In a world where human convenience and comfort is the sole purpose for further advancements, there’s little surprise to why e-Scooters are a thing. And this makes them popular among users. They are extremely convenient and easy to use.
They are faster than walking or bicycling for the average person. It’s cheap if you rent them making them a good value deal. And it’s fun to ride it even though it’s slow. There’s something mesmerizing about the simplicity. The convenience, fun-factor, ease of use are why e-Scooters are a popular trend now.
For all the advantages they have, they have a direct disadvantage and more disadvantages linked to them. While e-Scooters are fun and convenient to ride, they do come with their disadvantages. And personally, for me, these outweigh the fun factor and the convenience of using them.
Over this article we’re going to take a look at how safe electric scooters are and their environmental impact. But as a concerned citizen, I will try to explain why a ban is necessary at least for now.
Why e-Scooters Should be Banned
Electric scooters should be banned for numerous reasons starting with them being unsafe to use on he roads to them being unreliable and stopping on long distance rides. Though they have managed to bring about a form of micro-mobility, there are some drawbacks with owning or even renting an electric scooter.
With the world changing at a steady pace, our lives are going to be entangled with the likes of electric vehicles and self-riding bikes. This does not mean that we’re ready just yet, there are things which have to be considered before these micro modes of transportation can finally take over the world.
Let’s look at the possible reasons as to why electric scooters should be banned.
Disadvantages of an Electric Scooter To the Environment
This is probably the most concerning of all the disadvantages since the effects of this will be felt longer than the others. E-Scooters run on electricity, which may sound fantastic because of zero-emission. It’s not the case always, because the source of electricity plays a vital part in the emission or carbon footprint of the scooter itself.
- E-Scooters use batteries and these are massive. Depending on the type of batteries used they make the cause more or less hazardous to the environment. The production of batteries is extremely intricate and this makes e-scooters a bad environmental product because greenhouse gasses are emitted while manufacturing batteries for electric scooters. No matter the type of battery, there is always going to be waste and pollution due to them.
- The cost of operating an e-Scooter is high making them less valuable than traditional bikes. Whether you buy or rent an e-scooter, the cheaper alternative will be buying or renting a traditional bike. Maintenance cost of e-Scooters is high.
- Selling an e-Scooter after you buy one can be a headache because they tend to age worse than normal bikes. This shouldn’t be a reason to ban them per-se. But the high buyer’s remorse and the poor aging factor means they are going to be obsolete and useless. Making them a waste of materials in the near future.
Until all these concerns are validated, it is better to ban them. They can be introduced later when the time is right and we are all ready for them.
Due to Safety concerns
The other main harm the cause is the lack of laws allowing anyone to drive them. Personal experience, I have seen kids driving it, they rash drive and cause a lot of havoc. I have seen them crash too.
- It’s a menace and since these are relatively cheap for people with money, this makes them ride without any consequences. Anyone can use them; a license is not required and there are no laws around them. They are considered like riding bicycles which only makes the situation worse.
- This coupled with the fact that the bikes themselves are not completely reliable makes it hard to recommend them. There is too much at risk. I have personally had a brake failure while riding, and this was using a rental bike. The most concerning issue is the safety and quality assessment is not up to the mark, I have had issues on multiple rides.
- Build quality, e-Scooters are not built tough, because they have to as light as possible so that the electricity required to run is less. Therefore, manufacturers take a gamble on the quality and use of lighter materials. I have known people, whose body-works have cracked due to minor accidents. This is also a safety concern as it can break while riding, putting the rider in harm.
- Stricter laws governing e-Scooters is a must and without them, the idea is a mess. Since no laws govern e-Scooters, people are constantly seen riding without helmets or protective gear. In the case of an accident, they are vulnerable to greater damage than usual.
- Motors are more susceptible to damage compared to bikes that use petrol and this only makes it a regular waste disposing machine. Remember not everything is recyclable and recycling requires energy increasing carbon footprint.
- The slower speeds of e-Scooters can make other powerful vehicles a headache to drive in because of scooters taking up space in front of them. This coupled by the fact there are no dedicated e-Scooter lanes.
- Allowing them to take up any space on the road frustrating the drivers of other vehicles. This increases the risk of an accident. E-Scooters are not so powerful and hence they can’t carry a pillion rider.
So, an e-scooter consumes the space of normal bike but can only carry a single person. Potentially increasing traffic. They don’t even have space for storage which is a major inconvenience.
Convenience and ease of use of e-Scooters can induce laziness in people. People can flock towards these convenient machines, ignoring more physically intensive traversals like walking and cycling. This makes them harmful to the health of the user in the long run. And increases the risk of other health-related issues in the public.
Disproportionately Affecting Those with Disabilities
The EV industry has grown at a phenomenal rate and while you are able to purchase a decent electric scooter online, there are a couple of rental companies that have added electric scooters to their inventory. These companies normally charge you for your ride based on the duration and distance covered.
You are able to pick up the scooter from a particular location and drop it off at another when you’re done. While some cities have docking stations for these electric scooters, many users tend to leave them on the side of the road or strewn on the footpath.
Those who use wheelchairs and require the sidewalk to commute are left helpless and in need of space to travel. It seems that until people start putting the needs of others before their own, it’s best to maintain a ban on these electric vehicles.
From Personal Experience
I have never owned an e-Scooter but I have used them a few times. I have to give it to them, they are fun to ride, convenient when it comes to booking, there’s a certain sense of simplicity to the whole process. But is not always a great option. Given the advantages, they still frustrate me, because it’s like a half-built experience. They have a lot of potentials but frankly, they aren’t ready, in fact, they are a far cry from being ready.
I have had the bike run out of charge from 90+% to less than 40% before even reaching ¼ of the initially mentioned distance. And this is a frequent problem. Sometimes they can stop in the middle of the road which may lead to severe accidents.
The idea, though great from e-Scooter lending companies, they are not executed well. The breakdowns, the low charges, the walking distance to a bike, the cost, and sometimes it’s really frustrating. They are slow and have a lot of complaints, like brake failure, minimal safety, bad headlights and more.
While there are advantages, but I hate to say it, we’re not ready for them. Maybe the future will paint a brighter, better picture for them.
Should Electric Scooters be Banned or Regulated?
The main point to note is that a complete ban on electric scooters will not do any good. Rather, governments should regulate the use and maintenance of electric scooters by laying down some ground-rules. Regulating the use of electric scooters will have a better and positive impact on the environment than a complete ban.
Since they leave behind a rather smaller carbon foot-print than other traditional means of transportation, electric scooters should be permitted on public roads with certain limitations such as a capped speed limit, no riding on the footpath and no leaving the electric scooter lying around haphazardly.
While there’s a lot of time before these regulations are implemented, we have got to start acting today if we want to make a difference tomorrow and later on.
While e-scooters are fun, convenient and easy to use. They are also getting wildly accessible as days pass by, and we are not ready for them. There’s too much uncertainty about consistent performance. Safety issues, sub-par production quality, high maintenance, high carbon footprint and so on.
Unless most of these issues that I have spoken about are not addressed, they should be banned till then. There is a great future for them but now is not the time. Better manufacturing, better safety guidelines, instituting basic laws, and addressing the environmental harm caused by them are a must before they should be even considered for use.
Most of the other issues are quality of life improvements which are a welcome change. But when safety is a screaming concern, they should not be something that people should use. A ban is necessary though not what everyone would want, it is necessary for the time being.