Electric Scooters Are As Bad For The Environment As They Are For Your Reputation, Study Says
One day we woke up and our cities were filled with e-scooters, littering every street corner and thoroughfare in America. The invasion was so bad in some places, people couldn’t even traverse their sidewalks by foot. But as annoyed as citizens felt, the abrupt arrival came with a silver lining: these new-fangled zero-emissions transports were good for the environment. Now, a year after the invasion, we’re waking to the truth about scooters. Not only are they pretty freaking hazardous to ride, but a new study also says they’re not as good for the environment as we thought. Get the lowdown on the showdown and check out these six good reasons why the dockless e-scooter needs a serious overhaul right now or forevermore be left behind in 2019 where they belong.
Photo: Nikola Ilic (Getty Images)
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The Business Model Is Wasteful
Did you know scooter companies start turning a profit on each unit after just three rides? That means they don't care if they have to replace units every couple of months to keep our cities stocked. With 85,000 units in the U.S. alone, every two months that's more raw materials used, more manufacturing emissions unleashed, and more shipping energy consumed. That hardly reads like a zero-emissions game plan.
Every night people in vans drive around collecting all the scooters to recharge them for the next day (even though the scooters typically still have a lot of juice left). It's another hidden truth about how e-scooters leave more of a footprint than meets the eye. There's got to be a better method of maintaining a charge than using a fleet of gas-guzzling cars.
People Trash Them
One thing we can all agree on is that people treat electric scooters like shit. In fact, while the vehicles are built to last up to two years (already not super durable), the average life span on the streets is actually just two months. This seems like a ridiculously low bar for sustainability.
Other Modes of Transport
Compared to e-scooters, more traditional types of vehicles are better for the environment. Sure, it's a lot harder to text and bike/skate/pogo/walk at the same time -- and requires a modicum of effort -- but as far as "green" transport goes, electric scooters are not an improvement on existing technology.
Remember way back in the day when you learned how to ride a bike? Well, there are no lessons on how to ride a scooter. Sure, the learning curve is slight, but even still, there have been an increase in accidents this year.
Let's face it, e-scooters are an eyesore. Shiny at first, they decay within a matter of days and are left scattered about the place like metallic banana peels. Seeing a pair of toppled-over scooters laying in waste like the tangled carcasses of some weird post-apocalyptic robot-lovers has become a daily thing. And we're kind of over it.