How much does riding an electric scooter really cost ?
Electric scooters have become a popular transportation option in recent times because unlike cars, they don’t get stuck in traffic. They are also a more comfortable way of getting to work, especially when compared to being crammed into a packed train carriage.
Since the pandemic, people have become increasingly concerned about travelling in close proximity with other commuters, which is why governments around the world are creating more bike lanes, with some even subsidising the cost of electric scooters and bikes. This has resulted in increased interest in electric scooters as a commuting option.
This article will attempt to answer the following questions for anyone who is considering purchasing an electric scooter:
- What are the benefits of commuting by electric scooter?
- How much does it cost to run an electric scooter?
- How does it compare to other modes of transportation?
The benefits of commuting by electric scooter
Many people dread the commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute for an American was 26.1 minutes. That’s 4.35 hours a week or over 200 hours a year. The same census found that the longest commute per state was Washington, D.C. with 43.6 minutes one way.
Since people have begun working from home due to COVID-19, they have begun to realise just how much time they’re saving on their daily commute. However, as some of us slowly start returning to the office, people are worried about their health while travelling on public transport, which is why many are turning to electric scooters as a solution.
Saves you money
It’s no secret that owning a car is expensive, especially if you’re a young male driver who has to pay a higher insurance premium. Even if you are lucky enough to buy the car outright, you have to pay for car registration, licencing, gas, servicing - the list goes on. People living in inner-city areas may even have to pay for car permits to park on the street, or rent a car spot in a building, adding to the extensive list of expenses.
Public transport is a cheaper option but fares are continuing to rise, and unless you live in Luxembourg, which has completely free public transport, you’ll either have to pay a fare per ride or risk getting fined.
The cost of owning an electric scooter is very affordable. Electric scooter models range in price, but apart from the cost of the scooter itself, you won’t have to pay too much to keep an e-scooter. The main cost will come from recharging the scooter between rides, but even that isn’t much. Other than that, you may also have to pay a little for maintenance and repair costs. That being said, electric scooter batteries are getting more efficient, and higher quality materials are being used in their construction as technology improves, making this transport option even more sustainable than it already is.
Fast and space-saving scooters
There’s nothing worse than waking up and realising you’re late for work, only to then hop into your car and be stuck in gridlock traffic. With electric scooters being able to be ridden in bike lanes and on footpaths in some regions, you don’t have to worry about traffic. With some e-scooters also reaching speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h), they’re also fast enough that you’ll be able to get there quickly.
Another advantage of commuting by electric scooter is that you don’t have to worry about parking. Many e-scooter models are foldable, so you can easily carry them into your office and put them under your desk, or lean them against a wall so they don't get in other people’s way.
Electric scooters are also a better option when it comes to the environment. Cities in some countries are implementing more bike paths and making some city areas car-free zones, so there’s never been a better time to test out an electric scooter.
What’s the downside to commuting by e-scooter?
Although some electric scooters are water-resistant, riding an electric scooter doesn’t give you much protection from the elements, so they may not be ideal if it’s raining heavily or snowing. If the weather turns bad though, you can easily take your electric scooter onto public transport or put it in the trunk of your car.
Another disadvantage is forgetting to recharge your scooter. While some electric scooters have a long range, it’s still your responsibility to charge the e-scooter. However, charging doesn’t take long, and you can even recharge your scooter while you’re at work or overnight, so it’s ready to go when you leave.
So how much does it cost to have an electric scooter?
At Raine, we calculated how much it would cost to have an electric scooter. On one of our e-scooters we calculated that electricity + maintenance was USD$0.038 per kilometre. So for a 3 mile ride the total cost would be approximately $0.19.
So if you were commuting to and from work every day for 3 mile per ride, 5 days a week, the total cost would be $1.90. Cheaper than a 7/11 coffee!
How does an e-scooter compare in cost to other modes of transport?
So how do e-scooters fare compared to other modes of transport?
We compared the average cost per week if a person was to commute 5 days a week via that mode of transport. Public transport was calculated based on the average fare for a New York metro ride.
|Mode of transport||Average weekly cost|
|Raine electric scooter||$14|
*in New York City
As you can see, the cost between a car and an electric scooter is the greatest difference. The difference looks even greater when we visualise it in a bar chart:
While the cost difference between riding an electric scooter and catching public transport is minimal, it should be noted that you don’t have to share an electric scooter with anyone else, and public transport can often face delays due to accidents or traffic on the road, making electric scooters the more convenient option.