Electric Future: Will Personal Electric Vehicles (PEV’s) Replace Regular Transportation
The last few years have seen a boom in popularity for the electric vehicle market. Only a decade or so ago, electric transportation would have predominantly been considered the realm of children’s toys.
Even electric cars were far rarer, more expensive and therefore less common than their fuel equivalents. This perception has significantly shifted in recent years, with electric cars, bikes and scooters especially gaining huge amounts of popularity.
Recently, the UK has begun private rental trials across the country, with estimates stating that some 400,000+ car journeys could be replaced by journeys on e-scooters and e-bikes within 9 months. These estimates go further, suggesting that – if private PEV’s were to be permitted in the UK – we could expect to see millions fewer car journeys each year with a significant environmental impact as a result.
Naturally, when a new mode of transport becomes so popular, some start to question whether this might be the ‘future’ of transportation – not just a fad or fashion, but a lasting change in how we get about.
But could PEV’s like the e-scooter and e-bike really replace the familiar everyday vehicles that we all know so well?
- Electric Bikes
- Electric Cars
- Electric Scooters and Unicycles
- Electric Skateboards
- Electric Motorcycles
Halfords reports having recently experienced a 450% increase in demand for PEV’s in addition to sales figures rising by a staggering 230% between March and August 2020. The surge in popularity for electric transportation is certainly evident in such statistics.
ECO-FRIENDLY– In a time of increasing awareness and concern for the environment, electric vehicles – which are zero emissions by design – represent a far more eco-friendly mode of transport than petrol and diesel-powered traditional vehicles. The batteries do still require electricity, of course, but there’s really no comparison!
SIMPLE FUN – Sure, driving a car can be fun, but consider the many hours of expensive training that go into getting behind your own wheel in the first place. Electric scooters and other PEV’s are super-simple to use and don’t require any training at all – all the fun without the frustration!
PORTABILITY – EUCs such as the Inmotion V11 are incredibly portable by design. But did you know that many electric scooters also fold down to take up a minimal amount of room, allowing them to be stored in small areas, kept at your desk or even placed on a wall mount? Models such as our own e-RIDES E-Scooter with Hand Control are perfectly designed for absolute portability. Just try folding your car – go on, we’ll wait!
YOUNGER AGE RANGE – The age requirement for using PEV’s in most countries is lower than that of driving a car, making e-scooters and EUCs especially attractive for younger riders whose access to other transport options may be restricted.
LOW COST – We all know that PEV’s save you crazy amounts of money on fuel – not to mention tax – but you stand to save money even if you don’t actually own your own e-scooter or e-bike. Current trials of private rentals in the UK show the low cost of travelling by e-scooter compared to other modes of transport such as taxis. Electric scooters usually carry a low unlocking fee (usually about £1) followed by an extremely low per-minute rate of around 15p – as such, a 20 minute journey could cost just £4, where a similar journey in a taxi might set you back at least £10.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SUPER FIT – As impressive as cyclists are for their incredible fitness, some of us aren’t necessarily looking for an extreme workout when we go for a ride! E-scooters, e-bikes and EUCs are fantastic options in this regard – all of the mobility of a bicycle without the intense exercise session!
SUITED TO CITY TRAVELLING – Electric scooters and other PEV’s feature restricted speed capabilities, which makes them highly suitable for use in urban areas where higher speed vehicles can pose significant risks. What’s more, the small footprint of an e-scooter or EUC allow them to move through traffic far more effectively, resulting in less impact from congestion at peak times.
ON AND OFF ROAD – Unless you own a Land Rover, your car probably stays firmly on the road. Even off-road cars can be quite large and unwieldy for certain routes. PEV’s are, by comparison, extremely well suited for journeys off the beaten path – especially those fitted specifically with off-road tyres such as the Kaabo Wolf Warrior II Pro+, proudly sold here at e-RIDES.
However, while there is a wealth of reasons why PEV’s could well replace other transport, it is important to also consider some of the reasons why this may not be the case.
NOT THE BEST FOR LONG JOURNEYS – PEV’s are fantastic for short trips and work commutes, but regular transport has the edge when it comes to longer journeys. Low restricted speeds and the limitation of a battery make lengthier journeys a challenge – think about a 3 hour car journey mostly driving on 70mph motorways…now imagine how long it’d take to do the same journey on the roads with a 25mph e-scooter!
WEIGHT MATTERS – The fastest stated speed and best performance listed by e-scooter manufacturers is reliant on the rider being of an average weight. As such, if like many of us you aren’t blessed with such an athletic frame, you may find that the performance of your ride suffers a hit. This is another area where cars take the win.
SAFETY ISSUES – Cars are constantly evolving with new safety features introduced at breakneck speed. As e-rideables are a new innovation, there are certain safety features which would need significant improvement – particularly around the issues of greater visibility to other road users – before they could be considered rivals to more established transport. Recent trial feedback on the dangers of near-silent e-scooters have prompted manufacturers to introduce a ‘hum’ to the vehicles, which at least shows that manufacturers are very keen to make these improvements.
NO LICENSING OR INSURANCE – While not having to be licensed to use an e-rideable can be a great benefit, it also raises a concern. Car licensing imposes an accountability on the driver, penalising them for reckless or inconsiderate driving. Without a licensing system in place, it may be much more difficult to impose such sanctions on dangerous road users.
RESTRICTIONS AND LAWS – Many countries, the UK being a prime example, have not yet fully embraced PEV’s, imposing strict regulations around their use and severely limiting their usefulness. These laws would need to be changed a great deal to even consider the possibility of such vehicles becoming anywhere near dominant enough to challenge traditional, accepted modes of transport. Co-founder of e-Rides, Afeez Kay, is passionate about the legalisation of PEV’s, liasing closely with the UK government to move forward positive discussions on the bright legal future of these incredible, eco-conscious vehicles.
Here at e-RIDES, we believe in the bright and positive future of PEV’s. We are passionate about legalising PEV’s and have been asked to help formulate guidelines and basic practices in the UK by Government representatives. [add link to other relevant content]
For more information, please email us – email@example.com