January 23, 2018
The electric revolution is coming, and you can be sure that it is here to stay. Not just with cars or motorcycles, but with foldable electric kick scooters especially. Its small compact form makes it the perfect last mile solution between the train station and your home/office. You can fold it, bring it onto public transport, and use it pretty much anywhere there is a sidewalk.
Instead of using a car, which takes up a lot of space on the road, it is a great alternative option for transport in countries where traffic congestion is the norm. Forbes also wrote a great article about how e-scooters will revolutionize public transport.
For many people, buying an e-scooter has been one of the best decisions they have made, and here is why:
Many of us don’t live right next to the train station or bus stop, mostly due to cost reasons. Houses and apartments near train stations come at a premium due to the convenience. Hence, we have to resort to walking the 10-15mins it takes to get to the station. But with an electric scooter, however, you would pretty much fly there in a mere 2 mins. Over months, using an escooter over a short distance can save you a lot of time. It also saves you from walking under the sweltering hot sun, and getting to the office all sweaty and stinky.
If you use an electric scooter to get directly to your destination, it can also help you save time even though its speed is significantly slower than that of a car. During peak hours, traffic congestion is at its worst. A short 2-3km trip can turn into 15 or 20 mins. But ride an e-scooter and you can avoid all of that waiting and frustration.
This may seem counter-intuitive as e-scooters are usually a bit expensive. Decent e-scooters will set you back by about $1000, and at that price, it takes some consideration before one will put money down for it. For example, depending on your location, popular models such as the Inokim Light and E-TWOW will cost between S$1000 to S$2000.
Denise Ono of NBC News suggests that electric kick scooters can save you up to $700 per year. And she isn’t wrong. Taking public transport everyday would cost, at a conservative estimate, $5 per day. By using an escooter instead, you would have paid it off in less than 7 months.
Many people also second her opinion and realized for themselves that an e-scooter is an economical way to get around. If you drive a car, an e-scooter would save you gas expenditures ($200 per month), insurance ($100 per month), and parking ($200 per month). That is already $500 per month, and you haven’t even included the price of the car itself.
Of course, using an electric scooter as a replacement for a car only works if you travel short distances i.e. less than 15km per trip. So if your work place or school isn’t too far from your home, it is a transport option seriously worth considering.
According to a study by The Belgian Consultancy Transport and Mobility Leuven, a 25 percent shift from cars to personal transport vehicles such as scooters and motorcycles can eliminate traffic congestion entirely.
Though cars can transport up to 5 people at a time, the unfortunate norm is that only 1 or 2 people ride in a car at any one time. Due to their big size, they take up a lot of space on the road, and it is because of this that traffic congestion in big cities everywhere is increasing.
If these people switch to personal transport – smaller vehicles which only carry 1-2 people – traffic congestion can be eliminated completely, if not at least reduced significantly.
The photo above shows a situation familiar to everyone living in Bangkok, which has one of the worst cases of traffic congestion in the world. Due to the relatively cheap price of cars in Thailand, Bangkok has become the 12th most congested city in the world. In 2016, Bangkok drivers spend an average of 64.1 hours stuck in traffic – a lot of precious time that could have been better spent with family, friends and loved ones.
As the photo above shows, car lines stretch for as far as the eye can see. But pedestrian sidewalks are relatively empty (of course this isn’t the case everywhere in Bangkok). A 1 km commute by car from Asoke BTS Station to Phrom Phong BTS station could take up to 30 mins when traffic is at its worst. Commuting on an e-scooter, however, would only take you 3 mins or so. Instances like this in Thailand make e-scooters a great travel option to avoid traffic jams and congestion.
As the world becomes increasingly aware of climate change, many countries are striving to keep their cities green and eco-friendly. Even China, which was infamous for pollution, has started on a green drive to lower greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
On a per person basis, electric scooters are much more energy efficient and eco-friendly than cars or motorcycles due to their light weight. The amount of energy required to power it is miniscule compared to traditional forms of transportation. This is even more so in countries that rely on renewable energy for production of electricity.
Unlike motorcycles and bicycles where there is learning curve, riding an e-scooter can be easily picked up by virtually anyone, from young children to senior citizens. Age is no barrier to riding an electric scooter.
Even for people who haven’t never rode an electric kick scooter before, all of them can ride if on their first go. To become proficient in riding it safely wouldn’t take more than a few days of practice.
For safety’s sake, however, children should only ride smaller and less powerful escooters such as the Inokim Mini, which goes up to a maximum of 20km/h.
Another added benefit of riding e-scooters is that no licenses or tests are required. With an escooter, it is just: buy and go.
Almost all children haver manual kick scooters nowadays, and they love it because it is great fun. Electric kick scooters, due to the electric power, are even more fun.
The speed of most e-scooters can go up to 30km/h, although in some countries such as Singapore, it is capped to 25km/h. At those speeds, you will feel like a child again riding on an electric powered kick scooter.
Not to mention, the wind from riding means you would not perspire at all, even under the hot sun, making the escooter a fun and comfortable travel option.
So there you have it, the top 6 reasons to use an e-scooter instead of traditional vehicles. This list, however, is not exhaustive. There are many other reasons such as portability, safety, and the ability to park it and bring it anywhere.
For short distances, the electric kick scooter is really the ideal travel option. The trends are changing in Europe and all around the world. And the hope is that, as everyone most towards greener and more efficient modes of transportation, the world will become a better and safer place to live in.
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