The 7 Myths About e-Scooters
E-scooters are currently being discussed more heatedly as hardly any other topic. Unfortunately, we see that a great deal of the public discourse is focusing on certain 'facts' that either represent only a small portion of the truth or are even wrong.
We are at the beginning of a turn in the mobility sector in which TIER, in particular, has set itself the goal of sustainably changing urban mobility for good. As part of this mission, we must counter myths surrounding the micro-mobility industry with sober arguments in order to successfully deal with the many misconceptions about e-scooters.
1st MYTH: E-SCOOTERS LAST ONLY 28 DAYS
FACT: The claim that a general and definitive product lifetime applies to e-scooters is false. All depends on the quality of the product as well as on the maintenance and repair processes of the respective provider. First-generation scooters in the US were not designed for rental, were often insufficiently maintained and therefore did not last very long. From the very beginning, TIER has tackled this issue and can successfully claim that since the second (current) generation of its scooters, all individual parts are replaceable.
TIER has such highly professionalised and frequent maintenance and repair cycles, that scooters hardly ever have to be taken out of service due to technical defects. It is for this reason that we currently calculate a life span of at least 24 months for current TIER scooters, and future generations to last for several years.
2nd MYTH: E-SCOOTERS ARE BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
FACT: Most scooters are still collected with internal combustion engine vans, which have a negative influence on the overall environmental performance evaluation. But it is over-hasty to construct a negative eco-balance for all e-scooters from this.
At TIER, we are in the act of redesigning all processes in a way that allows us to become carbon neutral within the next 12 months. This includes our new (third) generation of electric scooters with swappable batteries, which we mainly will swap with the help of e-cargo bikes, further optimisation of the lifespan and soon charging with 100% green electricity. The new e-scooter generation from TIER is already in use in Paris and will be rolled out in Europe in the next few months.
3rd MYTH: WORKING CONDITIONS AT E-SCOOTER COMPANIES ARE UNFAIR AND ARE BASED ON THE GIG-ECONOMY
FACT: Unfortunately, there is no industry standard regarding working conditions yet. While US providers work mostly with self-employed people for recharging the batteries, business models and working conditions at e-scooter companies can differ considerably. To charge or collect the scooters, TIER works exclusively with salaried employees, either on a part-time or full-time basis as well as with local logistics companies.
4th MYTH: E-SCOOTERS DO NOT REPLACE CAR TRIPS
FACT: According to a survey of French scooter drivers, less than 10% of scooter rides have replaced a car ride. In a larger study conducted in San Francisco, 41% of the respondents said that they would have driven in a car (ride-hailing or own car) instead of using a scooter. A singular survey from France is, therefore, insufficient proof that e-scooters do not replace car rides in general.
We are only at the beginning of a mobility turn, i.e. regardless of the very different study results, it can be assumed that user behaviour will develop with increasing market maturity. Then it can be determined more precisely.
5th MYTH: E-SCOOTERS HAVE A HIGH ACCIDENT RISK
FACT: From the current accident figures, no increased risk can be derived for scooters compared to other means of transport. At the moment there is a lack of empirical foundations to make serious statements about the accident risk. The vast majority of seriously injured on bicycles or scooters, however, result from accidents with cars. In many countries, fatal accidents involving cyclists are on the rise. But nobody would, therefore, question cycling. There is an obvious need for improving the urban infrastructure so that cyclists and all other personal light (electric) vehicles are better protected from cars. In addition, it is proven that the more popular a means of transport becomes and the more accustomed it becomes, the fewer accidents it causes per kilometre driven.
6th MYTH: THE CITYSCAPE IS DOMINATED BY E-SCOOTERS THAT BLOCK SIDEWALKS
FACT: The lack of public parking space is not an e- scooter problem. Public sidewalks are traditionally used as parking areas for two-wheelers and the number of parked two-wheeled vehicles continues to increase. A typical ratio between cars and e-scooters in cities is 100:1.
95% of all cars stand around unused, with each car occupying ten times the space of an e-scooter. With this in mind, public space in cities must be rethought and redesigned.
7th MYTH: E -SCOOTERS ARE A TOY FOR TOURISTS
FACT: The majority of TIER’s e-scooters are used by residents of the respective city or country. However, e-scooters are also popular with tourists, but also in cities with very little tourism. At TIER, around 90% of scooter users are registered with domestic means of payment, a proper indicator for the intensity of use by local customers.
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Did you know that TIER Mobility has adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals as its sustainability framework? To read more on our sustainability efforts, check out our additional articles.
For further questions or inquiries please reach to Bodo v. Braunmühl, Director of Communications via email@example.com