Maximising the benefits of e-scooter deployment in cities

While we in the Netherlands may have to wait till 2023 for the shared e-scooter to hit the streets, they are well established in many cities across Europe. At Cenex Nederland we believe that e-scooters have a place in the transport network, offering first and last mile travel solutions that are inclusive and sustainable. However, to avoid the pitfalls that accompany the introduction of the new service (e.g. dangerous use, cluttered sidewalks) we should learn from the experiences of other cities.

As part of the EIT Climate KIC project SuSMo, Cenex made an overview on how different cities handle shared e-scooters. Focussing on policy of the cities, impacts of the e-scooters and the key considerations for deployment.

On the policy side, it is clear that regulation is essential in mitigating the potential negative effects of e-scooters. This means that local authorities need to take an active role in regulating the deployment of e-scooters in their regions, to ensure that e-scooters meet their needs and ambitions. This could include parking regulations, speed limits, tenders for operator deployments, insurance and environmental sustainability.

The e-scooter can help ease congestion by replacing short urban car trips. They can also decrease the journey time of short trips as the average inner city speed is often lower than the speed of the e-scooter. Furthermore, with CO2 emissions of 35-67 gram per kilometre over their lifetime, e-scooters have a small carbon footprint when compared with the private petrol car (220-350 g/km). This is still more than public transport or active travel, therefore, e-scooter journeys should target replacing private car journeys and gaps in the transport system where public transport and active travel are not feasible.

Considering the deployment cooperation between operators and local authorities is key, integrating e-scooters in the city’s transport system. Public transport and active travel should be the backbone of sustainable urban mobility, micromobility services should support these modes.

Overall, we think cities can benefit from the introduction of e-scooters when managed appropriately. Through openness, planning and regulation, e-scooters represent a large piece of the puzzle in decarbonising urban transport.

For a deeper look into the key learnings please see the report to the right.