It is also a key to freedom: no more waiting for the bus, no more delayed trains, no more getting frustrated because of an out-of-order ticket machine. Some brands commit to being green, by charging the scooters with renewable energy and neutralizing the emissions of the operation vehicle fleets through the support of carbon offset projects.
Of course, there is the other side of the coin. People claim that e-scooters are wobbly, thus not safe, and there is still debate about whether rules should be enforced on helmets when using a scooter. Additional concerns arise from the fact that the sight of scooters scattering around the pavement damages the beauty of the city, and it definitely gets in the way of pedestrians. Finally, though it is supposed to be convenient, sometimes, you just simply do not find a scooter near you. Maybe it is rush hour. Maybe a group of friends all suddenly want to drive scooters. Or perhaps, you are just unlucky, and your favorite brand does not have any nearby scooters due to its newly boosted popularity. Not like public transportation, there is no single place where you can go and look for other options to travel. Even if you are a far-planner, and you have back-up brands, it would be a hassle to have all the different apps on your phone. Moreover, let's admit it, nobody remembers the price points for each brand, and you will definitely do not want to be overcharged by accidentally pick a scooter with an inappropriately high price.
Given that e-mobility is quite new to the European market, and not as much invested in compared to other transportation like cars, we could hope that these drawbacks will be improved with modern technologies.
There are arguments as to whether e-scooter will be the future of transportation, but it in arguably presents a new approach to mobility that solves the problems of the current transportation system. A survey carried out by The Local shows that more than half of the participants have tried the scooters, another 16% haven’t tried, but would love to - e-mobility's advantages definitely pick the interests and curiosities of people. With tweaks in the vehicle's operation and collaborative effort in the organization, e-scooters could potentially be a part of everyday life.