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How do electric scooters work?

How do electric scooters work?

How do electric scooters work

If you are a certain age group, then you may have memories of riding a scooter. Before you buy  electric scooters and bicycles to open up the entire community, those fragile two-wheeled scooters allow you to be free on the sidewalk in front of the house. Let’s talk about how do electric scooters work.

Until recently, the image that scooters were nothing more than children’s toys was carried by most people.
Now, several companies, such as Bird, Lime Bike, and Spin, are out to change that perception. They are banking big on the idea that the small, compact e-scooter is a viable personal transportation device.
But is it?
Let’s take a look at where e-scooters are at today, from their fundamental appeal to how they work to their practicality beyond ordinary weekend fun.

The rise of electric scooters

Although manual and electric pedals or one-button start scooters have existed for some time, the popularity of the latter has steadily increased in the past two decades.
Perhaps the core development of today’s electric scooter design and marketing is that children are no longer the main audience.
There is no doubt that the goal is still very young. They just happen to have a different set of priorities.
College students on campus.
Young professionals who live and work in an urban environment.
People are looking for alternative means of transportation in these cities.
Each of these groups provides a market segment that tends to avoid past norms and traditions. Riding low-speed, zero-emission scooters around the city can certainly meet those demanding alternatives.
Taking into account a unified factor, everyone over a certain age may look a little silly to ride it, and it is easy to see its appeal. There is no harm in an electric scooter as a simple, easy-to-access and easier-to-operate device.

How do electric scooters work?

Electric scooters, like their unpowered siblings, are also very simple in terms of personal transportation equipment.
In its simplest form, the scooter consists of a narrow platform or deck, Shugan’s handlebars have throttle and hand brakes, two wheels (although some models are equipped with three or four), and front and rear overhangs. shelf. Most scooters can be folded, and some models also include a seat.
When it comes to changes, scooters are them. Change the design too much and they become a completely different means of transportation. However, they do have some key areas, where subtle differences can have a significant impact on performance.

It starts and ends with a battery.

How do electric scooters work

Electric scooter battery

You will find one of three battery types in the manufacturing process of electric scooters, nickel metal hydride, lead acid and lithium ion:

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
As a long-term market pillar, nickel-metal hydride batteries are between the well-known lead-acid and new-type lithium-ion batteries. Compared with lead-acid batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries have a longer charging time, but are heavier than lithium-ion batteries. In the end, these work well as practical and cost-conscious alternatives to expensive lithium-ion batteries.
Lead acid
As the long-term workhorse of rechargeable batteries, lead-acid batteries have not yet lost their status as the first choice for starters for automobiles and power sources for golf carts. Although it is a bit cumbersome to use widely, you will still find a lot of these heavy and very cheap batteries in larger scooters.
Lithium ion
The latest battery technology for electric scooters is also the most expensive, but this is for good reason. Lithium-ion technology is more powerful, the charging time is much longer than that of lead-acid or nickel-metal hydride batteries, and the package is lighter. More and more electric scooters are equipped with these batteries, and with the improvement of technology and production, the price should also increase.

Capacity, range, speed

The appeal of electric scooters as toys and potential commuting vehicles lies in the simplicity of the entire effort. Another aspect of its practicality, especially for adult professionals, is its limitations.
Due to the small size of the scooter, the size of the on-board battery is usually smaller than the cable box, which means that the overall performance of the ride has its limitations. Nothing can feel this impact more than capacity, range, and speed.
Compared with most other electric rides, the mileage and speed of a scooter directly depend on its carrying capacity and the terrain it traverses. With a few exceptions, most scooter manufacturers provide an ideal environment to achieve the best range and speed, usually defined as a 165-pound rider on a smooth surface.
The top speed of the shared scooter is 15 mph. Although the top speed of most electric scooters can be close to 20 mph (some newer models flirt at 30 mph), there is very little time for adult riders to reach this standard.
This is effective for riding an electric scooter in an urban environment because it makes the rider more comfortable and more confident. In addition, any faster speed usually leads to accidents and potential injuries.

Safety

As with most personal electric vehicles (such as hoverboards, self-balancing unicycles, and Segways), the individual using the device usually determines its safety. However, compared to other options, staying upright on a scooter is not that dangerous.
The main safety issue with scooters is when you place them in a large group of pedestrians and cars, which is now happening in many major cities in the United States
The mixture of pedestrians and people galloping at a top speed of 15 mph has led to an increase in accidents between the two, although there is no reliable data on exact numbers.

In addition to possible conflicts with non-riders, another major safety issue is the actual rider’s dress. Although every scooter manufacturer and ride-sharing company recommends the use of helmets, and many cities require headgear to be worn, few electric scooter riders do this.

electric scooters

Electric scooters as big commuters

As we pointed out at the opening ceremony, several start-up companies started flooding major metropolitan areas with hundreds of micro scooters for rent.
One of the leaders of Bird is Travis Vander Zanden, a former executive of ride-sharing giants Lyft and Uber. Other companies in the market include Lime Bike, which also provides bicycle rental services, and Spin, which has a business model similar to bicycles and scooters.
The attraction of the scooter sharing program is cost and convenience.
Supported by the app, after you enter the basic information and agree to the terms, you can unlock the scooter with a simple scan. The app can also guide you to the nearest pick-up location. Since they have no docks, you can find one anywhere and leave one anywhere.
When it comes time to pay, most rides cost less than $5 depending on where you need to go.
For example, Bird charges a $1 unlock fee, and then charges 15 cents for every minute of use. For a 15-minute walk, you will need to spend $3.25. Many rides are far below this.
For those seeking an alternative to walking or taking public transportation, this is a huge advantage, but many cities have not accepted it.
In several places, companies that share scooters have unloaded hundreds of devices across towns without a license and almost without notice, to no avail. Several municipalities have responded to requests that these groups remove their vehicles, or they will do so for them.
Another problem that arises relates to the lack of experience or knowledge of the rider.
In most cities in the United States, electric scooters fall under the same regulations governing the use of bicycles. Although most cyclists understand the basic principles they should follow, it is not certain how many scooter renters will do this.
For example, with very few exceptions, scooters must be driven on bicycle lanes or city streets, where scooters do not exist. However, there are numerous reports that a large number of electric scooters are driving on city sidewalks instead of staying on the side of the road.
In addition, the use of helmets is actually a common requirement for any two-wheeled vehicle, whether it is manually powered, electricity, or gasoline.
Several companies have begun to provide helmets to their regular city adapters for a nominal fee. Unfortunately, the “one-and-for-all” nature of renting an electric scooter determines that most users will not carry a helmet with them when preparing to ride. Many people are not properly protected.
Just like new technologies and new ways to solve old problems, this is a tricky balancing act for everyone involved.
At this point, we should note that the two major US cities, New York and Boston, have explicitly rejected the experiment, while Austin, Texas, has found some solutions after finalizing the regulatory requirements for operators.
Whether it succeeds or fails, time will prove whether the electric scooter suppliers and the cities they hope to operate can find a happy medium.

Final thoughts

Few things in this world can change from a child’s toy to an adult’s necessity. With people calling for alternative modes of travel and the lack of response from local governments, it will be interesting to see if the shared scooter industry has the ability to surpass the fashion of millennials.
If nothing else, this is a noble attempt to make the city that cannot be walked be navigated more comfortably and relieve some of the stress and congestion of city life.

Regardless of the outcome, strolling nearby on weekends, with a breeze blowing through your hair, and a pair of battery-powered wheels under your feet, will never go out of style.

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