Calgary led the world in demand for electric scooters in May 2020, so it is no surprise that I second my hometown's obsession (and have been eagerly awaiting full adoption in London). Yes, they are fun to ride. Yes, they are a great way to get around. And yes, they are extremely convenient.
However, electric scooters (and micromobility as a whole) present many more benefits - especially in our new Covid-19 influenced world.
Not only does it look like the uptake of micromobility across the world is going to continue post-Covid, but it should also be noted that micromobility companies banded together to help people get around safely.
Companies like Lime, Bird, Voi and many others, implemented safety measures such as self-cleaning handlebars and break levers. If that wasn't enough, free rides were offered to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. Helping deliver essential goods across communities, such as groceries or even local restaurant delivery, micromobility providers used their power for good and made a significant impact.
Providing a safe alternative for commuters, as well as reducing carbon emissions and contributing to a greener economy, governments around the world are starting to value the benefits of implementing more micromobility solutions (even going so far as offering subsidies etc).
Looking at previous pandemics, such as SARS, there was a clear rise in electric bike sales, as well as alternatives to public transport. It is likely we will see the same post-Covid. If that is the case, as well as supporting the long-term recovery of global economies, more micromobility and a move to electric could be one silver lining in the wake of our most recent pandemic.
Now, who's ready for a ride down electric avenue?
We can look to past events that reflect a similar pattern: after China’s SARS outbreak, e-bike sales and ridership skyrocketed as people sought alternatives to more crowded public transportation options. Urban mobility also has the potential to support the long-term recovery of the economy, especially among local businesses.