Are the e-Scooters a remedy for a COVID19-impacted mobility?

Written by Luke H.

Reviewed by Sander B.

The popularity of electric scooters has grown steadily in the past two years, and the Covid-19 pandemic has further strengthened it. In the context of the release from quarantine, the electric scooter looks like the optimal means of transportation for short trips around the city.

At the same time, critical voices are becoming louder, questioning the environmental friendliness and safety of this transport.

Riding in the park

Elise M. rides an electric scooter on empty streets in Spain during the pandemic (2021), E-Scooters have grown in popularity.

Restrictions and travel distance

Because of the restrictions worldwide, we have seen a shift in the travel distance of e-scooters.

Here’s the comparison of Lime Scooters Usage: a month before the lock down and after:

  • 34% longer rides (from 9.72 to 13.1 min),
  • 18% farther rides (from 1.69 to 2.05 km),
  • 7% increase of the use for recreation and running errands,
  • 9% increase of the use in the afternoon and less activity during rush hours.

Close up of the wheel

Elise M. says riding during the pandemic has given her more and more freedom pandemic.

In general, the current attitude towards electric scooters is a strange combination of love and dislike.

In some cities, electric scooter rental programs are being actively implemented, in others their use on the streets is prohibited.

Fans of e-scooters predict the title of champions of micro mobility for them – scooters are easy to drive, they are comfortable, compact, nimble, “green”. Yes, they are not so “green”, and besides, unsafe, critics argue.

A BBC Future Planet article explores the pros and cons of electric scooters in a post-pandemic reality.

In the future she will use her e scooter more

In the future she will use her e scooter more and more. If she is on Holiday, she will use the application of Lime and to full fill her transportation needs if she feels comfortable riding in the city.

However, there is no denying that e-scooters are the perfect solution for the limitation of public transport use due to Covid-19.

People can roam around freely on their scooters without being cramped in a confined space.

Electric Scooter rising in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic

Everyone is aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. Some of them probably forever, or at least for a long period of time. But, also in relation to the e-scooter sector?

Well, as you can imagine, the answer is yes. In the first place, it was expected to be a shock for manufacturers with the almost global halt of the pandemic finally ended up being an increase in sales when the confinements and restrictive measures began to be relaxed.

Riding in the city

A report carried out in Europe shows us that more people are interest in buying electric scooters than before the outbreak of the pandemic.

A report carried out in Europe shows us another trend that may also come to stay with us.

And, according to the study, around 27% of Europeans – the work has been carried out in 12 countries, with a total sample of almost 15,000 adults – are now showing more interest in buying electric scooters than before the outbreak of the pandemic.

In terms of inclusion, e-scooters have great potential because they are easy to operate and require little physical training.

According to a study conducted in Wellington, New Zealand, e-scooters increase the mobility of people with disabilities: 13% of such users said they would not be able to make their last trip without a scooter, and 91% of users with disabilities support continuing programs. rental.

Electric scooters went on sale about ten years ago, but for many, they are still too expensive. Therefore, when it became possible to rent scooters using mobile applications, their popularity skyrocketed.

In 2018, startups Bird and Lim quickly implemented this method of transportation in many American cities. In Europe, startups were also engaged in electric scooter rental, and Europeans also liked the novelty.

A worldwide invasion by e-scooters

Currently, rental scooters are used by residents of more than a hundred cities in 20 countries – from Chile to South Korea and New Zealand, while Europe and the United States continue to lead in terms of the number of users.

According to forecasts , by 2024 there will be 4.6 million shared electric scooters worldwide (for comparison: in 2019 there were 774 thousand).

We are talking about more than a quarter of the population of Europe that, a year and a half later, seems to see the acquisition of an e-bike with better eyes. In Spain, that figure is somewhat above the average, with 31%.

And beware, that in the segmentation by age groups, almost half of those surveyed between 25 and 34 years old claim to be more interested in buying these bikes than before March 2020. Even 26% of those surveyed say you intend to visit a bike shop in the next year.

Pandemic has ended up accelerating

It will be interesting to see the next issue of this report to see if this trend consolidates, but everything indicates that the pandemic has ended up accelerating the introduction of the e-bike in our daily lives.

Mainly in large cities, where rush hours are a cluster of traffic jams that take a lot of time from a particularly stressed population. We will be attentive to the evolution, especially in relation to the expansion of the electric bike outside the big cities.

Example of standing in the summer sun on an electric scooter

Enjoying the summer sun in Spain during the pandemic 2021.


E-scooters have always been a great solution to many problems across many cities of the world.

And since the pandemic that hit us in early 2020, they have been gaining increased popularity.

Being a getaway vehicle that is also socially distanced from others, an e-scooter is everything you could ask for from a city transportation tool.

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