Many people are familiar with kick scooters but the rise of ride-sharing eco electric scooters across the globe pushed its popularity further, especially in the field of micro-mobility transportation. In fact, the electric scooter industry has become a $AUD 59 billion industry in Australia, and over $200 billion has been invested in this growing industry worldwide.
Given its convenience, portability, and affordability, electric scooters are indeed the future of personal transportation. It provides an efficient way to travel to work, campus, and anywhere. Moreover, another benefit that e-scooters claim is their sustainability. However, are electric scooters green? Do they actually help the environment? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here are two reasons how electric scooters help contribute to cleaning the environment.
In the US and the UK alone, 28 percent of carbon emissions are caused by road transportation. In fact, the transportation sector contributes the highest carbon emissions in any sector. One of the main solutions for this growing problem is adopting electric vehicles such as electric scooters. Since electric scooters don’t need fuel to run, it does not emit any harmful gas to the environment.
This already helps reduce the existing carbon emissions in the atmosphere, especially in the long run. In fact, a study by ride-sharing service Lime found that Paris had saved over 330 tons of carbon emissions after a year of implementing ride-sharing services for eco-friendly electric scooters. The study also says that if Paris continues to adopt e-scooters in the streets, the city could save over 10,000 carbon emissions by 2030.
Because of the positive impact of electric scooters and electric vehicles in general, the UN Habitat started to implement the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI). The project aims to increase the use of electric vehicles to 30 per cent by 2030 and reduce harmful emissions to 30 per cent by 2050.
Reducing carbon emission produced by transportation will lessen greenhouse gases and slow down global warming. Since electric scooters are more affordable and accessible to the public, it’s easier to promote and implement in cities than other electric vehicles such as electric cars and buses. Even if these electric scooters are charged via non-renewable sources, their overall carbon emission is significantly lower than that of fuel vehicles.
Most electric scooters are made of aluminium alloy. This metal is known as a “green” material because it is recyclable and sustainable. In fact, aluminium can be repeatedly melted down and recycled without losing its quality. For its overall cycle, recycling aluminium saves 9 tons of carbon emissions.
However, some electric scooters are combined with carbon fibre. This is a material that is mostly made from non-renewable processes and is difficult to recycle. In this case, it’s better to support electric scooters that avoid this material or predominantly use aluminium. Aside from the frame’s material, the electric motor is mostly made of metals, magnets, and copper wires, which are also mostly recyclable materials. Ultimately, electric scooters are an eco-friendly and sustainable vehicle in terms of its material, development, carbon emission, and recyclability.
Unfortunately, electric scooter technology for ride-sharing services still needs more improvement to become a more sustainable public transport. Although ride-sharing electric scooters help reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions in cities, its overall lifecycle still contributes to greenhouse gases.
A North Carolina State University study found that ride-sharing electric scooter services produce a total of 202 g of carbon emissions per passenger mile. That’s half of the carbon emissions from fuel cars (411 g of carbon emissions per mile) and three times more than personal electric scooters (67 g of carbon emissions per mile). These emissions are mainly due to the materials and processes for manufacturing e-scooters and the processes for charging them.
Although the total carbon emissions of ride-sharing electric scooters are still lower than fuel vehicles, experts and consumers still call for reduced emissions from the electric vehicle. As a response, ride-sharing services such as Lime and Bird are implementing more eco-friendly methods to collect, charge, and transport units. Some are even using bicycles or carts to transport electric scooters for charging or repairing.
To make ride-sharing e-scooters more eco-friendly for the public, studies suggest manufacturing using renewable materials and processes, producing longer electric scooter lifecycles, and using sustainable and modern power solutions for charging electric scooters. If more electric scooter services and manufacturers can implement this, it would drastically reduce overall carbon emissions from this electric vehicle.
Despite these issues, electric scooters are still green overall. Moreover, personal electric scooters offer better sustainability than those used for ride-sharing. Nonetheless, these electric vehicles can help push for sustainable urban living in the future with continuous development. Electric scooters are greener than you think and will prove to the transportation of the future in the coming years.
For those who are looking to get an electric scooter, here’s a quick guide on finding the right electric scooter for you. However, if you’re still not convinced if you should get one, here are reasons to get an electric scooter.