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What is an electric scooter?

Electric scooters are two-wheeled vehicles powered by electric engines that combine the iconic design of a motor-cycle or scooter with the efficiency and sustainability of electric propulsion.  Electric scooters are an increasingly popular option for urban mobility, offering a clean and efficient alternative to traditional internal combustion vehicles.

How does an electric scooter work?

The engine of an electric scooter works differently from internal combustion engines. Instead of burning fuel, electric scooters use a motor that converts the electric power of the battery into mechanical energy to drive the rear wheel. For this purpose, electronic controllers fitted to the handlebar grip are used to regulate the power delivered to the engine, according to the driver’s orders. When the driver turns the accelerator grip, the controller increases the power supplied to the motor, which speeds up the scooter. Some electric scooters have regenerative braking systems that turn part of the kinetic energy produced when the driver applies the brakes into electricity that recharges the battery.

What type of battery is used for electric scooters?

The autonomy of an electric scooter depends on the battery capacity. Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most common. Autonomy typically varies from about 40 km to more than 100 km with a single charge, depending on the model and driving conditions, including the speed chosen, the number of times the scooter stops, the weight of the vehicle and the driver, the gradient of the terrain, the temperature of the environment and other factors.

What are the advantages of electric scooters for urban mobility?

One of the biggest benefits of electric scooters is their low environmental impact. They do not emit any pollutant gases or harmful particles and contribute to reducing air pollution in urban areas.

Another notable feature of electric scooters is that their engines are extremely quiet and do not generate vibrations, producing considerably less noise pollution than their combustion engine counterparts.

Electric scooters have lower operating costs than gasoline-powered vehicles, because, depending on the method by which it is produced, electricity tends to be cheaper than gasoline. Moreover, electric motors require less maintenance than combustion engines.

Because of their characteristics, electric scooters are ideal vehicles for scooter sharing. This is a system for hiring vehicles with payment per hour or per minute to meet the need for a single journey. In many cities, the fleets of shared vehicles, parked on public roads or at specific pick-up points and available for rental through a mobile app, have increased substantially. This form of transport is a more sustainable alternative than the purchase of a vehicle by each user.

What is the difference between this type of scooter and a simple e-scooter?

The term “electric scooter” can cause confusion in English, as it refers both to a small electric motorbike and a motorized kick scooter with a platform the rider stands on. The latter have become popular in recent years as an alternative form of urban transport. They are light and compact, with a handlebar for steering and a braking system. The motor is located in the base of the platform and is powered by a rechargeable battery. The rider accelerates or brakes using a lever on the handlebar.

Although both electric vehicles have two wheels positioned one before the other, the first serving to steer the vehicle, which remains upright while the driver is traveling, the design and driving position is the most obvious difference between these two types. The basic scooter consists of a narrow horizontal platform that is close to the ground, on which the user normally stands while holding the handlebar, which is attached vertically to the front of the platform. Bike-style electric scooters provide greater comfort.   Their design is based on a normal bike, with an open frame, a comfortable seat and a platform to rest your feet on. The wheels of this type of vehicle are usually smaller than those of conventional motorcycles, but larger than those of kick scooters.

The other major difference is power and autonomy. Basic electric scooters are designed to cover urban distances up to about 20 km, while the autonomy of bike-style scooters usually exceeds 80 km.

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