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It is very interesting to note that a quick search on google, as to which way is the most CO2 friendly option by way of commuting to work, predominantly shows three alternatives; walk, bike, or public transport. Some of these articles are quite recent. And as much as all those alternatives are relevant and a correct assessment (least in comparison to driving by car or some other combustion engine of choice) the lack of electric scooter featuring as a viable contender, is probably more an indicator of how rapid and steep the development and arrival of this phenomenal transportaiton tool has been, than the omitting of it as a noncompetitor.
However you look at it, an electric scooter in comparison to those three mentioned above is no competition. In fact, electric scooters are as close to a magic carpet ride to go from point A to B as simple and swiftly as possible, particularly in the city centers. The big issue of today is of course the CO2 footprint we leave behind us. Some voices are saying we need to cut down on our travels. This thought is anathema for most people in our world and society of today. It simply won’t happen. People travel more and more and so therefore, the solution is to accommodate that and think outside the box. When looking at the city center commute or even from a suburb into the city center, most people would readily accept a quick and reasonably effortless way to get to work. Biking can be an option, but maybe it’s just too far and the speed required and effort going into it is simply not doable. Public transport has its pros and cons. You have to accept the constraints of their timetables and can’t simply travel exactly when you want. If we are taking the bus, we have a combustion engine and so CO2 is still an issue. The car is comfortable, but requires parking options which might be very costly, and also…..you might be branded a CO2 hooligan if you preference regular innercity driving (by car). In London for example, upon walking around the city center, it is nothing less than astonishing to see how many huge SUV’s are competing for space in an already crowded city.
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In fact, growing demand for SUV’s was the second largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions from 2010 to 2018 an analysis showed as reported in the Guardian on Oct 25th 2019. An SUV is bigger, heavier, the aerodynamics are poor and so as a result you get more CO2. The problem with these types of cars was much bigger than expected said Florent Grelier from the campaign group Transport & Environment. It is in light of facts like these being presented, and with the world climate changing as it is, that planning around ones transport and commute will be more and more critical. The question one asks oneself is; “when will it be forbidden to drive ones car into the city centers of the major big cities in all countries in the western world”? Imagine such a scenario. You can park your car outside the city center and then, go to your workplace or other appointments by way of public transport. Time will be spent waiting for the tramshuttle, or maybe a bus. Cities are quite big and the need to be able to get around in them fast is huge. In a future like that, it is not a question of if people will have an electric scooter in the boot of their car but rather, which make model and sort? I found the article Best electric scooters for commuting really helpful.
Responsible planning around the topic of how much CO2 you leave in your wake when travelling is probably going to be regulated in a not so distant future. Speculating around this topic is being done already in various forums and as usual, we don’t know what the politicians will throw at us at convenience. However, if history has shown us anything regarding politics and how our elected representatives act, it will take a very brave person to assume that in a future where all travel is electric, the loss of tax revenue that is built within the system around the cars we mainly drive today, (combustion engines) will not somehow be replaced. In fact, for fans of the TV show Top Gear, they might remember an episode where the objection for the tv presenter was to drive a Tesla across Norway. Reason for it being that Norway is a country that has been at the forefront of green transport in Europe and in the Northern Countries.
Something that strikes you when travelling across Norway is how many Tesla car dealerships there are. And even before Tesla, many years ago I once visited Bergen, and was picked up by a very strange car, I have never seen it’s like since. It was fully electric and was made out of the same type of material that you find on an alpine skiboot, a type of hard plastic. The point of it, it was explained to me, was it was taxfree, zero CO2 emissions, free parking everywhere, could use the bus lanes etc etc. I don’t know what happened to it but I can imagine when Tesla arrived it was a much more sexier option than riding around in an orange skiboot of sorts. Top Gear travelled to Norway and as explained above, set out to drive across the country in a Tesla just because Norway supposedly had massively subsidised and incentivised electric personal transport.
All tollroads and ferrycrossings were supposed to be free of charge and so on. Well then, imagine the surprised look on Chris Harris face when he was asked to pay regular fare to drive on the ferry. Well, lo and behold, the authorities had noticed such a huge upturn of electric vehicles that taxrevenue from private transport took a hit. And so, a certain tax is invented or it is just decided that an electric car can not be free of charge after all and so, pay up like everyone else. One might assume, that the weight of ones vehicle will be a possible target for a tax even on battery driven cars and other electric transports in the future if not already tomorrow. And how much does an electric scooter weigh in comparison to any car? In some cases less than the beforementioned SUV’s spare tire! Yet another reason to look into the electric scooter and what is available and what suits your needs and desires. Any comparison between the electric scooter and the car, visavi CO2 grams per mile being released will always favour the electric scooter. And as with so many things in life, once you adapt, and get used to the enormous potential the electric scooter offers when it comes to commuting to work as well as for other uses, you will think…why didn’t we have this before? What took them so long, and how did I manage before?