Are Electric Scooters Bad for the Environment, Traffic and Safety?

Briefly, largely not, as they don’t pollute all by themselves. The air pollution comes by way of the processes of manufacture, upkeep and the waste they produce when thrown away. Thus, they pollute not directly, not by way of direct utilization.

A phrase of warning from the writer. This comparability is completed in relation to different extra regularly addressed causes of air pollution, similar to petrol scooters, vehicles, buses, and so forth.

Thus, so as to correctly analyze this problem, I shall cut up this dialogue into two main components. The consequences e-scooters have on the common atmosphere and the ones they’ve over site visitors and public security.


The primary and foremost component that we’d be offered in such a dialogue could be their influence on the atmosphere.

When pondering of electrical scooters, we mechanically assume that they’re utterly innocent to the atmosphere. And to the untrained eye, it is perhaps so, given how they lack fossil gas consumption and don’t emit greenhouse gasses. However they aren’t as infallible as they may appear at first look.


A research revealed by North Carolina State College (2019) has given an perception into the legal responsibility of e-scooters.

In accordance with this research, the scooters all themselves, will not be accountable for the air pollution. They don’t emit greenhouse gasses or add to car congestion. They’re silent and environment friendly. They require fairly a small space of width to operate, that means that there is no such thing as a want for choking infrastructure. So what might they do to provide air pollution?

Effectively, it’s not the scooters themselves, however the supplies that they’re product of and the course of of producing. Specifically, the body, the wheels and particularly the batteries. That is additionally true when a mannequin is thrown out right into a rubbish dump or when the e-scooter is returned to be refitted and resold.


This consists of the transportation course of from the vendor to the retailer or the purchaser immediately. And since an amazing variety of e-scooter fashions hail from China, it’s certainly not an extremely clear course of. This consists of, to an amazing diploma, the Chinese language manufacturing processes which just about utterly disregard worldwide air pollution norms and rules.

In accordance with official charts for the yr 2019, China produces virtually 30% of worldwide air pollution. An excellent portion comes from automotive utilization, however most of it represents air pollution from manufacturing crops. Consider, thus, that the majority of the air pollution comes from the manufacturing nation and not from the scooter itself. The identical goes for spare components. Remember the fact that China will not be the sole producer of e-scooters. Nevertheless, it’s the most necessary one.


This is because of many low-cost, but unsustainable processes of manufacturing for the totally different supplies or elements. In terms of e-scooters, you’ll have to think about that the following supplies are those who I’m speaking about. For every one in every of them, there’s a complicated and usually polluting/unsustainable means of harvesting, processing, and utilization. These are:

electric scooters production


  • Aluminum
  • Rubber
  • Metal
  • Petrol (plastics)


  • Aluminum alloys
  • Chargers
  • Batteries
  • Motors
  • Wires
  • Wiring boards
  • Powder coats
  • LED lights
  • Wheels
  • Body and handles
  • Different miscellaneous elements

The manufacturing processes and transportation:

Each aforementioned merchandise, be it uncooked materials or part, must be extracted, processed and transported. However so as to be worthwhile, most extraction and manufacturing crops operate in the conventional means. Even the transportation pollutes, although excessive consumption of gas per km for vehicles and ships.

 Oblique air pollution by way of vitality consumption

The vitality these scooters devour is an oblique pollutant all by itself. As everyone knows from “economics 101”, provide stimulates demand. And one in every of the most handy commodities of at this time is the vitality we devour. Not the caloric selection, however the electrical type. The one which your scooter conveniently calls for so as to operate.

The concept is that by using your scooter, you require vitality in fixed provides. It will make you devour much more vitality than you do month-to-month, which in flip requires producers to up their provide. This isn’t as a lot of an issue now because it was, say, 100 years in the past, when coal-based power-plants and dams have been the foremost vitality sources worldwide.

Nevertheless, even with all the renewable vitality sources on the market, like photo voltaic and wind farms, coal energy crops are nonetheless considerable. That is evident particularly in nations similar to the US, the place coal energy crops produce about 24% of the nations energy. Afterward, there may be the problem of nuclear vitality, which individuals nonetheless argue towards as being the most harmful supply.

The concept is that the extra you journey your scooter, the extra vitality it consumes and the extra you’ll have to purchase. And with such polluting strategies nonetheless getting used at this time, it’s apparent how excessive vitality consumption contributes not directly to air pollution. Your e-scooter may not pump out greenhouse gasses, however that coal energy plant will accomplish that with none brakes in thoughts.

To totally cost a mean e-scooter like UScooter Booster, UScooter ECO or Xiaomi Mi M365 you’ll solely devour about 0.33 kilowatts of energy. Contemplating the 13.19 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) it means your e-scooter is taking you 4.x cents for a cost. And a cost will get you a 12-15 miles (15-20 km). Examine that to the price of gasoline. (The kWh value is up to date on August 2019 and it’s the common US value for a kWh).

Even when the vitality is produced from non-regenerable sources, it nonetheless makes extra sense to make use of an e-scooter.


Except recycled, most waste goes into large rubbish dumps and even will get thrown into the oceans. The latter is clearly worse, since in not solely pollutes the waters, nevertheless it additionally kills 1000’s of marine species.

Traffic and security


Except you reside underneath a rock, you might be conscious of how many individuals have transitioned from vehicles to bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters. This is because of financial, well being or environmental associated points, sprung over the final decade. In that case, you might be aware of how harmful some cyclists have made lives for everybody concerned throughout this era. Effectively, sadly, many e-scooter riders are beginning to comply with of their footsteps.

However earlier than you burn me for this, remember the fact that I’m referring to a choose group of individuals. Specifically, those that see themselves invincible and these round them simply as liabilities. Sure, these individuals who journey in the center of the road, who don’t respect purple lights, circulation guidelines. These individuals who would hold site visitors frozen so as to have extra room on the road.

And to collect such a repute could be extremely unlucky since e-scooters are precisely what each chocked metropolis requires. They’re quick, don’t pollute (immediately), silent and slim, permitting you to skip any jam-packed site visitors with out a hustle. Nevertheless, that is the place the issues start.

For starters, when they’re offered with all these advantages, many individuals merely journey forth with out contemplating anything. You would possibly see a few of them personally even. You already know, these individuals who skip site visitors jams by going at reasonably excessive speeds. It’s all superb and dandy till they hit both somebody who exits a automotive, a jaywalker or a toddler.


And consider, most scooters are 45 to 90 lbs or 20-40 kg in weight. Additionally, remember the fact that their common speeds are about 20 miles/h or 32 km/h. Take into consideration how painful could be not solely for them however for you additionally to get hit by these numbers. And also you would possibly (and ought to) put on a helmet for safety, however that’s all.

Going at excessive speeds on a scooter in a dangerous state of affairs is like arming a ticking bomb. With a purpose to personally keep away from such conditions, keep away from frightening them. Go at average, even sluggish speeds when there are a lot of folks round or when the site visitors is packed.

Moreover, remember the fact that we reside in a golden age of the e-scooter trade and that many individuals are new to this. Thus, being newbies and with out correct methods to be taught, most new riders are unpredictable at greatest. That is particularly harmful in the large and crowded cities the place you get these 2$/journey e-scooters that may be discovered in every single place.

Fortuitously, although, regardless of my cherry-picking, there are few e-scooter riders who do that on a world scale. Thus, you shouldn’t fear, as our repute hasn’t been dirty but. Though, it’s the rider’s responsibility to remember the fact that not solely they matter on the highway and/or the sidewalk.

We should always hold it civilized, go sluggish in crowded areas and we must always not put anybody at risk. And, each time and wherever you possibly can, assist those that are new to this. You’ll make the streets safer for everybody.


In conclusion, regardless of the ailing issues that I’ve been writing about, I’d lean in direction of no. Positive, they do pollute not directly by way of all the means I’ve beforehand addressed. Nevertheless, so does every thing we devour. Even the manufacturing of bio meals entails air pollution on a big scale.

Nevertheless, on this case, will not be how a lot it pollutes, however how a lot it saves. Sure, their manufacturing and transportation processes are unhealthy for the atmosphere. Nevertheless, allow us to take, for instance, a gas-consuming scooter. The aforementioned processes of manufacture and transportation are the similar.

Nevertheless, that is the place the similarities finish. Whereas the gasoline scooter pollutes each in the quick and long run, the e-scooter will, after buy, not. The e-scooter will present, kind of, the similar advantages of transportation, but with a decreased imprint upon the atmosphere.

Thus, do you have to be really concerned with caring about the environment, the e-scooter ought to be your go-to methodology of transportation.