E-scooter lessons from abroad

E-scooters on display at a shop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on May 7, 2019.
E-scooters on display at a shop in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on May 7, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

As shared bicycles become an endangered species, electric scooters are taking over in many countries.

But after eight deaths and nearly 300 injured pedestrians in 2018, as reported by some newspapers in Europe, France is banning the silent e-scooters from pavements.

In Germany, e-scooters will soon be allowed by law, but they will not be allowed on pavements.

They will be treated like bicycles and have to use the bicycle lanes accordingly. One important argument came from the insurance industry, which was not prepared to sell the compulsory liability and accident insurance for e-scooters, irrespective of the speed limits, which they saw as difficult to control.

Yet investors and e-scooter startups continue to believe in the last mile and car-light narratives.

Wolfgang Sachsenroder (Dr)