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Do Electric Scooters Are The Best Choice For Our Environment?


Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

Most of you think electric scooters are environmentally friendly to travel around the city. But the North Carolina State University disagree with you, e-scooters are greener than most cars but it's not greener than other choices.

Professor Jeremiah Johnson from the civil and environmental department at North Carolina state university (NC State) said that the companies of e-scooters are introducing themselves as no carbon footprint or little footprint and this is brave statement. Professor Johnson also said that the research team wanted to take a general look at the environmental impacts caused by shared e-scooters, and they compared with the other transportation options.

The research team divided the impacts of e-scooters according to emissions produced from each scooter life cycle.

Here are four aspects:

1. The production process of each scooter components and materials.

2. Manufacturing process.

3. Shipping te scooters from the manufacturer to the place of use.

4. Collecting, charging and redistributing the scooters.

The researchers made a small scale survey, they asked scooter users what type of transportation they prefer if te doesn't have e-scooters. The results showed that 49% of them prefer to bike or walk to get their destination, 34% of them said they would take a car to get their destination, 11% prefer taking the bus, 7% would not make the trip at all.

The researchers planned to compare the e-scooters impacts with the other transportation kinds, so they studied a previous report published about analysis of the life cycle of cars, buses, bicycle, and electric mopeds.

The research team identified four environmental impacts and pollution types:

1. climate change impacts.

2. nutrients loading in the water.

3. respiratory problems related to air pollution.

4. acidification.

The results were comparable to the four types of pollution.


Professor Johnson said most of their findings were a pretty complicated but they had a few clear things. Using a bike or an electric bike is almost always best for the environment compared to using shared e-scooter, the individual possible exception is for people who use pay-to-ride bike-share programs. The companies destructed their bicycle in their local services area by using trunks or cars which sometimes make them not environmentally friendly than using an e-scooter.

Normally they proof that using cars is not environmentally friendly comparing to using e-scooters but the study surprised me, for example, the bus carries a lot of passengers is more environmentally friendly than e-scooters riders.

Professor Johnson also said that they found that the electricity charges the e-scooters has a small impact of about 5% of the total. The big impact came from the industrial emissions related to e-scooters materials producing, the trunks used to collect and distribute also ave a large environmental impact.

That means that 2 major factors contribute to every scooter's environmental footprint. 1st is that the less driving that's done to gather and distribute the scooters, the smaller the impact. The second issue is that the scooters' lifetime: the longer the scooter is in commission, the longer it's to offset the impact caused by creating all of its constituent elements.

"There are many things to contemplate, however, e-scooters are environmentally friendly compared to some modes of transport," Johnson says. "And there are things that firms and local governments will do to additional scale back their impacts. as an example, permitting -- or encouraging -- firms to gather scooters only if they hit electric battery depletion threshold would scale back a scooter's impact, as a result of you would not be aggregation scooters that do not would like re-charging."

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North Carolina State University. "Shared E-scooters aren't always as 'green' as other transport options." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190802104535.htm>.

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