2650 to go

According to The Brussels Times roughly a third of the electric scooters in Brussels have been withdrawn, leaving only about 2650 of these accidents waiting to happen.

These things are a scourge: too fast for pavements, too slow for the rad and too much clutter to fit on a bike lane. And people just abandon the damn things when they stop, turning even the shortest walk into an assault course.

As for their benefits: there aren’t any:

Using life cycle assessment, we quantify the total environmental impacts of this mobility option associated with global warming, acidification, eutrophication, and respiratory impacts. We find that environmental burdens associated with charging the e-scooter are small relative to materials and manufacturing burdens of the e-scooters and the impacts associated with transporting the scooters to overnight charging stations.

The linked study found that a one mile scooter ride emits more greenhouse gasses per person than a bus, a bicycle or a walk. Walking and cycling are, of course, both better for your health as well.

The environmental problem with electric scooters stems from the fact that they are very resource-intensive to build but have a very short lifespan once they hit the streets.

The need for someone to drive out evert night to find and recharge the things doesn’t help either.

The report suggests that scooter emissions can be reduced by using more environmentally friendly vehicles to collect and recharge them and by using more recycled materials in their production.

Of course, it is possible to reduce their emissions to zero by just banning the things outright.

2 thoughts on “2650 to go

  1. I saw a lot of these in Zurich when we were there in early summer and wondered about them. You don’t see them here in Toronto…or if you do they’re not rampant. There are bikes you can ‘rent’ but I’m not sure if the system is exactly the same.

    In Zurich I saw these scooters parked whenever, wherever. The kids were fascinated. They were just left in the middle of parks, sidewalks, or busy throughways. We thought it was a bit weird. 🙂


    1. They started appearing in Brussels about a year ago and they really are horrible. I believe you need an app to rent one but this leads to people just dumping them in the street once they reach their destination.

      And then there is the joy of seeing one of these things careering along the pavement towards me as I walk towards the station.

      They are weird, and they’re annoying. If you don’t have them in Toronto, you are very lucky indeed 😉


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