You can see them everywhere in the big cities, on every street corner they stand and you are constantly overtaken by people on the e-scooters. But is this just a hype or is it the means of transport of the future?

Again and again there are new providers who expand our selection of cool scooters and the social media is full of them. The operation is very easy: Download the app, register and off you go. E-scooters don’t cost any fuel, are easy to use and driving is a lot of fun. What stands out above all are the advantages in use compared to our environment. A large part of the population lives in cities and there is a lot of activity. Instead of taking the car or motorbike for short distances, the e-scooters are available at various stations and can also be parked independently of each other.

The e-scooters could also have been an idea for one of our new challenges. Together with EnBW Innovation, we are looking for clever minds to fight climate change in public spaces and develop measures for one of the greatest challenges of our time. Alone or in a team, motivated students, (young) researchers, start-ups or early stage start-ups can develop an innovative and sustainable business model that aims to reduce environmental damage and combat greenhouse gases and climate change in our urban environment.

But back to the scooters – they may not be as perfect as they seem.

More than just driving fun

The production of the Scooter is connected with a very high energy consumption and therefore not completely environmentally friendly. In addition, the concept is not yet fully developed and there are always new problems. The city of Marseille is currently facing new challenges, which were most probably not expected by the suppliers before the introduction. Some citizens have found it fun to throw the e-scooters into the sea after use. One could think of a stupid youth joke, but it’s no joke. The batteries of the scooters are very toxic and harmful to the environment. Meanwhile, with the help of volunteers, dozens of scooters are being fished out of the water and the stations are being moved out of the reach of the harbour basin.

In Germany this prank has not yet taken hold, but safety issues still remain. Most people don’t have a car and can still be part of mobility with the e-scooters. The majority of the drivers, however, use the E-scooters without helmets and not infrequently there have been accidents which have also been fatal. They are therefore unprotected road users, which means that governments will continue to have to find costly solutions.

The Federal Council has, however, taken a first important step and established rules: Whether the e-scooters will continue to prevail in the future remains to be seen. What do you think? Write your opinion in the comments.

FACT: We also currently have an online challenge on Green Cities, so feel free to drop by!

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