The congestion in cities and towns all over the world is nothing new, but it’s a problem that’s getting worse. The global pandemic provided a brief pause, but as everyone returns to activities, there’s an increasing reluctance to use public transport, pouring even more cars onto the crowded streets.
But there is a potential solution looming on the horizon: electric scooters.
Despite having been around for more than 25 years, e-scooters are still a controversial subject. Yet following recent trials, their popularity has rocketed and many MPs are calling for their introduction on a permanent basis.
As a convenient, fun and eco-friendly form of transport, could electric scooters be the future of transport?
Are Electric Scooters Legal In The UK?
Regular kick scooters have been around for decades so you’d be forgiven for assuming that there are no problems with electric scooters either.
However, with a rechargeable battery and a motor e-scooters fall within a grey area; as neither a bike nor a car, they have defied precise classification.
Concerns over how and where they should be used led to a ban in public areas for electric scooters. It’s legal to use them on private land, but at present it’s illegal to ride them on the pavement, on roads or in parks.
However, although they are technically not a legal form of transport yet, that doesn’t tell the full story.
Are Electric Scooters Illegal In Public?
Electric scooters are not legal in public in the UK yet, but the government has introduced a pilot scheme to consider their use.
Originally intended to cover just four areas, the pilot was extended to more than 17 towns and cities, with all local authorities able to opt into the trial scheme.
At present, only rental e-scooters can be used in public. The government will be undertaking a review of the data once the pilot is complete to consider whether to change the laws and allow the use of e-scooters permanently.
Are Electric Scooters The Future?
In the UK, a lot hinges on the review by the government but the signs are all extremely encouraging. There are a number of authorised e-scooter rental firms, but data from just one of them shows more than six million rides have taken place in less than a year.
This popularity is supported by the use of e-scooters in other countries which have permitted the use of e-scooters for some time. At present there’s no universal agreement on how they should be classified but countries including Spain, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden all allow e-scooters in public.
The future of electric scooters seems promising with their ability to drastically slash carbon emissions and congestion, while providing a reliable and convenient form of transport.
The “first and last mile” dilemma is one that’s common with commuters. This refers to the problem of public transport ending a considerable distance from home and/or place of work, leaving a long walk.
This issue can be enough for commuters to opt for cars instead of public transport but e-scooters could be the solution. Commuter eScooters can conveniently fold up and can be carried on public transport, and stashed under work desks. In the future electric scooter use could solve this problem in one swift move.
But e-scooters aren’t just for commuters, as the trial has proven. Adults all over the country have participated in the trial due to the ease of use, and comfortable ride.
Forecasts suggest that the electric scooter industry will grow by 12.8% between 2017 and 2026, and by 2030 will be worth $150 billion in Europe alone. The future of scooter use seems inevitable, with advantages for all concerned.
Do You Need A Licence For An Electric Scooter?
The government review into the potential legalisation will determine whether future electric scooter use will require a licence and if so, what category. At the moment, participating areas in the trial scheme require users to have either a provisional or full driving licence. No training is required before using the electric scooter.
Which Brand Electric Scooter Is Best?
There are many excellent electric scooters available at various price points depending on your requirements. Scooters like the P1+ will give you high speeds coupled with a long range, and the electric scooter like the R1+ built for pure speed and control.
Why not take a look at the wide range of different models to find one that suits your exact needs? See our Full Range of High Performance eScooters here.
When can we expect eScooters to be legal?
With the government having trailed eScooter throughout a number of large cities in the UK they have stated that new rules and regulations allowing the use of privately owned eScooters is to be published in March 2022.