"I do try to reduce my carbon footprint a little bit by travelling around London on my electric bike. A lot of people raise their eyebrows but I love riding it."

Ben Fogle, Writer

Pros and Cons of Electric Scooters

the advantages and downsides of electric scooters

Electric scooters have become quite popular over the past decades.

 

They are quite easy to use and can therefore be a suitable alternative to conventional means of transport, especially in big cities and for short distances.

 

Although E-Scooters have plenty of advantages, they also imply serious issues. In this article, the pros and cons of electric scooters are examined.

Audio Lesson

Advantages of Electric Scooters

  1. E-Scooters can be quite convenient
  2. Don’t need a driver’s license
  3. Easy to use
  4. Greenhouse gas emission savings
  5. Electric scooters are relatively eco-friendly
  6. No air pollution
  7. Low operating costs
  8. Can save you energy
  9. Riding electric scooters can be fun
  10. Easy to find a parking space
  11. Relatively easy to fix
  12. Perfect for short distances
  13. Skipping traffic jams
  14. Less noise pollution
  15. Public transport system may also benefit
  16. Low maintenance costs compared to cars
  17. E-Scooter sharing in big cities possible

E-Scooters can be quite convenient

One advantage of electric scooters is that they are a quite convenient tool to get around. You can start your journey within seconds and after you got to your destination, you can simply park it at a nearby parking space. Thus, especially if you no other options to get around since you are too young to drive, E-Scooters may be a perfect alternative for you.

 

Don’t need a driver’s license

Since you do not need a driver’s license for electric scooters in many countries of our planet, they are suitable for most people. Compared to the use of cars, there are no high costs for getting a driver’s license and therefore, E-Scooters may also be affordable to use for the poor fraction of the local population.

 

Easy to use

Driving a motorized scooter isn’t more difficult than riding a bike. Thus, the big majority of people will be able to learn how to use electric scooters in a rather short period of time. This makes it also quite tempting for teenagers and even for older children to use those scooters as an alternative to walking or to using their bicycle.

 

Greenhouse gas emission savings

Another upside of electric scooters is that they can save plenty of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the use of cars.

 

Even though electric scooters do not emit greenhouse gases while driving, there is still a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of E-Scooters since a high fraction of the electricity that is used for electric scooters is still produced with the help of fossil fuels.

 

Thus, although greenhouse gas emissions from the use of electric scooters are not zero, they are still far lower compared to other means of transport like cars or motorbikes.

 

Electric scooters are relatively eco-friendly

The use of electric scooters can also be considered to be rather eco-friendly. Since there are only low levels of greenhouse gas emissions related to E-Scooters, they can be a good tool to slow down global warming. Moreover, also the level of particle pollution in big cities will be much lower since less cars will be on our streets due to the use of an increasing number of E-scooters.

 

No air pollution

The use of E-Scooters is also quite good for improving our air quality. Especially in big cities where there is often a big smog problem in commuting hours, electric scooters could lower this problem since less cars have to be used if more people go to work by electric scooters. This could vastly improve our overall health level since the number of diseases related to air pollution like pulmonary and cardiovascular issues could be lowered.

 

Low operating costs

Electric scooters are also quite cheap to operate compared to other vehicles. Going by electric scooter for short distances is often even cheaper than taking the public transport facilities. Thus, electric scooters can also be used by rather poor people, especially if there are scooter-sharing facilities in the respective cities and people do not have to buy these scooters but can instead rent them.

 

Can save you energy

If you are tired of burning energy through riding a bike, electric scooters could be a suitable alternative for you. Since they don’t need much physical effort, E-Scooters are a great way for people who are too lazy to go by bicycle or by other means of transport that require physical work. Electric scooters may also be a suitable alternative if you have any health issues that prevent you from exhausting physical activities.

Riding electric scooters can be fun

It can also be quite a lot of fun to ride an electric scooter. Especially if you are in a larger group with family and friends, electric scooters may be a great way to get around. Moreover, these electric scooters have also become quite popular for sightseeing purposes.

 

In many cities, E-Scooter tours are offered to tourists since it is a great way to get around in the center of big cities and can save tourists plenty of time compared to sightseeing by walk.

 

Easy to find a parking space

It is also quite easy to find a parking space with electric scooters since they are quite small in size compared to cars. Thus, especially in areas where finding a parking space is a challenge, electric scooters could save you plenty of time.

 

Relatively easy to fix

Since the mechanics and the technology behind electric scooters is no rocket science, most problems with electric scooters can be fixed quite easily. Thus, compared to cars, the costs for repairs are also rather low.

 

Perfect for short distances

Since the range of electric scooters is rather limited, they are especially useful for short distances. This could mean commuting to work for a few miles or also using these scooters to visit your family and friends nearby. For those short distances, electric scooters have many advantages over cars and are also much cheaper.

 

Skipping traffic jams

In countries and regions where you are allowed to use special scooter lanes, it might even be possible to skip traffic jams through the use of electric scooters. If this is possible heavily depends on the city you live in. In some cities, you are also allowed to use the bike lane with electric scooters. Make sure to check out your local traffic rules in order to avoid any trouble with the police before using those lanes with your E-Scooter.

 

Less noise pollution

Electric scooters are also a rather quiet transport method. This could be quite beneficial for the noise level in our cities. Especially for local residents, the use of E-Scooters instead of cars could be quite beneficial since these residents often suffer from excessive noise pollution, which could even lead to certain kinds of mental diseases. Thus, the use of electric scooters can also increase the quality of life of many people.

 

Public transport system may also benefit

In some cities, also the public transport facilities are quite crowded and have reached their limits of passengers they could carry. Thus, through an increase in the use of E-Scooters, also the public transport system could be relieved since less people would rely on public transport facilities.

 

Low maintenance costs compared to cars

Also the maintenance costs of electric scooters are quite low compared to motorbikes or cars. Since the mechanics behind electric scooters are quite simple, maintenance efforts and costs may be rather cheap. Thus, especially for people with a low income, electric scooters may be a serious alternative to using a car.

 

E-Scooter sharing in big cities possible

In many big cities, there are also companies who promote a scooter-sharing model so that people do not actually have to buy those scooters but could rather rent them. Thus, if you live in one of these cities, you might not even have to buy a scooter but could rather rent it whenever you need it. Therefore, you could save plenty of money for buying a scooter and could use this money for other things you like instead.

Disadvantages of Electric Scooters

  1. Electric scooters may increase number of accidents
  2. E-Scooters may be left behind everywhere
  3. Overcharging and other battery issues
  4. Insurance problems
  5. Only suitable for short distances
  6. High depreciation of E-Scooters
  7. May not be suitable for obese persons
  8. E-Scooters may get stolen
  9. Little to no storage space
  10. May be dangerous without sufficient scooter lanes
  11. Relatively slow compared to cars or motorcycles
  12. Technical issues with scooter sharing apps
  13. High purchase price for electric scooters
  14. People may become lazy

Electric scooters may increase number of accidents

Since there is no driver’s license required when it comes to the use of electric scooters, chances are that the number of traffic accidents will increase.

 

Many people, especially if they are young, might underestimate the speed and the dangers related to the use of E-Scooters.

 

Thus, electric scooters could contribute to a significant increase of serious traffic accidents.

 

E-Scooters may be left behind everywhere

Another big problem of electric scooters is that they are left behind everywhere. Even in parks, E-Scooters can be found on a regular basis.

 

Since there is a lack of regulation in many cities regarding the proper parking of electric scooters, there is plenty of visual pollution from those scooters, which may decrease the quality of life for many people.

 

Thus, there should be stricter regulations and fines in place so that people are more careful where they park their scooters, especially when it comes to scooter-sharing models.

 

Overcharging and other battery issues

The batteries of electric scooters have to be recharged on a regular basis. If people forget to charge their scooter battery, they might get in trouble. This might be especially true when people are driving with their electric scooter on the street and suddenly, the scooter will stop due to a lack of battery power. This may lead to serious accidents if the cars behind you are not able to react properly.

 

Another issue is that it is also possible to overcharge the batteries of electric scooters, which could damage or even destroy those batteries over time. Thus, people should take great care to reload their scooter batteries in a proper manner in order to ensure a long lifespan of their batteries.

 

Insurance problems

Since the use of E-Scooters is a rather new phenomenon, there are plenty of insurance companies who are still not sure how to treat those vehicles and whether they are covered or not through car insurance. Thus, before you ride your electric scooter, make sure that you are covered properly in order to avoid any unpleasant consequences that could result from insufficient insurance.

 

Only suitable for short distances

Since the range of electric scooters is quite limited, they are only suitable for rather short distances. This might be enough to commute to work for a few miles, but it will not be enough to drive many miles for road trips or other things that are possible through the use of cars. Thus, the limited range of electric scooters can also be regarded as a downside and may prevent many people from buying those scooters.

 

High depreciation of E-Scooters

Also from an investment perspective, buying a new E-Scooter model doesn’t make too much sense since the depreciation of electric scooters is usually quite high. Thus, electric scooters lose plenty of value in the first few years. Therefore, a good alternative could be to buy a used E-Scooter instead of a new one since you could even profit from the high depreciation rate by doing so.

 

May not be suitable for obese persons

Electric scooters often also have a weight limit. This implies that if people are obese and are too heavy, electric scooters may break down. Therefore, these scooters are not suitable for people with heavy overweight. If you suffer from obesity, there might be other means of transport that are more suitable for you.

E-Scooters may get stolen

Since E-Scooters can be quite expensive, they are also a popular target when it comes to stealing. Thus, if you get a new electric scooter, make sure that you protect it properly in order to avoid that it gets stolen. For instance, you could store it in your garage instead of just parking it outside.

 

Little to no storage space

E-Scooters also have quite limited storage spaces. This implies that they are not suitable to go shopping or to carry large items at all. For those purposes, a car will be much more helpful. Thus, if you rely on large storage spaces for your vehicle, you should definitely refrain from getting an electric scooter.

 

May be dangerous without sufficient scooter lanes

Since electric scooters often use the same lanes like cars, this might be quite dangerous for scooter drivers since they are rather unprotected and in case of an accident with a car, scooter drivers are at great danger of being heavily injured. Thus, especially in cities with insufficient scooter lanes, using an electric scooter might also be quite dangerous for your health.

 

Relatively slow compared to cars or motorcycles

Especially if you are in a hurry, electric scooters might not be the right way to go. Since they are capped at a certain speed limit, taking a car instead of electric scooters may be better in terms of reaching your destination in a minimum period of time.

 

Technical issues with scooter sharing apps

There might also be some technical issues related to the use of electric scooter sharing systems. Most of those sharing companies provide their users with an app. However, if this app is not working properly due to technical issues, there might also be problems to return those scooters in a proper manner, which may result in further issues.

 

High purchase price for electric scooters

Electric scooters are also not cheap at all. Especially if you want to buy a new one, you could easily spend a few thousand bucks on E-Scooters.

 

Even though there are also models for a few hundred dollars, those models are usually quite limited in their features and might also suffer from the need of repairs quite frequently.

 

Thus, if you decide to buy an electric scooter, make sure to compare scooter models in order to make a profound buying decision.

 

People may become lazy

Even though the use of electric scooters is quite convenient, it can also cause people to become lazy since they do not have to take any physical effort to get around anymore. This can contribute to obesity and to other related health issues, which might seriously reduce the life expectancy of and the quality of life for many people in the long run.

Top 10 Electric Scooters Pros & Cons - Summary List

Electric Scooters Pros

Convenience

You don't need a driver's license

Savings on greenhouse gas emissions

Cheap operating costs

Better air quality

Less noise pollution

Low maintenance efforts necessary

Finding a parking space is easy

Energy-saving form of getting around

E-Scooters are easy to use

Electric Scooters Cons

Increasing number of accidents

Battery issues

Visual pollution

High depreciation rate

No storage space

High purchase costs

May contribute to increasing laziness

Insurance issues

Electric scooters might get stolen

Limited range


Conclusion

Electric scooters are a great alternative to get around, especially in big cities and for short distances.

 

However, there are also some problems related to the use of electric scooters.

 

If you consider buying an E-Scooter, make sure to take all the pros and cons into account so you can decide by yourself whether an E-Scooter would be suitable for your needs or not.

Sources

About the author

 

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

 

As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

 

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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