We all want to do our part to improve the world we live in, and electric scooters are an excellent place to start because they cut down on carbon emissions and the use of fossil fuels. They are far from perfect and not a good alternative for people who could commute in a carpool or public transportation for longer distances, but for the individual doing a 20 miles commute throughout their city, they are an excellent way to save money, time, and pollute less than with a vehicle.
Why is this Debated Today?
It comes down to function. Yes, electric scooters will lower the emissions and noise of cars in an urban setting. However, when you have a ton of new riders suddenly clogging up the roads, there will be an increase in accidents and injuries. Then there is the debate about batteries. Some people still throw them right into the trash, which means they end up in landfills. This pollutes the ground, especially the more popular electric scooters become. Until we have a reliable way to dispose of batteries, we can expect this debate to continue well into the future.
What Has to Change?
Like practically every other product we buy at big-box stores, we need to have set standards where manufacturers do not use cheap parts or materials that die fast and are difficult to recycle. The more brands that cut corners and try to earn a quick buck, the more trash we will be wasting. Quality-made electric scooters for adults can last for years and reduce people’s carbon footprint who want to get around their city.
We also need to consider local laws to protect riders. Public service announcements and social media commercials should be made about how to act while riding your scooter and how other drivers should treat scooter riders. Sharing the road and common sense legislation could go a long way to improve the riding conditions, safety, and injury factors of electric scooters.
Finally, we should teach new riders how to maintain their electric scooters. The more well kept their ride is, the longer it will last. This will cause fewer thrown-away batteries and waste, lowering the amount of trash going into landfills. The good news is most electric scooter riders tend to be a bit more eco-friendly on average anyway.
Are Electric Scooters Polluting Less than Cars?
Yes! The cost of producing an electric scooter and the equivalent carbon footprint is way less than a car. However, if you commute in a carpool or public transit, your footprint may be lower depending on environmental factors, weight, and distance. On average though, an electric scooter is better.
The more people that utilize an electric scooter in a city, the fewer gas emissions, noise, and fossil fuels will be used. This could clear up smog and congestion rather quickly. Meaning you can breathe easier from few air pollutants and floating microbes that cause respiratory issues.
The problem is infrastructure, law, and behavior. Some people do not know how to act when they get on a city-sponsored electric scooter and then immediately drive it into a crowd at a park. We need real change at the local level with campaigns that teach the community how to integrate electric scooters into daily life so fewer accidents occur.
Who are Electric Scooters Perfect for?
There are quite a few individuals that could benefit from owning an electric scooter to help our environment. These will be working adults who commute to work in an urban setting most of the time. Having an electric scooter that can travel 15-30 miles on a single charge allows an adult to get to and from work while also making a few stops to a local grocery store, the library, lunch with friends, and maybe a movie in the evening.
Electric scooters are also great in locations that do not experience harsh weather systems. It is dangerous to ride an electric scooter when there is snow or ice on the ground. The same is true for heavier rains. You want an average day for the best riding conditions.
Keep in mind that fast electric scooters can scare people who are not used to them. This is both new riders and local walkers or car passengers that may overreact when encountering a speedy scooter. Selecting a good average speed helps normalize electric scooters.
Finally, if you have inadequate public transportation in your area, an electric scooter is a great way to get to work and back home without owning a car.
What about Hidden Pollution of Electric Scooters?
This mostly refers to poorly made parts and batteries. Unfortunately, there is no clean way to dispose of a battery as of yet. There are professional battery recycling programs in most major cities where the batteries are taken apart, and key materials are recycled into new batteries or other products. Getting consumers to take their old batteries to these locations can be a challenge.
The other hidden issue is charging your electric scooter when not in use. Infrastructure needs to change so we are more reliant on renewable energies like wind, solar, and water instead of burning fossil fuels or nuclear waste.
What are the 2 Main Problems with Electric Scooters and the Environment?
We need to find ways to produce long-lasting batteries in eco-friendly ways. Battery innovation has been at a standstill for close to 50 years. While all the technology around batteries has evolved, the basic ingredients are still the same. Open up your smartphone, and the vast majority of space is taken up by a battery.
We also need to create charging stations around our communities that rely on renewable energy for electrical sourcing. This way, electric scooters do not place more pull on the city infrastructure that uses fossil fuels or nuclear sources for creating electricity.
What are the Solutions?
Besides massive innovation, we can all help by:
- Take our old or used batteries to professional recycling centers that will make the most out of the parts. We should only purchase batteries made from manufacturers that care about their carbon footprint and the quality of their products.
- We need to adjust local laws, so riders are no longer in danger of losing their lives while riding. This could be social media campaigns and common-sense solutions for drivers as well.
- We need public information campaigns that teach the community about recycling programs and sharing the road together. Electric scooters could be an answer to a better future, but we need to safely integrate them into our daily habits.
- Manufacturers should look into making new electric scooters using recycled parts. This will improve their branding, probably save some money, and make all of us do more to protect the environment.
- Cities need to do more to use renewable energy, so charging stations are not reliant on fossil or nuclear fuels. Solar, wind, water, and other sources are the wave of the future.
Electric scooters are better for the environment. Yes, there are some concerns we need to address to ensure they have a positive long-term effect, but in general, a person commuting to their local office every day will save time, money, and pollute less than people driving in cars. If we integrate real common-sense solutions and educate the public on proper lifestyle and battery recycling initiatives, we could have a drastically positive outcome for our local environment.
Interesting Related Article: “Electric Scooters’ Sudden Invasion of American Cities Explained“