E-scooters Are Becoming So Popular That Changes Should Be Made
With the growing popularity of E-scooters, new problems come to the surface. Therefore, both companies as well as (local) governments should come up with solutions and new strategies to create a profitable yet safe environment for E-scooters and their riders.
No Proper Legislation Yet
E-scooters seem to be the answer to urban mobility problems. It’s easy to use, cheap, and fast. That may explain why its popularity has grown so much that E-scooter companies have attracted over $1.5 Billion, and it’s expected to grow even bigger with an estimated $40 to $50 Billion. However, due to the fact that the e-scooter is in some cases an unqualified vehicle, rules and regulations don’t always exist.
Moreover, the case of an E-scooter causing an accident, who is to blame? It’s not yet mandatory in every country to have a liability insurance when riding an E-scooter. And those injuries are increasing. In Paris it is estimated that there are around 200 injuries per day with E-scooters involved. They are easily mistaken for pedestrians, but move way quicker.
Also, it’s not always clear where to ride an E-scooter, is it on cycling lanes, pedestrian lanes, or on the open road? This needs to be sorted out, but before that’s possible the E-scooter needs to be properly classified.
Lastly, with the E-scooter sharing trend, people tend to discard or dump their hired E-scooters wherever they want. This is the same tendency as with the bike sharing issue. To avoid this from becoming the same disaster as the shared bikes, municipalities should come up with fixed spots for parking the E-scooters.
The E-scooter has become immensely popular in a relatively short period of time, but since it has become clear that it’s there to stay, (local) governments should adequately respond to that by solving the issues at hand with good governing by making rules and regulations that will fit in the E-scooter in the currently existing mobility regulations.
Companies Are Fighting For a Neighborhood
At the other end of the spectrum you find E-scooter providers. In spite of their huge funding successes, they are still struggling with gaining market share. There are sometimes several providers in one city, making it hard to beat the competition.
So, what a company should do is increasing and maintaining their customer base by creating loyalty programs, such as discounts on rides. Another thing that could work is making sure there are more E-scooters available in a particular area than the competition has. This makes that scooter more visible and available. The third option has to do with marketing. When actively marketing the E-scooter, both on- and offline, this E-scooters gains visibility.
Another critical point is the E-scooter’s life, which is now estimated on three months and sometimes even shorter (three weeks). This is due to both vandalism and theft. It’s not hard to imagine the huge costs that come along with it. It’s known that people don’t treat shared E-scooters as well as if it were their own, which is why the E-scooters are suffering. Make the scooters more robust, and also theft-proof in order to prevent vandalism or theft.
E-scooters are tomorrow’s mobility solution
Despite the issues mentioned above, E-scooters are indeed very promising. They are light, easy to handle and relatively cheap. The fact that these issues are now urgent only means that the scooter is gaining ground. But as with every new thing: people need to get used to it. It’s a matter of time before we can see more E-scooters on the roads in cities.