In cities, what matters to commuters is getting from point A to B quickly and safely. That's where electric scooters come in. Since city roads are already quite congested, e-scooters provide a quick and easy way to get around. However, aside from convenience, one of the benefits of riding electric scooters is their cost-effectiveness. 


The initial spending may be expensive for some riders, but it is all worth it since electric scooters can save you more in the long run. After all, you don’t have to worry about fuel costs, parking fees, and high maintenance fees unlike owning a car. Against cars, electric scooters are definitely more practical. However, how do e-scooters fare against public transportation? 


This electric scooter guide aims to answer the question: Are electric scooters cheaper than public transportation?


The cost of riding public transportation

First, let’s take a look at how much an average commuter spends on public transportation. There's no doubt that public transportation is cheap and convenient. However, how much is your total cost in a year?


A study by the Southern Cross University and the Australasian Railway Association found that commuters who own a car but choose to ride public transportation five days a week to work pay an annual average of $5,541 in transportation costs. Meanwhile, commuters who don’t own a car and ride public transportation only pay an annual average cost of $1,607. 


Note that these figures refer to commuters travelling within the CBD. so, these figures can vary in other states or territories in Australia. Nonetheless, the report finds that riding public transportation can save you around $5,000 to $9,000 compared to travelling via car. 


The advantages of riding public transportation

    • Very affordable. It’s easily one of the most affordable transport options in any city. 
  • Accessible. Subway and bus stations are easily available and are open for most of the day.
      • Quick. If you are taking the subway, you don’t need to sit and wait for traffic. You can avoid the hassles of travelling on the road.
  • Ability to multitask. You can definitely find the time to read a book, do schoolwork, or check on your phone while riding a bus or subway.

  • Because of its affordability and accessibility, many people choose to ride public transportation. However, electric scooters promise better convenience and accessibility for less cost.


    How much does it cost to ride a shared electric scooter?

    When it comes to electric scooters vs public transportation, electric scooters offer more cost-savings benefits. But before looking at the cost of owning an electric scooter, let’s take a look at how much you would spend riding a shared electric scooter.


    Shared electric scooters offer commuters an affordable and accessible way to ride e-scooters without having to own one. For some cheaper, this is a cheaper way to commute. After all, shared electric scooters usually have a base rate of $1 to unlock the e-scooter and a charge of around $0.40 per minute. If it’s a 10-minute ride, you pay $5 per ride. Overall, the price of riding shared e-scooters can be more or less the same amount that you would pay for the metro. 


    If you would ride a shared e-scooter for 10 minutes twice a day, it would cost you $10 per day, $50 per week, $200 per month, or $2,400 per year.


    How much does it cost to own an electric scooter?

    Owning an electric scooter may be more cost-effective than you think. Although the initial cost may seem expensive, you will get the most out of every penny. So, how much is an electric scooter for adults? 


    Scooter prices in Australia vary depending on the type of e-scooter that you need. Budget electric scooters can cost from $300 to $500, while mid-range commuter scooters range from $500 to $1000. Premium and off-road electric scooters offer the best possible comfort and performance, but you don’t need to spend over $1000 if you need daily transport for short distances.


    For example, the Mearth X Pro is a mid-range compact commuter e-scooter that’s built to take you through anywhere in the city. Thanks to its compact size and light weight, it’s the perfect transport for short distances or first and last-mile trips. It currently costs $749.


    So, let’s say you buy the Mearth X Pro for $749. Let’s also say that you don’t have a helmet yet, so you buy the Mearth Airlite electric scooter helmet for $69. Your current total after buying a brand new e-scooter with a helmet is $818. The only costs that you need to be mindful of after purchase are the electricity charge and maintenance cost.


    Powering an electric scooter takes very little of your electricity. In Australia, the cost of charging a 400Wh battery is an average of $0.08 during off-peak hours and $0.16 during peak hours. If you charge your e-scooter for 4 hours during peak hours for 5 days, your power charge costs $3.20 per week, $12.80 per month, or $153.60 in a year. Add this to your total cost, and you have spent a total of $971.60 in a year.


    When it comes to maintenance costs, there’s little to no cost if you ride and take care of your e-scooter properly. Assuming that you have needed repairs or maintenance help, you can allot around $300 for maintenance. Assuming that you will have maintenance costs, your total e-scooter cost is $1,271.60 in a year. 


    That’s significantly cheaper than riding public transportation and a shared electric scooter. Also, take note that that’s your total cost for the first year. Since personal e-scooters last longer than shared e-scooters, you don’t have to buy another e-scooter the following year. So, your transportation cost drops down to around $453.60 starting the second year. 


    Take note that these figures are just an estimation and can vary depending on your city, lifestyle, electric consumption, and e-scooter maintenance. As long as you take care of your electric scooter, your e-scooter will last longer, and you will get the most from what you paid for.


    The advantages of riding an electric scooter

      • Huge savings. Using an electric scooter can cut down your cost significantly. That’s why riding e-scooters is best for commuters who want to save on transportation costs.
      • No more traffic. Get to your destination faster since you don’t have to sit and wait in traffic anymore.
      • Portable. E-scooters are slim and compact. So, they are easy to bring inside establishments and on public transportation.
      • Space-saving. You don’t need a garage or shed to store your e-scooter. It can fit under a table or inside a cabinet, making it perfect for people living in small apartments.
      • No parking needed. Save yourself from more costs and stress since you no longer need parking space.
  • Little to no maintenance. Finally, save yourself from maintenance troubles since e-scooters are robust and reliable as long as you take care of them.

  • Electric scooter vs public transportation

    To summarise, the total average cost of each mode of transportation is:

    • Public transportation: $1,607 in a year
    • Shared e-scooter: $2,400 in a year
    • Owned e-scooter: $1,217.60 in a year

    Given these values, it’s clear that owned e-scooters offer the best savings.


    If you’re looking for innovative electric scooters for adults in Australia, Mearth offers various e-scooter models that suit a range of commuter needs. From lightweight commuter e-scooters to robust off-road e-scooters, Mearth offers quality e-scooters for a reasonable price. Browse through our shop today!

    By Hubert Pablo

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