You might think you're doing Mother Nature a favor with your e-scooter, but you might be wrong. Electric scooters have been making waves in recent years. It's a convenient alternative means of transportation that manufacturers claim as climate-friendly. But are they really great for the environment?
Are electric scooters climate-friendly?
E-scooters are known to have fewer emissions compared to fossil fuels. To gauge their environmental impact, have to consider three phases manufacturing and production, the use phase, and the maintenance phase involved in making them.
The production of e-scooters is similar to that of electric devices. If it's manufactured from a renewable source of energy or a decarbonated one, then it has a lower impact on the environment. However, if it was produced using the burning of gas and oils, aka fossil fuels, it's no different from cars. Thus, it can increase the number of greenhouse gases.
Unfortunately, the manufacturing of most e-scooters has been linked to an increase in greenhouse gases. There are upstream and downstream processes that aren't carbon-free. Hence, the production itself adds up to pollution.
Electric scooters don't produce carbon dioxide when they are in use. Hence, there are no emissions. If so, then e-scooters are more ecological and climate-friendly. The longer you use it, the lesser the need to use vehicles that use fossil fuels such as cars.
Wait - there's a big but here. E-scooters are charged often and brought into charging stations via trucks. These trucks use fossil fuels. Therefore, you have to gauge how often you charge your e-scooter and what mode of transportation you use to bring it to the charging station. Otherwise, it can just cancel out the benefits. It can even have more undesirable effects on the climate in the long term.
Most e-scooters make use of rare and non-recyclable materials, especially the batteries. Batteries comprise a big chunk of sea, land, and air pollutants. A lot of batteries are floating in the ocean bed as of this moment.
That said, you have to be mindful about how you discard electric scooters after they have served you. Otherwise, they will be adding up to the already massive pile of garbage our oceans are harboring.
Another thing worth mentioning is that e-scooters lined up on the streets are targets of vandalism due to the nature of their material. And when spray paint is used it adds up to air pollution.
In conclusion, electric scooters may seem eco-friendly by themselves, but the processes involved in creating and maintaining them has a high carbon footprint. Hence, we can't fully say that electric scooters are the solution to cars that use fossil fuels. In a sense, they are the same banana; you just serve and eat them differently. In the end, your body will still get the same nourishment.
E-scooters may not have emissions, yet the process of manufacturing and transporting them to charging stations make use of fossil fuels. Until a more eco-friendly supply chain is employed, e-scooters aren't 100 percent climate-friendly.