How did e-scooters go from a risky technological innovation to a green travel solution for coronavirus recovery?
Electric scooters — stand-up electric scooters — are becoming more popular as lockdowns lift and people avoid public transport.
The easing of lockdowns has highlighted the importance of personal, zero-emission, socially distanced modes of transport as governments work to prevent a surge in car use and pollution. But the story of the electric scooter is both a popular tech product and a controversial form of transportation. While they offer a seemingly fun and eco-friendly option for excursions, a number of questions about their safety and sustainability have arisen over the past two years.
Electric scooters have been available for private purchase for over a decade, but many are still very expensive. It took the option of affordable, accessible shared dockless models -- which can be rented by the minute using a smartphone app -- and began to expand rapidly in international cities as their popularity soared. Electric scooter-sharing programs are now available in more than 100 cities in at least 20 countries, and research shows that by 2024, there will be 4.6 million shared electric scooters in use worldwide.