E-scooters in Zug - police warnings and ecological footprint
Mis à jour : 14 nov. 2019
A few weeks after the launch of free-floating e-scooters in town, the local police has finally issued a statement regarding traffic rules to ensure everyone's safety on the roads.
Apart from the list that we highlighted here on OUTSIDE THE BOX, the following points have been added:
E-scooters are made to be used by one person only - multiple-people ride is forbidden
At the end of the ride, e-scooters need to be parked on dedicated areas (e.g. bike stands) and not on sidewalks. I guess this rule applies on private scooters and not Flash freefloating ones which are allowed to park randomly on pedestrian zones.
Click here to read the article from the Luzerner Zeitung (in German).
In the meantime, Paris counted its first death of a scooter driver who was hit by a truck (the first investigation showed that the scooter driver denied the truck priority and got hit....while the truck driver was under the influence). While the exact number of freefloating scooters is difficult to estimate (the numbers range from 15,000 to expected 70,000 by the end of the summer) Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo also announced recently that scooters would not be allowed anymore to park on sidewalks.
The discussions started when I posted the original article on a Zug local Facebook group were interesting and raised relevant questions, especially regarding the purpose of e-mobility and its environmental impact:
What do the e-scooters or e-bikes actually replace on the roads?
One commented with skepticism that:
"if they are replacing cars on the road, well ok maybe that's more sustainable. If they are replacing good ol' renewable leg-power, then not so much"...
Another would suit the advantages of reducing commute time, especially on the hills of Zug which are not especially well-covered by public transportation.
Following this discussion I looked for more information regarding the ecological footprint of producting, using and maintaining e-scooters.
Matt Chester, an energy analyst in Washington DC writing on Chester Energy and Policy, provided a very detailed overview of scooters' environmental impact already in 2018.
To get more details I strongly advise you to read his articles, The Electric Scooter Fallacy: Just Because They’re Electric Doesn’t Mean They’re Green (2018) and It’s a Bird…It’s a Lime…It’s Dockless Scooters! But Can These Electric-Powered Mobility Options Be Considered Sustainable Using Life-Cycle Analysis (2019).
His conclusions might be surprising, especially the one illustrated below and according to which the CO2 equivalent footprint of a scooter equals the one of a midsize gasoline car, although emitting factors differ.