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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article25 September 20213 min read

Why Cities Should Encourage More Electric Scooters

In recent years, electric scooters have grown significantly in cities across the globe. Even despite being hit by the pandemic, the electric scooter industry has risen back as it has proven to be a convenient and safe way to commute. In fact, the global e-scooter market is estimated to reach over 29 billion EUR by 2026.

Because of its growing demand and popularity, many cities are also legalising electric scooters in public spaces and providing safety guidelines. Nonetheless, electric scooters in big cities have proven to be convenient and beneficial not only to commuters but also to cities. Here are just some of the economic and environmental benefits that cities can gain from legalising and implementing e-scooters:

Make commuting greener

The main advantage of promoting electric scooters is their overall environmental impact on cities. Since e-scooters don’t consume fuel, they also don’t produce harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide. By encouraging commuters to ride e-scooters and other micro-mobile transportation, cities can reduce their carbon emissions.

In fact, a study by shared e-scooter provider Lime found that Paris saved over 330 tons of carbon emissions in just a year by implementing a shared e-scooter scheme in the city. Moreover, the study stated that if Paris continues to promote e-scooters, the city could save over 10,000 carbon emissions by 2030. If more cities worldwide can encourage commuters to use e-scooters, then the world can reduce carbon emissions significantly.

Help reduce road congestion

Traffic or road congestion is one of the biggest pain points of road transportation in cities, with inconvenient or inaccessible modes of transportation leading commuters to personal cars instead.

However, with electric scooters, cities can provide another mode of transportation that is affordable, convenient, and accessible for commuters. Ideally, as more people switch to e-scooters, cities can see fewer vehicles on the road, reducing congestion effectively. Since most commuters travel short distances, electric scooters are the perfect transportation system that can offer a personal mode of transport for short ranges.

Build greener transport infrastructures

Transportation infrastructure is also another factor that cities consider when it needs to expand its roads due to road congestion. With electric scooters, cities must also consider the necessary infrastructure to maximise its benefits. However, unlike infrastructures for cars, e-scooter infrastructure takes up less space and material to build.

For example, there would be no need to build large parking slots for e-scooters, with one car parking slot being able to park several e-scooters. This means cities don’t have to sacrifice space and nature to create transport infrastructures for e-scooters and other personal electric mobility devices.

Offer an affordable transport alternative

Unlike cars and car ride-sharing platforms, personal and shared electric scooters offer a more affordable way to move around the city. Depending on how far you need to go, shared e-scooters can sometimes be more affordable than public transportation. 

Provide easy access and efficient mobility within the city

Since electric scooters are more affordable, they also offer better access to jobs, schools, and other opportunities within cities. People from the outskirts of the city can travel to other parts of the city due to the efficient mobility that e-scooters provide.

In fact, a Lime survey in Washington, DC found that 44% of riders use shared e-scooters to access their current work and other job opportunities. 57% of riders also use shared e-scooters regularly for work or school. By promoting electric scooters, cities can make shops, schools, work, and attractions more accessible.

Increase economic activity

Increasing mobility for cities means increasing their overall economic activity. By encouraging e-scooter use, locals and tourists can explore more of the city’s shops and attractions which will all contribute to the city’s growing economy.

Build sustainable and thriving cities

Although there are pros and cons of electric scooters in cities, e-scooters have proven that there are more advantages to implementing them. After all, a simple mobility solution can help build sustainable and economically thriving cities. With proper guidelines and infrastructure, more cities can leverage electric scooters and bring efficiency, affordability, and sustainability to their transport systems.


Publication date
25 September 2021
  • Shared mobility