Number of e-scooter listings spikes on Carousell with announcement of new ban on footpaths

Listings of second-hand PMDs for sale spiked following the announcement that electric scooters will be banned from footpaths on Nov 5.
Listings of second-hand PMDs for sale spiked following the announcement that electric scooters will be banned from footpaths on Nov 5.PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM CAROUSELL

SINGAPORE - At least 40 e-scooters were listed on online marketplace Carousell as of 7pm on Monday (Nov 4), the same day it was announced that electric scooters will be banned from footpaths from Tuesday.

This is a jump from at least nine that were listed on Sunday.

Listings on Carousell range from $0 to $1,500. But it is not clear if sellers would let their e-scooters go for free or extremely low prices.

Under the new ban, e-scooters will be confined to 440km of cycling paths islandwide, instead of the 5,500km of footpaths. Those caught flouting the rules can be fined up to $2,000, jailed for up to three months, or both.

From now until the end of the year, the authorities will mainly issue warnings to errant riders, but a zero-tolerance approach will be taken from next year.

Some e-scooter users who listed their personal mobility devices (PMDs) for sale on Monday told The Straits Tim that the ban came too suddenly, and said it punished all e-scooter users for the mistakes of a reckless few.

One user, Ms Tan Pei Ling, was selling her e-scooter on Carousell for $700 after getting it just a week ago for $1,400.

The 29-year-old is paying for her new PMD in monthly instalments which will last a year.

The food delivery rider was shocked and upset by the announcement, adding: "I followed all the rules, and then out of nowhere, they ban (its use on footpaths)."

 
 
 
 

While many are trying to flog their PMDs online, users of registered e-scooters that do not meet a set of safety requirements, called the UL2272 standard, can make use of the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) early disposal incentive of $100 till the end of the year by disposing of their devices with the authority.

The UL2272 standard includes safety requirements covering the electrical drive train system of PMDs, such as the battery system.

E-scooter owners are required by law to have their devices UL2272-certified by July 1 next year.

The LTA is facilitating this disposal process for all e-scooter users at 181 spots across the island at no cost to e-scooter owners until March 31 next year. Only users of non-compliant models can receive the $100 incentive.

Some shops selling e-scooters were also affected by news of the ban.

A manager at PassionGadgets said that about 80 per cent of the store's profits come from PMD sales.

She said: "It's not necessarily a big loss to us because they still can be used. We'll just have to reassure our customers that they can still use (PMDs) at bicycle paths and park connectors."

At e-scooter retailer Kernel Scooter, which sells the PMDs for between $299 and $1,599, the ban is a setback for the shop, which has a few hundred of the devices in its inventory.

The store's general manager Jay Jin said: "(The ban) will definitely cause a dip in sales, but our main concern is our existing customers whose livelihoods depend on the e-scooters, as (they are) delivery riders."

One delivery rider for Grab and Deliveroo, Mr George Chow, said the ban would affect his work since he will not be able to use his e-scooter on footpaths.

"This is the only job (that is) able to give me the income and time to take care of my parents," the 32-year-old said. He is the family's sole breadwinner, as his parents are both not well.

Mr Chow also lamented that due to his heart condition, he cannot ride a bicycle for his food deliveries and he does not have the time and money to get a motorcycle licence.

"There's no point selling (the e-scooter) now, it's already worthless," he said.