Tag Archive: E-scooter

  1. Japan relaxes e-scooter regulations, allowing riders without a driver’s license

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    Source: The Japan Times

    Japan’s National Police Agency has announced that from July, those riding e-scooters in Japan will no longer require a driver’s licence. Individuals under 16 will be banned from using the vehicles.

    E-scooters are growing in popularity in Japan’s urban areas thanks to their practicality. Likewise, instances of improper use such as traffic violations have also risen. In light of this, the Japanese Government has been introducing new legislation to regulate the usage of the popular light electric vehicles, with police enforcing these rules strictly. Previously, e-scooters were classified as mopeds under 50 cubic centimetres in engine displacement, therefore requiring a driver’s licence, helmet, and registered license plate. Now, vehicles falling under new regulations will be classified as motorized bicycles.

    • The new rules apply to scooters with a max. speed of 20kph.
    • Riders must comply with the same traffic rules as cyclists, including not riding on sidewalks (unless max. speed is set to 6kph).
    • E-scooters must measure under 1.9m in length and under 0.6m in width.
    • E-scooters must be equipped with green lights on the front and back, which must be illuminated on roads and flash while on sidewalks.

    Vehicles failing to comply with these parameters will continue to be classified as mopeds, and therefore require a full driver’s license.

  2. Paris set to vote on the future of e-scooters

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    Source: Forbes, C. O’Brien

    After 4 years of electric scooter-sharing services in France’s capital city, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has confirmed a vote to determine if the micromobility option will be banned in the city.

    The referendum in April has been announced following a lengthy review by city officials, with the mayor herself in favour of the ban. What are the key issues facing the use of e-scooters in Paris?

    • National laws are vague in terms of regulation.
    • Residents feel that riders are reckless.
    • Excessive riding on sidewalks and in pedestrianised areas.
    • Poor parking and the free-floating nature of the service have created an eyesore.
    • Antisocial use of the devices, particularly by tourists.

    It should be noted that steps have been taken to address some of these concerns, such as limiting speeds and releasing a clear code of conduct, but the e-scooters remain extremely divisive.

    With 12 active bike and e-scooter sharing services in the city, Paris is one of the largest markets for micromobility services. The results of this referendum will therefore be watched closely by industry and consumers alike; the conclusion may well inform future decisions in comparable locations.

  3. E-scooter trials have fueled ‘a progressive shift away from private vehicles’ – UK Government

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    Source: MicromobilityBiz, A. Ballinger

    The review commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) covers the 32 e-scooter rental schemes run across the UK between July 2020 and early 2022.

    The report highlights both the positive areas and any areas for concern created by the e-scooter schemes. Of particular interest, the report notes a “progressive increase in mode shift away from private vehicles as trials matured“, with the majority of residents seeing the introduction of the schemes as a positive thing.

    A key concern is that surrounding the safety of the relatively new technology, with data indicating e-scooter collisions to be more common than those of either conventional bikes or e-bikes. Further concerns regard the technical elements of the scooters (audibility, viability, and acceleration), as well as the behavior of users in shared pedestrian and road spaces.

    The trials have seen shifts in policy throughout their operation, including mandatory identification numbers, and increased campaigning for helmet usage, parking responsibility, and care while riding.

    In response to the report, the DfT said: “To maximise the benefits of the e-scooter trials evaluation report, DfT will learn lessons from this evaluation and we look forward to releasing further information on the future policy around e-scooters and similar light electric vehicles.”

    To read more on the current state of shared e-scooter rental schemes in the UK, see our recent article “UK shared e-scooter trials reach 30 million total journeys.”

  4. UK shared e-scooter trials reach 30 million total journeys

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    Source: Zag Daily, O. O’Brien

    Since launching in the summer of 2020, the UK’s shared e-scooter schemes have reached a total of 30 million journeys across multiple locations and providers.

    At present, there are 45 e-scooter fleets based in the UK, totaling 24,000 vehicles. These were established on a trial basis to test the potential for micromobility options in the UK’s urban areas. The trial officially came to a close on 30 November 2022, and local authorities must now decide on extending the scheme in their area until 31 May 2024.

    Status of extension, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Confirmed: London, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Southampton, Bournemouth/Poole, Colchester, Chelmsford, Salford, Portsmouth, Basildon, Norwich, York, Cheltenham, Chester, Isle of Wight, Great Yarmouth, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Yeovil, Gloucester, Princes Risborough, Sunderland (with new operator), Taunton, Minehead.
    • Anticipated: Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton, Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Rushden & Higham Ferrers, University of Warwick, Oxford, Middlesbrough.
    • No news yet: Redditch, Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, Whitehaven, West Bromwich.
    • Closing: Canterbury, Slough.

    UK Fleet distribution and journey totals, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Bristol (Voi): 7.1 million in 25 months
    • Liverpool (Voi): 3.4 million in 25 months
    • Northampton (Voi): 2.1 million in 26 months
    • Nottingham (Superpedestrian replaced WIND): 2.1 million in 25 months
    • London (Tier, Lime and Dott): 2 million in 18 months 
    • Also over 1 million: Milton Keynes (Lime, TIER, Ginger), Birmingham (Voi) and Cambridge (Voi). 
    • Close to 1 million: Newcastle (Neuron) and Southampton (Voi)

    Voi is one of the UK’s most successful micromobility providers. Head of Public Policy for UK and Ireland Matthew Pencharz, shared with Zag Daily: “Reaching more than 30 million rides highlights the UK as one of the most dynamic and exciting markets for micromobility in Europe. 

    “Over the last two years, Voi has established itself as an important part of people’s daily lives in how they get around. Recent research shows that in 2022 alone its services created more than £50m in economic and social value.

    “While there has been a demonstrable success in the modal shift away from the car, micromobility remains a nascent industry in the UK. For the long-term viability of the industry, operators need to work actively with cities and central Government to ensure a level playing field for all and that the cost of operating in the UK doesn’t threaten their ability to deliver a financially sustainable service.”

  5. Lavoie: McLaren Applied’s new micromobility company redefining urban mobility through motorsport and luxury automotive engineering

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    LEVA-EU member LAVOIE, a subsidiary of McLaren Applied, introduces the Series 1 electric scooter – created using supercar and cutting-edge global racing engineering excellence.

    McLaren Applied’s LAVOIE is committed to improving personal mobility. Using its heritage in premium automotive, combined with strong pedigrees in engineering and science, LAVOIE re-imagines products you can trust will improve personal transportation and add enjoyment to every journey.

    Operating at the intersection between high-end design and superlative performance, LAVOIE is set to redefine urban mobility and become a major global player in the premium e-mobility market.

    As the urban environment increasingly densifies, cars and mass transport are becoming irrelevant as a means of mobility for those who want to travel quickly, cleanly, and efficiently. The era of electrified micro-mobility is dawning, yet consumers seeking mobility solutions that make them feel good, as well as offer optimum performance, design, and build quality, are bereft of choice. Until LAVOIE

    The Lavoie Series 1: as functional as it is beautiful

    The Series 1 is an e-scooter, but like none ever seen before, thanks to LAVOIE’s user-centric design strategy. Its speed, supercar-standard quality, robustness, stability, safety, and range are designed to make public transport an irrelevance to owners.

    Perhaps its most defining and iconic feature is LAVOIE’s patented one-touch FlowfoldTM system. Designed with rider convenience at the forefront and inspired by the suspension system found on racing machines at the pinnacle of motorsport, a single press of a button folds the front and rear wheel hinges and collapses the stem, achieving the greatest possible reduction in size while maintaining a large and stable deck for when in use.

    Complementing the Flowfold system’s amazing foldability is the fact that the Series 1 is made of automotive-standard magnesium, ensuring a total weight of just 16.5kg. Carrying it into offices, meetings, and homes is simple and easy, eliminating concerns of theft and adding convenience to every journey.

    A two-hour charge on a domestic three-pin plug offers up to 31 miles of range. The Series 1 rolls on large and wide tyres developed to absorb and withstand potholes and bumps.

    As important to LAVOIE as state-of-the-art design and intuitive usability is rider safety. LAVOIE’s ground-breaking lighting system uses rear lights to illuminate the rider, bathing them in a pool of light to ensure they are easily seen by other traffic and pedestrians. The stylish front lighting system illuminates the road ahead, while floodlights on the side of the deck magnify the real estate of the e-scooter on the road and make it more visible for other vehicles. The Series 1 also features indicators which are activated from the ergonomically designed handlebars.

    Via a bespoke app riders can track the precise location of their Series 1, as well as activate a loud deterrent alarm. The app also enables integrated turn by turn navigation, as well as in-depth stats and ride customisation. The Series 1’s connectivity stretches beyond theft security and riding performance – the app remotely informs the LAVOIE support team of any electronic faults or issues and will notify the owner immediately, activating the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

    LAVOIE’s Series 1 is by any standards an amazing-looking piece of engineering with outstanding performance to match.

    LAVOIE co-founder Eliott Wertheimer said: “We wanted to make a vehicle that’s reliable, faultlessly functional, powerful, stylish, full of state-of-the-art technology – and built the way you would a car or a motorcycle. We knew we could do this by combining our own expertise and experience with a company that operates at the highest level in the fields of automotive, motorsport and electronics.

  6. Vienna to overhaul city-centre e-scooter ecosystem

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    Source: TheMayor.eu

    The number of e-scooters in the city centre will be severely restricted, parking rules will be updated, and speed limits will be reduced in this major regulation shift

    The new regulations are set to come into effect in May 2023, while the local council will vote on the package of measures in December. This policy change has come about following the increase from 2018-2021 in both e-scooter-related injuries (1,025 to 2,560) and deaths (17 to 24). Many of the incoming regulations will therefore focus on improving safety for both riders and pedestrians.

    The expected changes can be grouped into three main categories:

    City centre e-Scooter distribution

    Perhaps the largest policy change regards a proposed restriction of max. 500 e-scooters in the city centre at any given time; this is extremely restrictive when considering the current average of approx. 1,500. According to City Councilor for Mobility, Ulli Sima, this type of mobility is very useful for last-leg journeys and authorities are trying to position them in metro stops in residential areas and push ride-sharing providers to cover more parts of the city.

    e-Scooter parking regulation

    A further key policy change is to ban the parking of e-scooters on sidewalks. Currently, sidewalk usage as a parking location is reducing pedestrianised space to the detriment of other city-goers. To combat this, the city will create special parking zones and rely upon micromobility providers to enforce suitable parking amongst their riders. Repeat violations of parking policy may result in the micromobility provider having its operating license revoked.

    Riding restrictions

    Finally, who can use the devices, and the way in which they can ride will be altered. Riding speed is set to be reduced from 25 km/h to 20km/h, while a minimum age limit of 12 years will be imposed. It is worth noting that this is significantly lower than the age limit seen in many other European countries (Germany = 14, UK = 17).

  7. Can shared mobility options reduce the emissions of urban transportation systems?

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    Source: Fraunhofer ISI

    The usage of shared micromobility services has increased in recent years, particularly in urban areas. But can shared e-scooters and e-bikes contribute to the sustainability of cities and their transportation systems? To answer these and other questions, Fraunhofer ISI conducted a new study on behalf of the micromobility provider Lime by fusing mode shift survey data with lifecycle emissions data in six cities around the world. The study also sets out what implications these findings have for industry and practice.

    Download the full study, here.

    Most recently, CO2 emissions in the global mobility and transport sector have increased by 8% in 2021 they are supposed to decrease by 20% by 2030 to meet international climate targets. To achieve these extremely challenging goals, a broad range of measures are necessary, including rapid electrification of road vehicles, an expansion of public transport and a better transport system network. New forms of shared micromobility have emerged over the past decade, especially in urban areas, complementing existing mobility offers with the promise to reduce urban transport’s carbon footprint.

    However, it is currently heavily debated whether and, if so, to what extent shared e-scooters and e-bikes actually contribute to the goal of reducing CO2 emissions. Previous studies have primarily focused either on comparing single modes of transport through life cycle assessments (LCA) or on who uses these new modes for which purposes. Research on the overall consequences of micromobility usage for respective emissions of the transportation system, however, is limited. To increase the knowledge about the effects, Fraunhofer ISI has conducted a new study that aims to present a snapshot of case studies in six cities around the globe (Berlin, Dusseldorf, Paris, Stockholm, Melbourne and Seattle) and collects the data of shared micromobility users with a total sample size of 4,167 individuals. The data was provided by the shared micromobility provider Lime. To calculate the emission impact of the individual’s behaviour, existing LCA data was combined with the latest generation shared Lime e-scooters and e-bikes by Anthesis on behalf of Lime, and both were adjusted to the characteristics of the cities in question.

    Shared e-scooters and e-bikes can help to reduce carbon emissions
    The study’s findings show that the latest generation of shared e-scooters and e-bikes can reduce net carbon emissions. These are defined as the differences between the life cycle assessment emissions per passenger kilometre (pkm) of the shared micromobility mode and the modes people would have used if shared e-scooters or e-bikes would not have been available. This analysis was carried out for transportation systems in the six surveyed cities: The largest effects for shared e-scooters are observed in Melbourne (-42.4 g/pkm) and Seattle (-37.7 g/pkm) which can be explained by a considerably higher CO2 intensity of electricity used for public transport and electric cars compared to the European cities. But also Dusseldorf (-22.1 g/pkm), Paris and Stockholm (-20.7 g/pkm) show effects of reduced emissions while e-scooters in Berlin show smaller reductions (-14.8 g/pkm). In all cities, the net carbon impact of shared e-bikes is less beneficial than shared e-scooters. Large emission reductions are estimated for Dusseldorf (-20.4 g/pkm), Paris (-15.4 g/pkm), Seattle (-15.2 g/pkm), and Melbourne (-13.7 g/pkm), while the estimated emissions for Berlin increase (+13.0 g/pkm). This can be explained due to smaller shares of shared e-bike trips replacing individual motorized modes and by their lower usage intensity compared to shared e-scooters.

    A deeper analysis at the transportation mode level helps to further explain the effects observed at the city scale for all locally available Lime services. For this task, the study estimated total emissions by upscaling the survey assessment with usage patterns for the study period (May and June 2022) provided by Lime. In fact, the largest differences in net emissions by replaced modes originate from ride-hailing or taxi services (-679.3 and -541.0 g CO2 equivalents per trip for shared e-bikes and e-scooters respectively) and personal combustion cars (-334.6 and -272.9 g). When shifting from these highly emitting modes to shared micromobility, the net emissions reduction is quite substantial. On the other hand, shared micromobility can also lead to increased emissions when for example personal e-bike usage (+126.3 and +18.8 g) and walking (+109.9 and +39.4 g) is replaced by using a shared e-scooter or shared e-bike, or when a trip that would not have taken place before is now undertaken with a shared e-scooter or e-bike (+65.6 and +199.3 g). However, the increase in emissions tends to be smaller than the reduced emissions of the previous mode shifts.

    Konstantin Krauss, a mobility researcher at Fraunhofer ISI and co-author of the study, states: “Our results show that the crucial factor for the net impacts of shared micromobility is the number of trips replacing the highest-emitting transportation modes such as ride-hailing and trips with combustion cars in comparison to induced, active mode, and public transport trips. For all results, however, we need to consider uncertainty in the stated – not observed – responses of the participants and a range of uncertainties of +/-25% in LCA numbers: The applied LCA numbers are estimates also based on assumptions for factors such as vehicle lifetimes or operations. For the responses of the riders, we use the stated preferences of the respondents only, so we did not observe their real mode shift behaviour. Moreover, the question of how the currently progressing electrification of car, bus, taxi and ride-hailing fleets will decrease the impact of micromobility to net climate impacts remains open.

    Recommendations for industry, micromobility providers, and city planners
    But what can be done to further enhance the sustainability benefits of shared micromobility? Dr Claus Doll, Fraunhofer ISI mobility expert and co-author of the study, has the following recommendations for industry, micromobility providers, and city planners: “On the one hand, the industry should further extend vehicle lifespans, continue to decarbonize manufacturing by contributing to a circular economy, and use partnerships to induce favourable mode shift from taxi, ride-hailing and personal cars. And on the other hand, providers and city planners should jointly work towards a better connection of micromobility and public transport by for instance establishing mobility hubs and reliable intermodal travel planning tools for seamless transfers.” He adds that the shift effects from public transport and walking to shared micromobility should be kept at a minimum.

    Andrew Savage, Vice President for Sustainability at Lime, underlines the strides Lime and the industry have made in decarbonizing their service over a short timespan: “The examples of the six cities show that shared e-scooters and shared e-bikes can help to make cities more sustainable and liveable by reducing emissions and expanding the mobility offer. The findings underscore the important work we must continue to decarbonize our supply chain, operations and facilities so that shared micromobility will continue to reduce the carbon footprint of urban mobility.

  8. Research: Traffic increase scenarios where e-bikes and e-scooters are banned

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    Source: Electrek, M. Toll.

    A new study, published in Nature Energy, states that cities should expect to see trade-offs between micromobility restrictions designed to promote public safety, and increased emissions associated with heightened congestion.

    Titled “Impacts of micromobility on car displacement with evidence from a natural experiment and geofencing policy“, the study was created using data from Atlanta, USA. The city made for an ideal research base due to its sudden ban on the usage of shared micromobility devices at night, restricting use between 19:00-04:00 from 9 August, 2019 onwards. This gave the opportunity to compare traffic scenarios before and after the change.

    The study found that, on average, travel times for car trips in Atlanta during evening hours increased between 9.9-10.7% immediately following the ban on shared micromobility. For an average commuter in Atlanta, that translated to an extra 2-5 minutes per evening trip.

    The authors also concluded that the impact on commute times would likely be higher in other cities across the country. According to the study, “based on the estimated US average commute time of 27.6 minutes in 2019, the results from our natural experiment imply a 17.4% increase in travel time nationally.”

    The economic impact of increased commuting times in the city of Atlanta was calculated at US $4.9M per annum. When looking on a national scale, the study estimated this impact to fall in the range of US $408M to $573M per annum.

    Interestingly, the study’s dataset was recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which of course. played a major role in promoting, and increasing uptake of, shared micromobility. A similar study undertaken in todays’ transport climate could find an even greater burden on congestion, travel times, and economic impact on cities.

  9. TfL and London Councils to extend London’s trial of rental e-scooters following national trial extensions

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    Source: Transport for London

    Transport for London has announced it will extend the trial of e-scooter rentals in London, ahead of the Government’s planned legalisation of private-use scooters.

    In an announcement this week, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils confirmed that e-scooter schemes in the capital run by Dott, Lime and Tier will be temporarily extended to allow authorities to collect more data on this developing mode of transport.

    TfL has also launched a competitive procurement process for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trials.

    The Department for Transport recently updated its guidance to allow rental e-scooter trials to run until 31st May, 2024. London’s schemes will now run until at least September 2023, when the procurement process is completed.

    Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m pleased that TfL and London Councils have been able to extend the country’s largest rental e-scooter trial. The Mayor and I are determined to continue building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London for everyone, and e-scooters can play a useful role in our city’s transport network by offering alternatives to car use. Through the trial, we are also helping to inform future Government legislation on these vehicles to ensure they are safe for all riders and other road users.

    The e-scooter trial has proven to be popular, with more than two million trips already taken, and this next phase of the trial will build upon this, replicating the high safety requirements and high operating standards, and continuing to learn through testing newer technology to ensure that these vehicles work for everybody. With the right regulations that prioritise safety, rental e-scooters can help ensure a green, sustainable future for London.”

    London’s e-scooter trials launched in June last year, with 10 London boroughs initially joining the schemes, with almost two million journeys made and 4,425 e-scooters currently available to hire.

    A competitive procurement for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trial has now launched and operators will be chosen on their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards, TfL said. 

    It is currently illegal to ride scooters on the road outside of these nationwide rental trials, but the Government has instigated plans to introduce a new low-speed, low-emission vehicle category, paving the way for the legalisation of privately-owned scooters. While there is no definite date for when e-scooters will be legalised, the new legislation could be introduced by summer 2023.

    The contracts let under the new procurement may run for longer than the DfT national trial term (which ends on 31st May 2024) in anticipation of new legislation being passed. To ensure there is a continuation of service in London, the current trial contracts operated by Dott, Lime and Tier, which expire this year, will be extended temporarily until the procurement is complete.  

    Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London, which is why we’re really pleased to be able to extend the e-scooter trial. We’re working closely with London Councils on our plans for the next phase of the trial, which will help us build on its successes so far. We hope Londoners can continue to benefit from the trial and we will continue to use its data to learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”   

    Throughout the continuing trial, operators will be required to provide critical data for TfL and the participating boroughs to understand the impact of e-scooters on London’s transport goals, including the Vision Zero aim to eliminate death and serious injuries from London’s roads.   

    Mayor Phil Glanville, London Councils’ climate change, transport and environment lead, said: “I am pleased that London’s rental e-scooter trial is being extended to allow more people across our capital to take advantage of this sustainable mode of transport. Thanks to the boroughs taking part in the trial, London continues to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to micro-mobility, transport and the journey to net zero.” 

    We look forward to working with TfL and stakeholders to make the next phase of the trial a success and we are confident that rental e-scooters will continue to provide an alternative to car-based travel in the capital. Safety remains our top priority and we will continue to look closely at data and insights to see how e-scooters can play a part in a more sustainable future for London.” 

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