Everything you need to know about e-scooters

Electric scooters also known as e-scooters, are quickly becoming the go-to method of transport, particularly amongst younger people in urban and large cities around the world. The uptake in this surge is partially due to Gen Z and Millennials taking a stand against climate change. Amongst all the benefits e-scooters provide, the main reason people choose to travel with an electric vehicle, such as an e-scooter, are because this is a much better mode of transport compared to the diesel-polluting ICE cars, buses, and trains. Whilst the concept of e-scooters is still new, countries, governments and the community are finding ways in which e-scooter could help change our cities into becoming net-zero. Whilst the jury is still out in regards to safety and legalities, it's fair to say, traveling with low noise and a non-polluting vehicle is far better than our current options.

We believe that e-scooters are the way forward in cutting inner-city pollution levels by reducing transport greenhouse gas emissions and that is why we've collected together a huge list of resources you'll need to get started as a private e-scooter rider, or if you plan to use a shared e-scooter rental program in your city. Whilst e-scooters are generally the same from country to country, bear in mind that e-scooter laws differ depending on where you live.

What is a personal light electric vehicle (PLEV)?

A personal light electric vehicle is an electric vehicle like an e-scooter or an e-bike that is used on land and is a vehicle with wheels, that is powered by an electric motor. A personal light electric vehicle is a form of lightweight personal transport and may be propelled by human power and have two-wheel or three-wheels. They are normally small-sized and can also include the use off-road. PLEVs will significantly reduce environmental impacts on our roads, especially noise pollution and air pollution from road vehicles because they're cheaper, faster, greener, quieter, and safer to operate than other modes of transport.

How do e-scooters work?

E-scooters are a great low-maintenance product, and because of this are cheap to run as the parts inside aren't that complex. So how does an e-scooter work? Well, every e-scooter has at least; a battery pack, throttle, brakes, wheels, handlebars, frame, deck, and a motor. With a fully charged battery pack, the rider can increase the throttle lever which sends power from the battery to the scooter's motor, which in turn drives the wheel (normally the rear wheel). Brakes then can be used to slow down, with the throttle being used again to regain speed. Similar concept to riding a bike, but instead the batteries and motor are in replace of your leg's power.

Why are e-scooters an eco-friendly way to travel?

As e-scooters don't produce any harmful pollutants as ICE vehicles do, they're a go-to travel method for many people. Many inner-city scooter rental companies like Voi and Lime, charge their batteries using 100% renewable energy. That means, the travel you're making in your local city when using an e-scooter, hasn't produced any extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Verse walking, electric scooters are the next best thing when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. Using a low-carbon transport method such as an e-scooter, is just one of the many things you can do to help lower your carbon footprint and reduce the amounts of pollution that occur in your local area. Imagine a world where there are no polluting cars, vans, or buses and a place where we can put homes, offices, playgrounds, and schools near roads without the worry of breathing in harmful emissions.

How fast do electric scooters go?

E-scooter speed ranges from model to modal, but the average speed of an e-scooter is around 26 mph (42 kph). On UK roads, within the trial cities, all e-scooters are limited to a maximum speed limit of 15.5 mph (25 kph). The fastest e-scooter that you can buy today, is the Rion 2 RE90 Race Scooter, which can reach up to 100mph (160 kph) and costs around £5,300 ($7,100).

Are e-scooters safe?

Like any mode of transport, there are risks. There are risks in driving, cycling, and walking, but there are things we can all do to protect ourselves and other members of the public.

Some important tips to remember are; don't drink and ride. Riding an e-scooter whilst intoxicated is unsafe and in most European countries considered a criminal act. Tandem riding is also deemed to be unsafe. An e-scooter is generally only suited for one person, having two people riding one single scooter means that the balance is affected including the functionality of the brakes.

Slowing down whilst riding through pedestrian areas, being aware of your surroundings, and looking out for potential upcoming hazards are all important things to remember. Wearing a helmet is always a good idea when using an e-scooter. Like driving, you shouldn't text or answer calls whilst riding. If you need your phone for navigation, it's recommended to purchase a scooter with a mobile phone holder. If our streets remain safe whilst the e-scooter revolution evolves, then micro-mobility will soon increase its adoption around the world.

E-scooters in the UK

E-scooters around the world have been subject to laws and regulations, and treated differently from country to country. Some outright make it illegal, whilst others are trying to embrace it. Currently, the UK government is running e-scooter trials around the country, which started in 2020. As part of this trial, a selected number of different cities throughout the UK have been given permission for people to rent (from a pre-approved company) the use of an e-scooter on public roads.

E-scooter Law and Insurance

There is no doubt that e-scooter law is the hottest topic right now. With UK government trials, to North America state by state restrictions, it's hard to determine if you're allowed to ride your private scooter on public roads, in bike lanes, or if you're only to use a pre-determined city rental scooter. Owning a private e-scooter becomes a little more complex compared to owning a bike. For many countries, an e-scooter is considered a "powered transporter", which is essentially the catch-all term for a device that is powered (propelled) by a motor. This doesn't include e-bikes which in many countries, just like the UK, are classed as EAPCs or electrically-assisted pedal cycles. Because of this, what insurance is required to ride an e-scooter and stay within the law, and would you need to seek financial options to pay for a new e-scooter?

Best Electric Scooters To Buy

The boom in e-scooter popularity has fueled the market with evolving iterations of e-scooters, e-scooter tech, and e-scooter accessories. Out of the many different types of e-scooters now available, what are the best e-scooter that you can buy today? We've put together a list of our best recommendations, from three different price points, all currently legal to purchase.

E-scooter Finance

Like all expensive things, sometimes it's financial sense to buy big-ticket items under finance. Whilst finance for e-scooters in the UK is a relatively new topic, industry leaders are coming through to provide such a service. Currently, Klarna (a financial services company) is offering the best rates against e-scooter purchases from major e-scooter retailers.

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