A Closer Look at the Pros and Cons of Electric Scooters

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Electric scooters are fast becoming a top method of transportation for people all across the world. These scooters are a key player in the growing and increasingly popular “micromobility” industry, and – as is the case with any new and disruptive technology – people have a lot of questions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using and owning this product.

Given that the electric scooter market is relatively new and evolving, it is critical that people understand both the pros and cons of using one of these products before making a decision to purchase.

This guide will walk you through the most significant three advantages and, in turn, the three most prevalent disadvantages of electric scooter riding to provide you with all of the facts and research you need to be better informed.

Advantages:

Recent technological advances in the micromobility industry have facilitated the creation of smaller, lighter, faster, and more environmentally friendly electric scooters.

Beyond the integration of new technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS) and innovative applications to enable improved compatibility with smartphones, electric scooter producers have worked to expand the range of scooter options available in the market.

This is a significant trend, as a wider range of products in this industry naturally leads to improved affordability for people looking to purchase an electric scooter for their everyday life.

Low Cost:

When compared to the cost of a traditional vehicle such as a car, the cost of an electric scooter is extremely appealing. While some of the higher-end models of electric scooters can carry a price tag of upwards of $600, the average cost across product lines falls right around $300.

This value is especially strong because electric scooters are of course battery-charged, so you never have to worry about spending money each week to fill up on gas or take your vehicle in for routine engine-related checks that can be very costly.

Environmentally Friendly:

One of the most widely recognized advantages of electric scooter riding is the negligible environmental impact riders have when utilizing this mode of transportation. Since the scooters run on a rechargeable, electric battery, there is a significantly lower emissions output generated than with more traditional vehicle designs dependent on gasoline.

Additionally, electric mobility products such as electric scooters are much cheaper and more energy-efficient for companies to build and mass-produce.

This means that not only are electric scooter users contributing to reduced carbon emissions in the environment each day they ride, but the scooter companies themselves are also helping to minimize damage to our environment.

Efficient and Easy to Store:

Electric scooters are an incredibly efficient mode of transportation. This is especially true in larger, urban cities where traffic is a major concern for people trying to get to their final destination in a timely manner.

Studies on electric scooter usage patterns have found that the efficiency advantage of electric scooters is especially visible for helping consumers “fill the last-mile gap”. This refers to people taking a trip that has a distance that historically would have felt awkwardly short and inefficient to cover in a large vehicle such as a car or a bus. 

What about more challenging routes? Can electric scooters go uphill?

Companies design electric scooters in a way that ensures compatibility with a range of road types, and this certainly includes hills of varying slopes. Overall, you can rest assured that with an average speed range that exceeds 20 MPH, electric scooters are an incredibly efficient method of getting from point A to point B, regardless of the route challenges.

As previously mentioned, recent technological advances in the electric scooter market have facilitated the creation of more compact and durable products. These advances have contributed greatly to the appealing storage capability advantage electric scooters provide.

Today, electric scooter owners have the capacity to park their scooters in extremely small and confined spaces or to lift their scooters and transport them with ease in a larger vehicle if moving or traveling a long distance.

Even better, electric scooters are very durable and resistant to damage or scratching over long periods of use. 

Disadvantages:

Given all of these exciting features and benefits to using an electric scooter, you may be wondering whether or not there are any disadvantages to this low cost, environmentally-friendly, efficient method of getting around. The short answer is yes, of course there are.

As with any new and exciting product in the market, there are elements of the electric scooter experience that may create concern or disadvantage to a rider, buyer, or existing scooter owner.

This is particularly true when it comes to the topics of safety, security, and quality and electric scooter use.

Read on to learn more critical information around the potential disadvantages or challenges that electric scooters present in each of these key areas.


Safety Concerns:

So, are electric scooters safe? The answer is complex.

Public health officials. on the one hand, have recently raised a significant degree of safety concern around electric scooter usage.

One study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a Public Health and Transportation department in Austin, Texas found that over 270 people in Austin experienced electric scooter-related injuries between September 5th and November 30th in 2018. That is a lot of injuries for a relatively short time period, and these findings reflect a much wider trend in heightened safety-related issues and concerns for electric scooter users.

Even more, this particular study, in line with a plethora of other research conducted across U.S. cities, found head injuries to be one of the most frequent trauma experiences reported in the electric scooter accidents.

Safety Concerns? Do I Need A Electric Scooter Helmet?

Despite the growing evidence of electric scooter safety concerns, riders have the ability to easily prevent head injuries. This is why we explained upfront that it is hard to definitively say that electric scooters are “unsafe”. A helmet is a sure fire-way to drastically improve key safety measures while riding an electric scooter.

It is important to note that in the study mentioned above, less than one percent of the injured individuals were wearing a helmet at the time of their electric scooter-related injury. Public officials agree overwhelmingly that people should utilize this simple solution to minimize the most common safety disadvantages presented by riding an electric scooter.

Theft Concerns:

Another major disadvantage of owning an electric scooter is the likelihood of experiencing theft. Electric scooters, on average, weigh in at just 28.5 lbs. Compare this to a traditional American car, weighing in at just under 4,100 pounds, and you can see why weight makes this product an easy target for thieves.

Businesses across the electric scooter industry very openly acknowledge the significance of theft concerns and are taking active measures to educate consumers around steps to prevent this worst-case-scenario.

Okay, But Can I Prevent My Electric Scooter From Being Stolen?

Investing in an electric scooter is a big decision, and you will want to make sure that you are taking the right precautionary steps to keep your new product from being stolen. Beyond the obvious tips, such as keeping your scooter parked in out of sight and secure locations, here are three other suggestions to consider as you think about this area of disadvantage:

  • Use at least two locks for your scooter
  • Invest upfront in more expensive chains and locks that have really strong product reviews online. This may feel like a big expense at the time, but it will drastically lessen your odds of experiencing theft down the road.
  • Get an alarm for your scooter.

Quality Concerns:

Finally, you may be asking yourself: Are Electric Scooters Reliable?

Although you can guarantee that an electric scooter is reliable when it comes to cost, environmental-benefits, and efficiency measures, there are some disadvantages for quality reliability for these scooters.

Most scooters are made from reinforced steel, and there is inevitably going to be a risk that you run into product quality challenges with this material as the aluminum can easily stretch. This leads to damage, and an impending trip to a shop to fix your scooter.

Okay, But Can I Find a Product With Top-Notch Quality?

Despite the quality concerns and disadvantages common to electric scooter brands, you can prioritize certain factors of quality during your search for the perfect scooter.

For an electric scooter, you want to find wheels that are pneumatic tires. This will lead to a more steady riding experience with less vulnerability to wheel damage.

Additionally, you should try to find a UL-certified electric scooter. This means that a battery has been certified independently and is an important standard to consider.

Given that the significant rise in availability of electric scooters is a recent development, it is inevitable that a certain level of uncertainty and confusion can cloud a person’s ability to sift through the information and fully understand what both the pros and cons are to riding.

Now that you are equipped with the top three advantages and most relevant three potential disadvantages of riding an electric scooter, you can go forward and make a well-informed decision as to whether or not this new mode of transportation is right for you.

Thanks for reading – Enjoy the ride!