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Old 08-12-2019, 07:07 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Shared Electric Scooters Worse For Climate Than Riding A Moped




Quote:
Shared electric scooter schemes have been popping up in cities across the world over the past year, spread out across sidewalks and allowing users to check them out with their phones and return them wherever they like.

The scooter schemes have been controversial. Critics say they are resulting in many injuries and even deaths, and that they are becoming a new form of urban litter as they block sidewalks for pedestrians. Now, a new study is introducing a new criticism targeting one of the scheme’s main selling points – the idea that scooters are good for the environment.

The study by researchers at North Carolina State University looks at the whole lifecycle of the vehicles – from production to disposal. Most crucially, it looks at the carbon-intensive process of having to constantly gather and recharge the scooters.

The study found that a one mile (1.6 kilometres) trip on a dockless electric scooter generally emits more greenhouse gases than riding a diesel-powered bus or taking an electric moped.

The researchers say they decided to conduct the study after finding a sticker on a scooter from the company Lime saying, “your ride was carbon-free”.

The scooters tend to have a short lifespan, even though the process to manufacture them is resource-intensive. Some are discarded after malfunctioning, and there have been reports of them being thrown into rivers or canals. The manufacturing process accounts for about half of the scooter’s emissions. The other half is emitted in the gathering and recharging process.

“Roughly two-thirds of the time, scooter rides generate more greenhouse-gas emissions than the alternative,” the study’s authors said, adding that the emissions produced by shared scooter riders are “greater than the gains from the car rides not taken.”

Scooter rides are generally short and are usually not replacing a ride in a personal car, though they may sometimes replace a ride in a taxi.

The study recommends that the schemes use electric vehicles to collect the scooters - doing so only when they are fully depleted, reduce the distances between collection and storage points, and use more recycled materials in production in order to reduce their emissions. Requiring users to return the scooters to docks, rather than leaving them anywhere, would also greatly reduce emissions – though it would obviously reduce the scooters’ convenience appeal.

Under current conditions, 65% of the scooter rides generate more emissions than using public transport or riding a moped. If the recommended emission-reduction changes were made, it would reduce this to 35-50%.
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