E-scooters: really useful - or just toys?

Also in Munich, since the summer there are e-scooters from various rental companies. Especially in a city with - halfway - functioning public transport, the question arises as to how sensible this kind of locomotion is.

My personal experience: you use an e-scooter when you are too lazy to walk to the next subway station. Really necessary was not a ride I have done with an e-scooter so far.

E-scooter on the sidewalk in Munich

Much has already been written about the use of e-scooters: although there are only scooters on the streets that are approved for rental, the basic problems remain. Neither is it particularly comfortable on one of the scooters, nor can one participate meaningfully in traffic. Especially the missing possibility to indicate an intended change of direction (taking one hand off the steering wheel is not a good idea, especially since there is usually only one lever to accelerate) makes a ride more "exciting" than it should be.

Apart from the bumpy ride itself, the price is a problem: one euro to unlock and then 19 cents per minute is charged by "TIER", one of the scooter rental companies represented in Munich. This puts you almost in similar regions to car sharing providers like Car2Go, Drivenow or Sixt Share - only that you get a complete car there, which should be a clear advantage especially in winter.

General weather: after the e-scooters were approved in June 2019, the suppliers have come onto the market in the summer. In good weather it is quite funny, in "dirty weather" or even later with snow and ice on the roads there will certainly be considerably more accidents than the emergency ambulances are already complaining about.

Whether or not e-scooters will prevail and actually make a contribution to a traffic turnaround will ensure that fewer cars are on the roads: it is not yet possible to foresee. The only thing that seems certain is that a number of driving licences will be in danger at the Oktoberfest in Munich. After all, the same rules apply with regard to drink-driving as when driving a car and not when riding a bicycle (although even there it is better to be sober on the road). All providers will probably not survive either - time will tell whose business model is best.

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