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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Electric scooters are here to stay

Have fun on today's mobility technology

Electric scooters are here to stay

The title of this article says it all. Electric scooters seem to come out of nowhere and has completely infected our everyday mobile life. You seem them, in the beginning, ridden by college students near campuses, but then suddenly you now see people of all ages and all types using them for fun or ease of getting to their local stores.

I first road one because I was just too tired to walk home. It was a total thrill! I had seen people riding them and can recall thinking how lazy they must be for needed to ride one. I had even thought that people would someday become like the characters in the Pixar movie Wall-e, who became so lazy and dependent on their technology for all their mobility. Now I’m not about to argue that that lazy future is not still a possibility, but I’ve since changed my opinion about scooters to think they are such a great idea, that I’ve even bought my own to save on the cost of renting.

So now I will try to go over some of the positives and negatives that I’ve found about owning one of these little incredible pieces of technology that’ll hopefully help you understand if they are a good or bad thing.

Rental Fees Can Add Up

The first thought you may have been “why buy”? Scooter rentals are very convenient. You’re out and about and you realize the distance you need to travel maybe too far to walk, so a scooter would be a blessing to rent. Currently there are so many different companies that are providing electric scooter rentals that it would require a whole article to cover them all. Uber Technologies Inc. allow people to rent electric scooters from Lime through their app. The drawback, not a huge one, is the rental fee. . Lime Scooters are available to rent, as well as Veo Scooters, which are two companies located in the Washington, D.C. area. From research, here is what most fees are as follows. $1.00 to activate the scooter, by using a proprietary app, and then 25₵¢ per minute of use. It can vary from the different scooter companies that have popped up, but this is pretty much what they average in price.

Pay To Ride

The fees may not seem like a lot, if you’re just using the scooters occasionally, but with regularly usage for commuting around the city or campus, the cost starts to add up…especially if you are on a budget. If you rent a scooter 2 times a day, 5 days a week, once to go to school or work and then once to go home, an average commute of 10 minutes each way, that would cost, for a daily round trip of 20 minutes, $7.00. That would add up to $35.00 a week, $140.00 a month minimum. After three months, you would’ve spent $420.00 just for those 2 trips, 5 days a week. A good reason for why I only rented a scooter a total of 10 times and then decided to buy one for myself.

Where To Buy

My main two sites I began my research were Amazon and AliExpress. Amazon is a good choice, not just for its large selection of products, but because it has the easiest return/exchange policy than any other business. If you choose a scooter that you realize it’s not what you expected, you can send it back without paying any shipping fees. AliExpress is a Chinese site. Unfortunately, there’s no free shipping for returns, but it provides a good selection of scooters that are rich with features, but reasonably priced. Both sites ship their products very fast so no long wait times. AliExpress is overseas, but big-ticket items like scooters tend to take only a week to arrive. I bought mine from AliExpress and it took exactly 6 days.

Decide What Your Requirements Are

Ride Safely

If you do decide to buy, make sure you put in a lot of research into how much, how far, how fast and how powerful a scooter you want. So, I decided to set my requirements on distance, price, app access and battery replacement ease. I wanted to get one that could traverse 5 miles without having to worry about depleting my charge before I could make it home. I know that might seem far, but when you consider stopping and going to multiple places, it’s actually very conservative. Another requirement I really wanted would be ability to exchange the battery easily for when I may need to go further. That’s always the possibility no matter how prepared you may be, things change, and I wanted to be ready. I also wanted to be able to access my scooter with a mobile app with the ability to lock it for security reasons. My final requirement is a price limit. I wanted to keep the price below $500.00, which makes it within a price range that won’t hurt me too bad in case of theft or it damaged beyond repair. Just like investing in the market, don’t exceed what you can’t handle to lose.

A New Addiction To My Mobile Life

After searching through Amazon’s and AliExpress’s website, I decided to go with the Hiboy. The specs meet all my needs, 350W front wheel motor, top speed 19 mph, mobile app that allows me to set speed limits and lock/unlock the scooter and a range of 17 miles (as long as the terrain doesn’t have too many hills, then around 10-12 miles). {#HiBoy#} has a good selection of electric scooters to choose from, but just like shopping for a car, still make sure you look around for something to fits your needs.

Dos And Don’ts For Enjoyment

Electric scooters are very enjoyable to ride around the city on, but you still have shown some responsibility, not just because of the law, also to maintain your electric scooter’s components.

The Law

Having fun with scooters does have limitations put in place by the local laws. Remember, electric scooters are considered small vehicles. From research, at least in the USA, most laws, in the most states, say that a scooter’s speed can’t exceed 20 mph which allows a user to not be required to have a special license to ride. Universities, such as the UMD's Transportation Service, have required scooters to follow essentially the same laws as bicycle and gas scooter riders must follow.

Ride Safely

The riders of the electric scooters cannot be less than 16 years of age. Let’s face facts. Most electric scooters are two wheeled, as such, required a good amount ability to balance oneself. A person younger may not be able to balance well enough to maneuver one. Even though you may not see it often, a user is required, just like bicycle riders, to wear a safety helmet, especially if they ‘re under the age of 18.

Remember to respect the traffic rules established for electric scooters. They are regulated to safeguard your safety as well as for pedestrians.


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