25 Apr Zooming ahead – The rapid rise of e-scooters
As the global focus on environmental sustainability grows, there has been a remarkable increase in the demand for electric transportation alternatives. Among the emerging trends, the micromobility movement has gained significant traction in recent years.
Micromobility encompasses the use of lightweight, electric vehicles such as bicycles or scooters for short trips within urban areas. These vehicles are often part of self-service schemes, allowing people to conveniently rent them for short-term use within a town or city.
While they are not without some controversy, electric scooters have become a popular mode of transportation in many cities around the world. Companies like Lime, Bird, and Spin have expanded their operations to cities in Europe, Asia, and beyond. And the growth looks set to continue with the shared micromobility market across China, the European Union, and the United States predicted to reach $300 billion to $500 billion in 2030 by McKinsey & Company1.
Rooting for e-scooting
So why are e-scooters so popular? They offer a cost-effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation for short distances. Small and lightweight, e-scooters can easily navigate through congested areas, making them a popular choice for commuting. They are also becoming popular for leisure activities such as sightseeing, sports, and entertainment.
One of the reasons for this growth is the ease of use and accessibility of electric scooters. Many cities have implemented e- sharing programs, where riders can rent them through mobile apps and pick them up from docking stations or left anywhere within designated areas. This flexibility has made them a popular option for short trips.
In the UK for example, following an initial national evaluation of ongoing e-scooter trials in England, The Department for Transportation reported that 14.5 million rental e-scooter trips were completed between July 2020 and December 2021. Around 23,000 e-scooters were deployed, with the average trip covering 1.4 miles and lasting 14 minutes2. These trials are set to continue until May 2024.
Charging ahead with infrastructure
The surging popularity of electric scooters as a sustainable and convenient mode of transportation has triggered a wave of global investment in charging infrastructure to support their use. Governments, private companies, and non-profit organizations alike are recognizing the crucial role that accessible and reliable charging stations play in reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion in urban areas.
This investment in charging infrastructure encompasses the installation of charging stations in public spaces, as well as the development of innovative mobile charging solutions.
Power connectors are a critical component in the charging infrastructure for electric scooters, allowing them to be plugged into the charging stations. These connectors are specially designed to be lightweight, durable, and fit for shared mobility contexts. Some e-scooter companies have even developed their own proprietary connectors, such as Lime’s Power Hub, which enables charging of up to 10 e-scooters simultaneously.
Cold forming is an effective way to shape and form these connectors without the need for additional machining, making it an efficient and cost-effective manufacturing process. Dawson Shanahan has been a pioneer in producing cold forming power connectors for e-vehicles for many years, ensuring reliable and efficient charging even in demanding conditions.
As e-scooters become increasingly popular, it’s crucial for cities and companies to collaborate to address the challenges that arise with this new form of transportation. By investing in charging infrastructure, exploring new battery technologies, and promoting safe and responsible riding practices, e-scooters can become a sustainable and valuable addition to urban transportation systems.