Electric scooters are a new and fun way to move around. Several companies want to get into the market of renting them out in larger cities around the world.
Convenience is one of the selling points compared to walking and public transport. You pick one up, activate it with a smartphone app, and go. Another selling point is care for the environment. Electricity can be a good environmental choice.
A factor many haven't thought of is the lifespan of electric scooters. Reports suggest scooters for rent live between one and three months on average. The distance traveled during that time, according to an article in Quartz, was 262 kilometers over 92 rides. With current prices of an electric scooter, it doesn’t look like a very sustainable business.
Depending on what happens to the scooters in the afterlife, they may not be very good for the environment either. Are they refurbished and put back into the streets? Are the materials harvested and used for other things? What impact does the manufacturing of electric scooters have on the environment?
Initially, I thought the rental scooters were a fun new, “green” way to get around in cities. After reading about their short lifespans I'm not so sure anymore. I am pretty sure that, if I owned an electric scooter, I would take care of it well enough to last much longer than rental ones. Perhaps it would be a better business renting scooters to people for longer periods. Pay per month and have all maintenance taken care of for free by the rental company? If I rented something for a longer period, I would take better care of it than if it was a one ride thing and no one could pin any damage to me.
Do you have an opinion of electric rental scooters? What do you think?