Shared e-scooters can reduce city emissions research finds

A new study by a leading German research institute, Fraunhofer ISI, has found shared e-scooters can help to reduce carbon emissions in cities.

The survey focused on six cities, including Berlin, Dusseldorf, Melbourne, Paris, Seattle and Stockholm, and analysed the lifecycle emissions of Lime generation 4 e-scooters.

Researchers found that trips on shared e-scooters over 2022 reduced carbon emissions by 15 – 42 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilometre.

Over a month in late spring, this translated to emissions savings of between four tons of CO2 in Dusseldorf to 66 tons in Paris.

Results also showed that emissions produced over an e-scooter’s lifetime are now on par or below subways, buses and electric cars.

red kick scooter on road during daytime

‘These findings show how far shared micromobility has come in our work to decarbonize transportation,’ said Andrew Savage, VP for Sustainability at Lime. ‘They demonstrate to city policymakers the role shared e-scooters can play as an integral part of a lower-carbon urban future. Our work is just beginning and we will continue to be relentless in decarbonizing our service to help meet the urgent threat of climate change.’

The transport sector makes up a quarter of total global emissions, but the carbon impact of the micromobility industry has reduced rapidly by over 80% over the past three years.

This is thanks to a series of decarbonisation methods, as Lime has extended e-scooter lifespan, introduced swappable batteries to increase vehicle availability and switched to 100% renewable energy for all warehouses.

The greatest carbon savings were made when riders opted for an -escooter over a taxi journey, according to the study. However, users who booked a Lime scooter through the Uber app were not included in the survey, meaning the companies carbon savings could be even greater than what is reported.

Transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has recently written to local authorities urging them to build profit sharing models for e-scooter trials, as several are set to go ahead in the UK.

The trials come as the government considers whether to create a new light vehicle to legalise e-scooters on public roads, with results set to shape future legislation.

Photo by Christina Spinnen


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