Can electric scooters become the main transportation in the future?
The electric scooter is a great invention that has attracted hundreds of people in a short period of time. Although electric scooters were invented a century ago, they were properly introduced in the 1980s and streamlined in the last decade. However, the electric scooter market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. These are adventurous to drive and they can be fun to use for our commuting needs. That said, could scooters be the future of transportation?
The use of electric scooters
If you visit Spain, you will be surprised to find the sheer number of electric scooters. There are even some areas where there are reportedly more electric scooters than cars or motorcycles. Other regions of the world are following the same path. Let's start by discovering the region-based use of electric scooters.
Regional use of electric scooters
As far as the region is concerned, there is no doubt that North America is the market leader. Considering the use of adult electric scooters for commuter vehicles, the U.S. market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.4% from 2019 to 2024. The U.S. is the hub for electric scooters - followed by Canada and Mexico - and is likely to lead this market.
After North America, Europe is the unchallenged king of the electric scooter market. Last year, unit sales in Europe grew by a record 80 percent year-over-year. Latin America is also making inroads in this segment. China and Singapore are leading the way in Asia Pacific. The Asia-Pacific electric scooter market is expected to reach 31.2 million units by the end of 2025.
A recent study conducted by scooter rental company Bird showed that 50% of their customers use commuter electric scooters - to get from home to work and back home. About 29% use these scooters to connect to the DC Metro and buses - as the study was based on statistics from users of the Bird service in Washington, DC.
Beyond these findings, let's take a closer look at the multiple aspects of electric scooters as transportation. Either commuter electric scooters will shake up the transportation sector, or only adult electric scooters are fun and adventurous enough to enjoy.
Transportation options or just fun
Seeing the extraordinary growth and widespread acceptance of electric scooters by users, various researchers have turned their heads to understand the actual potential of electric scooters. Previously, it was thought that electric scooters were only for young people to do fun activities and fulfill their dreams of adventure.
In contrast, studies have proven that electric scooters are more like a form of transportation in the form of commuter electric scooters. People widely use urban scooters to get to hard-to-reach places or cover shorter distances than they would prefer otherwise.
The survey-based research conducted by Rebeca L. Sanders and her team began with the statement that "electric scooters are better for transportation than for recreation.
People are adopting electric scooters as a means of transportation because they are inexpensive and convenient. Multiple surveys of Portlanders show that 70% of people who ride electric scooters regularly use them as a means of transportation.
The main reasons communicated by these individuals include the reliability, speed, cost, fun and convenience of riding a commuter electric scooter.
Especially in hot areas like Phoenix, Los Angeles and Arizona, more people prefer electric scooters to walking because of the heat of the sun. These people claim that electric scooters are extremely easier and faster than walking.
Shorter commute times
Electric scooters are better for short commutes. For example, several universities and research centers spread over hundreds of acres are seriously considering electric scooters as the primary way to reach the institution's various locations.
A survey of 1,256 university staff asked them about their experience with electric scooters. Thirty-six percent said they had ridden electric scooters, while 40 percent said they would like to drive them in the next year.
Interestingly, the latest generation of electric scooters - like the one offered by Varla - can make long commutes of up to 40 miles in an hour - but please make sure you wear all your safety gear at these peak speeds. As a result, electric scooter companies are doing their best to properly streamline electric scooters as a means of transportation.
Electric Scooter Share
Research conducted under the supervision of MDPI focused on the role of shared electric scooter systems in sustainable urban development. Since the launch of the shared urban scooter system in 2017, the industry has seen its biggest boom during the pandemic. Government-imposed restrictions limited the public transportation spectrum and major ride-sharing services were removed to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
This led people to use shared electric scooter systems to meet their basic needs. The research paper concludes that these people are still using electric scooters to meet their transportation needs even though COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted or partially lifted.
This has led people to use shared electric scooter systems to meet their basic needs. The research paper concludes that these people are still using electric scooters to meet their transportation needs despite the removal or partial removal of COVID-19 restrictions.
All of these factors underscore the potential of the electric scooter market to attract a large number of daily commuters to start using commuter electric scooters. Even adult electric scooters, which are primarily used for recreational and entertainment activities, have been transformed into urban scooters to meet commuting needs. Some key steps could further increase their use.
The Future of Electric Scooters
Electric scooters are becoming an essential mode of transportation in many countries around the world. Convenience, cost-effectiveness, ready availability and environmental friendliness are core factors in the industry's rapid growth. A few more steps could turn the electric scooter market into a billion-dollar industry.
Over time, more and more states in the U.S. and multiple cities in other countries are officially allowing people to ride electric scooters. While some safety concerns are holding up approvals, exceptional cooperation and positive attitudes from electric scooter companies are closing the trust gap. The next five years are critical to the future of the industry, but surveys show significant growth in commuter electric scooters.
Investment and Financing
Seeing the potential of this evergreen industry, many investors have set their sights on this market. That's why, after several companies like Bird were founded, investors packaged them with a $415 million investment. The same is true for several other companies. If this pace continues, soon global investors will be spending a large portion of their investments in the space.
While the next few years are critical, recent trends show the potential of electric scooters as a complete form of transportation. Electric scooter sharing apps, government approvals and investments are further accelerating the industry's growth.
If trends remain consistent, there is significant evidence and potential for electric scooters to become a suitable mode of transportation in the near future.