The shift into e-cycling has created an entire industry of e-bikes and e-scooters, which have changed the way we approach transportation over short distances. Electric scooter bikes, unlike electric bikes, give the user the same technical advantages of scooters, such as size, mobility, and aesthetics that e-bikes do not have. Therefore, people who prefer scooters do so because of the inherent fun and playability that scooters have.
The simple act of using one leg to provide acceleration in scooters gives it a novel advantage especially since it combines mobility and play. Similar to skateboards, the scooter allows the user to become a part of the acceleration dynamics which unlike in bikes incorporates much more than just physical strength.
There are largely three types of scooters, Kick scooters, gas-powered scooters, and electric scooters. The difference comes from the method of providing thrust since kick scooters use the rider’s legs to power it whilst starting and also to add acceleration and momentum. Gas scooters used propane as a fuel source, and finally, electric scooters use a charged dynamo as their power source.
What Components Are In An Electric Scooter Bike?
The main difference between a traditional scooter and an electric scooter is that whereas the traditional scooter is powered by the user’s leg to provide thrust, an electric scooter uses an internal combustion engine to provide the required thrust for mobility.
Most scooters are made from carbon fibre and aluminium. These materials are more reliable since they are strong and give the best aesthetic appeal. Electric scooters are foldable, and this is another difference between them and kick or gas scooters.
Since gas scooters require a propane tank, they cannot be folded and are quite bulky as compared to the other types of scooters. The small size of the electric motor, allows the electric scooter to retain a lighter chassis and this is why it comes in foldable options.
Mechanics of Electric Scooter Bikes
Traditional kick scooters have hard tires and are made out of a hard plastic material surrounding a hard rubber material to absorb pressure. More conventional types of tires are air tires which require additional pneumatic air pressure, just like typical car tires.
The sizes of tires differ based on the different uses of the scooter. For example, Police scooters have specialized tires of larger sizes as compared to other types of scooters. Generally, scooter tires come in sizes varying from 6 inches to, 8 inches, 10 inches, and 13 inches, with the larger varieties made of air tires.
The spindle drive is the best and most common transmission for e-scooters. The spindle extends the engine’s output shaft, and this allows for greater transmission from the handles to the tires. It is necessary to ensure all components are dry to provide the most seamless relay between the parts.
Usage of E-scooters
Traditional kick scooters were mostly used for leisure and especially by young people who preferred scooters to bikes. However, the ease and mobility of e-scooters have allowed for a wider range of applications ranging from law enforcement to security patrolling. This versatility allows e-scooters to come at different speeds, and this has led to the question of regulations.
Different countries have different regulations to ensure scooter users do not interfere with pedestrians or even with other road users. As e-scooters become increasingly popular, there is a need to ensure alternative infrastructure is available to cater to scooter users. Israel for example has had to radically rethink its pedestrian infrastructure to cater to e-scooters who have largely taken over pedestrian zones thereby affecting walkers, cyclists, and even shop owners operating food stands.
Studies have indicated that people using e-scooters tend to engage in risky behaviours on the road, such as riding against the traffic, stopping behind the stop line, and riding in motor lanes. Unlike motorcycle riders, e-scooter riders don’t have a history of safety training and therefore will shift between using their scooters for play and transportation.
It is this dichotomy that has necessitated some countries to enact very stringent laws to rein in on scooter users. Most regulations focus on speed and usage. For example in Austria, electric scooters with a speed of up to 25km/h are considered bicycles and therefore have to adhere to the codes on bicycle use.
Private Scooters versus Commercial Scooters
Scooters have a much more enhanced versatility which means they can be used as vehicles and as leisure. The most popular use is for leisure but as the world seeks more sustainable means of transportation and scooters become increasingly efficient and reliable, commercialized scooters have become the norm.
With the emerging industry of ride-sharing apps, e-scooter shave found a niche in the market and this has led to the further development of highly advanced scooters with GPS and advanced drive features.
In the UK, it is illegal to drive private electric scooters in public spaces because they are classified as Personal Electric Light Vehicles and since they lack their infrastructure in public transportation, their use will inconvenience other pedestrians and road users.
They are subject to the same regulations as other motor vehicles and therefore their use in pedestrian zones would be illegal. E-scooters can however be used in private residences in situations where the landowner has given express permission to do so. It is vital to take care of the e-scooter to enable functionality at its highest capacity.
Future of e-scooters
As technology becomes more advanced, scooters will not be left behind in the drive for autonomous motoring. Already, there are calls for ride-sharing apps to provide for self-driving e-scooters for their ride-sharing applications.
Already, it has become easier to hire a scooter than to buy one and the market is poised to grow even larger as cities provide infrastructure for other forms of light electric vehicles, which will have further autonomous functions.
So, far it makes economic sense to simply hire a scooter and use it for short-distance travel and as the future progresses, scooters will become more commonplace in a world that seeks further sustainability.