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Electric Scooter Sharing Programs Improving Mobility in Major Cities

Ryan Citron
Feb 24, 2016

e-bike, setting

The iconic city of Paris, France will be implementing an electric scooter (e-scooter) sharing program in an effort to reduce the heavy traffic congestion and air pollution plaguing the city. Slated to begin in the summer of 2016, the rental program will consist of around 1,000 e-scooters from the German manufacturer GOVECS and will be managed by EV rental firm Cityscoot. The e-scooters have a top speed of 28 mph and an electric range of 65 miles. An interesting feature on the Cityscoot scooters is a keyless ignition; subscribers receive a text message with a code on their smartphone that unlocks the e-scooter.

Cities Looking For Alternatives

Paris is hoping that offering alternatives to personal vehicle use will result in fewer incidents similar to last summer, in which driving bans had to be instituted and pollution levels in the city of lights briefly surpassed those of Shanghai. Many other city governments in Europe are also looking for ways to improve mobility in their cities, as Barcelona, Spain was the first to introduce an e-scooter sharing program back in 2013. Should the Paris project prove successful, London, England is expected to be the next target for Cityscoot.

The trend is not limited to Europe, however. Slowly but surely e-scooters are becoming more popular in highly populated U.S. cities. Scoot Networks is a smartphone-activated e-scooter sharing company located in San Francisco, California. The company has been expanding its supply quickly due to high demand and now has close to 400 e-scooters for use in the Bay Area at over 35 locations. Each scooter has an electric range of 25 miles and a top speed of 30 mph.

According to Navigant Research, the global market for e-scooters is expected to grow from about 4.1 million annual unit sales to just under 4.5 million by 2024. If e-scooter sharing programs can prove to be successful in early adopter cities such as Barcelona, Paris, and San Francisco, other major cities are likely to follow suit and the market could grow more quickly than expected.

E-Scooter Sales by Region, China and Rest of World: 2015-2024

Ryan Scooter Blog

 (Source: Navigant Research)