If you’re a particular age, then you might have memories of riding a scooter. Those flimsy, two-wheeled scooters that gave you freedom on the sidewalk in front of your house before your acquisition of a bike opened up the whole neighborhood.
Until recently, that image of a scooter as a nothing more than a child’s toy was the one most people carried. Now, several companies, such as Bird, LimeBike, and Spin, are out to change that perception. They are banking big on the idea that the small, compact electric riding scooters is a viable personal transportation device. But is it? Let’s take a look at where e-scooters are at today, from their fundamental appeal to how they work to their practicality beyond ordinary weekend fun.
The Rise of the Electric Scooter
Although manual and electric kick- or push-start scooters have both been around for some time, the popularity of the latter has risen steadily over the past two decades.
Perhaps the central development in the design and marketing of today’s dual motor electric scooter is children are no longer the primary audience.
Make no mistake, the targets are still young. They just happen to have a different set of priorities.
College students on campus.
Young professionals who live and work in urban environments.
People looking for alternative means of transportation in those same cities.
Each of these groups offer a market segment that tends to eschew the norms and traditions of the past. Zipping around town on a low-speed, zero-emission scooter certainly caters to those demanding alternatives.
With a unifying factor that everyone over a certain age will probably look a little goofy riding one, it’s easy to see the appeal. It also doesn’t hurt that foldable electric scooters come across as simple and easily accessible devices that are even easier to operate.
How Do Electric Scooters Work?
E-scooters, much like their non-powered siblings are about as straightforward as it gets when it comes to personal transportation devices.
In their simplest form scooters are composed of a narrow platform or deck, t-stem handlebars with a throttle and hand brakes, two wheels (although some models come with three or four), and front and rear suspension. Most scooters are fold-able, and some models also include a seat.
When it comes to variation, harley electric scooters are what they are. Alter the design too much, and they become an entirely different form of transportation. However, they do possess a few key areas where a slight difference makes a significant impact on performance.
As with most personal e-vehicles, such as hoverboards, self-balancing unicycles, and Segways, the individual riding the device most often determines just how safe it is. However, staying upright on a scooter is less fraught with danger versus those other options.
The primary safety issue with scooters is when you place them among large groups of pedestrians and cars, which is happening now in a number of major cities across the U.S.
This intermingling of people on foot and those scooting by at a top speed of 15 mph has created an uptick in accidents between the two, though reliable data does not yet exist on the exact numbers.
Beyond possible run-ins with non-riders, another primary safety concern revolves around the attire of the actual riders. Though every off road electric scooter manufacturer and ride-sharing company recommend the use of a helmet, and many cities dictate the wearing of headgear, very few e-scooter riders do so.