Welcome to Thomas Insights — every day, we publish the latest news and analysis to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in industry. Sign up here to get the day’s top stories delivered straight to your inbox.
The rise of alternatives to public transportation has been in demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues as people have gotten used to having more space to themselves. One of the industries that shows potential promise is electric scooter sharing.
The e-scooters market was estimated to be worth $1.4 billion in 2021. The United States and Europe have been the main target of the public e-scooter sharing network.
Increased congestion and social distancing have been key drivers of the widespread adoption of dockless scooters. In addition, they are cheaper, easier to use, and safer for the environment. More cities are opening up and giving operating licenses to e-scooter fleets hiring micro-mobility companies like Bird, Spin, and Lime.
However, many wonder if they’re safe and how the shared e-scooters don’t go missing if they are dockless.
Management and Control of Electric Scooters
There have been significant safety concerns about the public use of e-scooters. Because they are considered motor vehicles, many cities and states have allowed their public use, in addition to other micro-mobility services, under particular guidelines and regulations.
These regulations in New York City include:
- E-scooters are allowed on roads and cycling lanes but are prohibited from roads with a speed limit greater than 30 mph.
- Although not mandatory if over 18, riders should wear helmets. Riders ages 16 and 17 are required to wear helmets.
- E-scooters are limited to a maximum speed of 15 mph
Most states have also included that all e-scooters should be parked in bike racks or designated nesting areas that do not block public pathways.
Electric Scooters Pick Ups
Many e-scooter companies rely on freelance networks to provide pick-up, charging, and drop-off services. The scooters have GPS trackers for map-based relocalization so it is possible to keep tabs on each scooter’s location on the micro-mobility services app.
Using the app, the freelancers can track down low-charged scooters and recharge them or drop them off at a designated scooter “nest” for a fee.
What Happens to Scooters That Break Down?
The lifespan of most e-scooters is about three months to a year. With the short lifespan, most micro-mobility operators often collect and scrap electric scooters from the market rather than make repairs.
Can the Scooters Be Reused?
Most micro-mobility companies also do not recommend reusing or reselling scooters that have undergone extreme wear and tear. Scooters that do not meet rigorous quality standards can pose potential safety and reliability issues to potential riders.
Get More Micromobility Insights
Image Credit: MirasWonderland / Shutterstock.com
Nevada Battery Facilities Awarded $107 Million in Federal Grants