Electric scooter is becoming default mode of transport for many in urban areas

Its the quickest way from point A to point B, at least for some people who have joined the growing trend of electric scooters, saying farewell to traffic jams and packed public transport.

Electric scooters are ideal in cities like Paris, a city relatively flat and compact, but they are not the only new kid on the block. E-bikes, unicycles, hoverboards and skateboards, all examples of urban transport with an electric twist.

In terms of energy, they have one point in common. They are machines that don’t need much material to make, and they don’t need a lot of energy to transport someone. And if you compare them with a car or a motorbike, we can divide by five or even fifteen the amount of energy necessary to move the same person over the same distance.

In 2018 and 2019, the number of two wheels in Paris exploded with the arrival of free-floating scooters. The shared scheme worked so well that regulation is still racing to catch on.

One problem is that often these new modes of transport are adopted by those who would have otherwise taken public transport. When the real challenge is convincing people to give the king of the road, their cars, or at least switch to cleaner ones.

If Paris wants to meet its target of being carbon neutral by 2050, then there is still some serious work ahead. Authorities plans to phase out diesel cars by 2024, and those that run on petrol by 2030, and offers €5,000 to anyone willing to buy a so called clean vehicle. Parking is also free for electric cars.

But how easy is it to go 100 percent electric in a major city? Paris has 1,600 charging stations, two thirds of them offering a slow charge, and many of them go out of order frequently. If the city wants to encourage electric cars, it will need more and faster charging stations. As of now, the best option is to install a charger at home, if possible.

Contact the author: coreymclaughlin@wheelsjoint.com