November 05, 2020
E-scooters — as part of a multi-modal transport approach — help to positively transform our cities by reducing congestion, CO2 emissions and transport inequality. By providing e-scooters at affordable prices, we’re making e-scooters accessible to everyone, driving a faster switch to eco-friendly transportation.
With 68% of the global population expected to live in urban environments by 2050, the race is on for cities to respond. To cope with the demands of rising urban populations and to tackle the global climate crisis, cities need to introduce policies centred on sustainable development and growth. And at the heart of urban development is a city’s mobility system.
Cities of the future will integrate a variety of sustainable transport modes. They’ll be geared towards automated, connected, electrified and shared (ACES) mobility that’s not only affordable but accessible for all. By blending private and public modes of transport — including private-hire vehicles (PHVs), private cars, e-scooters, e-bikes and public transport — cities will counter the challenges associated with urban growth.
As it stands, we’re still some way from reaching these urban utopias.
In the majority of cities, private cars still dominate. Research from the UN predicts that the global vehicle fleet will multiply three or four-fold in the next few decades. Couple this with the fact that transport contributes approximately 25% of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, and you can see the challenge.
The main problem with private vehicles is their inefficiency — especially compared to e-scooters. A two-tonne car just isn’t a good way to move a single person around a city on a daily basis. And what’s more, on average private cars spend 95% of their lives sitting idle.
The efficiency of micro-mobility
As seen in ‘The efficiency of micro-mobility’ study, e-scooters hugely outperform both single-passenger cars and shared car rides when it comes to efficiency. With far lower energy demands — thanks to their weight — e-scooter CO2 emissions for a 28-mile journey sit at just 0.13 KG compared to 8.6 KG in a private car.
This shows the opportunity in increasing e-scooter usage to tackle CO2 emissions, congestion and air quality.
Through the Bolt app, we encourage our riders to switch to more sustainable transport options. We’re the only European mobility platform that provides both transportation options in one application (as well as an additional e-bike option in some cities) — which means more low-emission rides! As such, we’re helping cities realise their ambition to create sustainable urban environments.
In a recent survey of UK Bolt riders, over 50% said that they’d choose a Bolt e-scooter over a private-hire vehicle (PHV) for journeys under 5km. That would equate to saving 7 million ride-hailing journeys per year and a whopping 6.5 million KG in CO2 emissions.
And after launching e-scooters in the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) there was an 8.8% drop in Bolt car rides for active e-scooter riders and a 6% drop for occasional users (as shown below).
So, in a city with 2,000 Bolt e-scooters in circulation, this drop would mean up to 100,000 car journeys eliminated per year.
The other issue with private car ownership is the associated cost. Monthly outgoings for car ownership vary by region, but whichever way you slice it, typical costs include:
The upfront cost of car ownership simply isn’t viable for significant numbers of people. And this raises issues around transport inequality. In response, we’re committed to making e-scooter journeys more affordable than owning a private car or using ride-hailing — thereby also increasing accessibility to transport for all socio-economic groups.
Despite the environmental benefit of e-scooters, we appreciate that this alone isn’t enough to suddenly shift millions of car owners toward more sustainable solutions. For that to happen, the alternative needs to be affordable. That’s why at Bolt, we’re focused on providing affordability and accessibility to all.
By making our e-scooter prices more affordable, we encourage our riders to switch over to low-emission rides. Earlier this year, when we lowered e-scooter prices in Poland, our riders used Bolt e-scooters three times more frequently.
And after launching our affordable e-scooters in Oslo, we saw a similar trend. E-scooter rides increased by 30% and we saw a decrease in average e-scooter rental prices across the city.
This shows why we’re focused on affordability — and why it’s a crucial variable in accelerating e-scooter adoption across the world.
Providing affordable e-scooter rides sounds good in theory, but you might be wondering how we’re able to do this in practice. At Bolt, it all comes down to our efficiency savings — savings that we then pass onto our riders:
By fundamentally owning the whole hardware design and manufacturing process, we benefit from streamlined costs which we pass onto our customers through affordable pricing. This ensures that micromobility is accessible for everyone.
As the leading European transportation platform, our focus on affordability is helping to drive e-scooter adoption. And as we work with more authorities to introduce e-scooters to city streets, we’ll be helping to improve air quality, reduce CO2 emissions and cut congestion.
Yes, we might not be able to change the world overnight. But with Bolt e-scooters on the ground, smart cities of the future might be closer than you think.
No matter where you need to go or who you need to see today, we’ve got you covered.