For all media narratives focusing on the unappetizing aspects of joint scooter and bicycle networks landing in cities in recent years – the clutter, the security dangers, the lost parking spaces – these services of "micro-mobility" have the potential to to solve some of the biggest problems faced by urban and suburban communities. You can increase access to public transport, reduce our environmental footprint and save money. Micromobility can be just as transformative as solar or electric vehicles, with effects that will be felt much sooner.
Cities need to raise legitimate concerns about safety and the question of how much two-wheeler traffic can best be accommodated on their roads and sidewalks The solution lies in a more elaborate and equitable allocation of road space. Land and lanes should be taken away from cars and used for scooters and bicycles. Public transport systems should be redesigned to better integrate and use emerging micro-mobility networks.
The mission is high. For cities, there may not be a faster and cheaper way to reduce CO2 emissions, revive mass transit, and address America's wasteful and cooperative relationship with automobiles.
Are you looking for proof? This series of infographics by Levence Tillemann and designer Lassor Feasley by Valence Strategic are the main reasons policymakers should promote the spread of micro-mobility. There is no time to waste due to the enormous environmental and land-use challenges that arise in an increasingly urban world community.
The most inefficient driving is the car itself. The average American weighs about 1
75 pounds. According to a 2016 US Department of Energy study, an average American car weighs just under 4100 pounds – 23 times more than the person wearing it. Most of the car's energy is thus used for the movement of the vehicle itself. Our reference e-scooter weighs only 28 pounds and runs with an efficient electric motor. This brings a huge advantage in terms of energy consumption.
A kilowatt-hour of energy transports a gasoline vehicle a little less than a mile. A much more efficient Tesla Model 3 can travel about four miles with the same amount of energy. An electric scooter can cover more than 80 miles – or 333 laps around a soccer field.
In fact, e-scooters are so efficient that a human burns about nine times as much energy and about four times as much energy when cycling the same distance.
In their early years, electric vehicles and renewable energy had to contend with cheaper established fossil-fueled technologies. In contrast, e-scooters are generally cheaper to use than alternatives such as public transport, taxis and personal cars.
Among other things, this is because the cost of refueling an e-scooter is just over 1 percent. The cost of refueling even a car that delivers a whopping 28 miles per gallon. Over weeks, months and years of commuting, these savings add up. The same applies to eco-friendly e-scooters: economy.
The Cost of Production
Electric scooters are not only energy efficient, they are also economical. For the price of a long-range Tesla model 3 (about $ 53,000) you can purchase more than 100 high-quality electric scooters. And while there are certainly conditions where a scooter is not the best choice (rain, snow, long distance, children or a pet), about 60 percent of US travel is less than 8 kilometers and most drivers ride alone.
For much of America's travel, micro-mobility has the potential to provide transportation at significantly lower economic and environmental costs.