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The Electric Scooter Isn't Enough :
http://digg.com/2018/are-electric-scoot ... and-oregon
Ends:The electric scooters are not good. I can't even say they're fun to ride. As it stands, I don't see how any of the scooter share companies will be made to behave and innovate in a way that makes the scooters worth it in the long-term.
Okay — now that I've got all that out of the way, I'd like to back up a bit and talk about Portland, Oregon.
Portland is in the middle of a four-month trial program for electric scooters that began in late July. The three companies participating, Bird, Lime and Skip, together have just over 2,000 scooters on Portland streets. The Portland Bureau of Transportation says over 430,000 trips have been completed via scooter share since the trial's launch, accounting for over 540,000 miles traveled.1
According to Lime's calculation, a 1.7 mile trip I took on one of their scooters last month on a visit to Portland saved 695 grams of carbon dioxide. I'm guessing that's calculated relative to whatever Lime considers an "average" car to be, but trying to accurately guess at how environmentally friendly scooters are now would require robust data on how quickly these companies are scaling, the actual numbers of battery-powered scooters they're having shipped via boat from China and over land afterwards, and how many of the scooters are already ending up irreparably busted before they can even offset their own carbon sink. Here's another number for you: at the time of publication, scootersintheriverpdx.com estimates that 17 scooters have been tossed in the Willamette River.
Mathew Olson is an Associate Editor at Digg.