18 Feb Electric Scooters are the revolution in urban transport
Electric Scooters are the revolution in urban transport
Every now and then in human history, a transportation revolution comes about.
The invention of the wheel has started the mechanisation of transport.
Around the same time, people started taming wild horses — tribes that achieved this feat conquered other people’s lands and imposed their rule and culture, starting to build empires.
The automobile had a similarly profound (albeit far more peaceful) impact. Speedy individual transportation was a great boost to freedom and, among other benefits, gender equality.
The electric scooter will be a similar kind of revolution. Here’s why.
Cities and cars just don’t go together.
A car is perfect for the countryside and pretty good for the suburbs. But it’s utterly unsuitable for a city.
In the 21st century, when city real estate is growing 5-10% in value every year, each square inch occupied by a large piece of metal, glass, rubber and air is space not used for value creation, no matter if that value is financial or related to wellbeing.
The UBERisation of transport is one aspect of the trend away from the individual car. Simple on-demand renting is another. There are serious voices that say that within 20 years, individual car ownership will essentially stop being a thing.
But then, what should take the place of the car? Walking a mile from the office to a meeting is a waste of time on a busy day. Streets are congested, using public transport would be too slow (you might as well walk that mile), and most people don’t cycle in the city: it’s dangerous and you might build up a sweat.
Electric scooters are the last missing piece in the puzzle of urban transportation. If you ride carefully on the pavement, you get to your destination five times faster, fresh as a daisy.
Electric scooters will replace cars as the main form of urban transport for short and medium range trips.
What we are seeing now is only the beginning. The reason electric scooters have started to proliferate only now is due to one factor alone: battery technology. Only recently have batteries been developed that reasonably fit on a frame that can carry an adult farther than 10 miles.
And they will continue to improve, just as the microchip has. Just like someone 30 years ago would have laughed at the idea of sticking 64 gigabyte of data in your trouser pocket, 30 years from now our phone will include a battery of negligible size that will carry us 100 miles and more.
The impact on urban transportation will be revolutionary.
This is how electric scooters will profoundly change our lives.
- Smoother and faster flow of traffic for those cars that need to remain on the road: Taxis, buses, commercial vehicles, police etc. One car takes up as much space as 10 individuals on scooters.
- Huge increase in liveability. The fewer cars in a city, the more desirable it is to live in. Less pollution, more green spaces, fewer serious accidents — a boost in liveability for everyone.
The city of the future will rely on minimalistic individual transport (such as electric scooters) and efficient mass transit. Of course, cars will continue playing a role for whenever you need to take more people at a time or have something heavy to move. But only a small fraction of day-to-day transportation is of this kind.
In a competitive marketplace, the rise of the electric scooter will not be as conspicuous as the taming of horses and the introduction of cars. But one day, you’ll look around and realise that the streets are filled with happy people on electric scooters.
- The horse built empires.
- The car brought freedom.
- The electric scooter will make urban transport perfect.
The future is individual and electric. The revolution has started.