12 votes

The rise of the electric scooter

32 comments

  1. HoolaBoola
    Link
    That sentence really made me not want to read further... While it is absolutely true that battery costs have decreased significantly since the 2000s (depending on the source, even 90%+), it does...

    If electric car prices are decreasing, battery costs must be decreasing, because it's not like the cost of fabricating rubber, aluminum, glass, and steel into car shapes can decline that much, right?

    That sentence really made me not want to read further... While it is absolutely true that battery costs have decreased significantly since the 2000s (depending on the source, even 90%+), it does not imply causation with the price of the cars.

    Unlike the author states, the manufacturing process absolutely can and does get more efficient, the gathered materials can get cheaper (or more expensive, depends on the material), more parts of the process get automated etc.

    Cars also have tons of different parts in them, battery only being one of them. Those also get better and better, and sometimes, cheaper too. Cars nowadays have built-in computers, which get cheaper etc.

    Saying that decreases in battery prices directly cause electric car prices to dive is like saying that fridge prices going down result in cheaper housing, which anyone can tell is not true.

    So while I understand the author's point, I really found that one part annoying. Sorry for rambling.

    13 votes
  2. [17]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [16]
      krg
      Link Parent
      nah, they suck and they're a blight. In their current state as a rental-thing, at least. As a pedestrian that walks, they're littering the goddamn sidewalk. If people privately owned them and...

      nah, they suck and they're a blight. In their current state as a rental-thing, at least. As a pedestrian that walks, they're littering the goddamn sidewalk. If people privately owned them and stowed them away properly, I suppose that'd be better. But, still, people ride these on the sidewalk, even when there are bike lanes, and it's dangerous for people walking.

      I think I have an idea of what you're driving at with regards to car culture, but there has to be a better way...

      (and, also, I truly see this as a passing fad. get off my lawn!)

      5 votes
      1. [16]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [4]
          krg
          Link Parent
          Density comes into play. I live in a relatively dense area, where scooters make the most sense. They don't have much range. They can't traverse the suburbs, where cars do a good chunk of work. So,...

          Density comes into play. I live in a relatively dense area, where scooters make the most sense. They don't have much range. They can't traverse the suburbs, where cars do a good chunk of work. So, they operate mostly in dense areas. Where, I feel, there are better options. I understand being anti-car, but there's no way to make the sprawl of Los Angeles a dense super-city overnight. (one example, of course) And, in the dense part of the city (where walking and public transportation is a viable option), these scooters become a nuisance. There are still streets, here. Should they become car-free zones and havens for scooters?
          My major qualms are with the scooter rental services. They don't have holding stations like the city-provided bike rental services do. Within the last few months portions of the sidewalk have been painted to signify a "scooter zone", though...that's been fairly ineffective.

          I guess I feel that whatever niche these scooters are suppose to fill...bikes already seem like the better option. Or public transportation. Or, walking. The implementation of these private, for-profit? scooters by start-up companies seems extremely invasive.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            It's strange that as a society we can't figure out how to park scooters properly. It's not like they take much room. It shouldn't be that hard to add a sensor detecting when they're parked in a...

            It's strange that as a society we can't figure out how to park scooters properly. It's not like they take much room.

            It shouldn't be that hard to add a sensor detecting when they're parked in a good place. Dinging renters a buck or two for parking badly should fix it. This is not some huge technical challenge like driverless cars.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              MimicSquid
              Link Parent
              I've used Lime scooters a couple of times, and they make you submit a photo of your parking job when you park. No idea what they do with it, though.

              I've used Lime scooters a couple of times, and they make you submit a photo of your parking job when you park. No idea what they do with it, though.

              2 votes
              1. ali
                Link Parent
                Let people rate good & bad parking and train a neural net to detect it automatically to punish bad Parkers. Will be required in Germany soon

                Let people rate good & bad parking and train a neural net to detect it automatically to punish bad Parkers. Will be required in Germany soon

        2. [11]
          SantalBlush
          Link Parent
          It is strange that people complain so much about having to move around abandoned scooters, but they don't mind the square miles of parking lots that fill a city. I suppose we just got used to that...

          It is strange that people complain so much about having to move around abandoned scooters, but they don't mind the square miles of parking lots that fill a city. I suppose we just got used to that inefficiency.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            eladnarra
            Link Parent
            Over of the major issues with them littering sidewalks is that some people can't see them to walk around, which is dangerous, while wheelchair users often don't have enough room to navigate around...

            Over of the major issues with them littering sidewalks is that some people can't see them to walk around, which is dangerous, while wheelchair users often don't have enough room to navigate around them.

            5 votes
            1. SantalBlush
              Link Parent
              I totally agree, and they can also be a trip hazard. But I'm not assuming that everyone who complains about scooters on sidewalks is doing so on behalf of those people. It seems more like they're...

              I totally agree, and they can also be a trip hazard. But I'm not assuming that everyone who complains about scooters on sidewalks is doing so on behalf of those people. It seems more like they're complaining about their own personal inconvenience, and that is the extent to which I think the parking lot comparison deserves some consideration.

          2. [7]
            synergy
            Link Parent
            i cant count the number of times I've had to help someone who's on a wheel chair move them aside when they are just laying down flat on their side in the middle of a side walk. I've also seen...

            i cant count the number of times I've had to help someone who's on a wheel chair move them aside when they are just laying down flat on their side in the middle of a side walk. I've also seen people zoom by store fronts and people come out of stores and either get hit by one or have a close miss.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              ali
              Link Parent
              cars block sidewalks too. And it’s not the e Scooter that is the Problem, but the people using them like idiots.

              cars block sidewalks too. And it’s not the e Scooter that is the Problem, but the people using them like idiots.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                synergy
                Link Parent
                unless you live in russia I've never seen cars actually parked onto side walks blocking pedestrians on a daily basis.

                unless you live in russia I've never seen cars actually parked onto side walks blocking pedestrians on a daily basis.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  ali
                  Link Parent
                  I live in Germany and i see it often enough.

                  I live in Germany and i see it often enough.

                  1 vote
                  1. synergy
                    Link Parent
                    well here in america it would get towed so fast. Even if the city doesn't tow it, plenty of tow happy private tow truck companies too that will gladly hold your car for ransom.

                    well here in america it would get towed so fast. Even if the city doesn't tow it, plenty of tow happy private tow truck companies too that will gladly hold your car for ransom.

                    1 vote
            2. [2]
              SantalBlush
              Link Parent
              I can more than count the number of times a pedestrian or bicyclist has been killed by an automobile. Seriously, give me a break.

              I can more than count the number of times a pedestrian or bicyclist has been killed by an automobile. Seriously, give me a break.

              1. synergy
                Link Parent
                that is a terrible and far reaching analogy. People shouldn't have to walk out of a shop into the side walk worrying about someone zooming by 15 mph and hitting you. Also not sure how that relates...

                that is a terrible and far reaching analogy. People shouldn't have to walk out of a shop into the side walk worrying about someone zooming by 15 mph and hitting you. Also not sure how that relates to scooters littered all over the sidewalk and preventing people with wheelchairs from getting past.

                1 vote
          3. JXM
            Link Parent
            Except that parking lots are dedicated, discreet areas. People just dump these scooters wherever they want, often in the middle of the sidewalk. Imagine if we didn't have parking lots and people...

            Except that parking lots are dedicated, discreet areas. People just dump these scooters wherever they want, often in the middle of the sidewalk.

            Imagine if we didn't have parking lots and people just parked their cars wherever they felt like it...people would be equally displeased.

            It's a solvable problem, we just haven't gotten there yet.

            2 votes
  3. [12]
    krg
    Link
    Gosh, these things have taken over the sidewalk here in downtown Los Angeles over the past year. There really was an almost exponential rise. I pretty much see them as garbage littering the...

    Gosh, these things have taken over the sidewalk here in downtown Los Angeles over the past year. There really was an almost exponential rise. I pretty much see them as garbage littering the streets.

    I also have a hard time imagining how these things generate any profit.

    That said, I have one myself. Though, it was purchased for me as a gift. I don't use it and I'd like to sell it. I prefer to walk wherever it is I want to go that's in scooter range, otherwise I'll take the bus.

    7 votes
    1. [10]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      It's likely because they don't, as these "tech companies" tend to live in a bubble powered by speculative investing. The thing I don't understand is why cities aren't charging these companies an...

      I also have a hard time imagining how these things generate any profit.

      It's likely because they don't, as these "tech companies" tend to live in a bubble powered by speculative investing.

      The thing I don't understand is why cities aren't charging these companies an arm and a leg for all the littering they are doing.

      7 votes
      1. [9]
        iiv
        Link Parent
        Leaving a bicycle somewhere doesn't count as littering. Neither does leaving a car. Why should leaving a scooter do?

        Leaving a bicycle somewhere doesn't count as littering. Neither does leaving a car. Why should leaving a scooter do?

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          Deimos
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't think "littering" is the right term, but it can be prohibited, depending where you leave them. Here's a story about two repo men in San Diego that have impounded thousands of the scooters...

          I don't think "littering" is the right term, but it can be prohibited, depending where you leave them. Here's a story about two repo men in San Diego that have impounded thousands of the scooters that were left in places they're not supposed to be and where the property owners don't want them: They said you could leave electric scooters anywhere — then the repo men struck back

          Cars and bicycles both have specific places you're permitted to park them too, and if you leave them somewhere else they can get towed/impounded.

          12 votes
          1. iiv
            Link Parent
            Interesting, but I disagree with that. They obviously have a conflict of interest: one of the guys has a bicycle shop. Also, it seems legally uncertain.

            Interesting, but I disagree with that. They obviously have a conflict of interest: one of the guys has a bicycle shop. Also, it seems legally uncertain.

            5 votes
        2. [6]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          Leaving a bicycle on the sidewalk somewhere counts as littering in most places that I am aware of. There's a big difference between leaving your bike outside a store while you pick something up...

          Leaving a bicycle on the sidewalk somewhere counts as littering in most places that I am aware of. There's a big difference between leaving your bike outside a store while you pick something up and leaving a bike behind hoping someone eventually decides to use it.

          If you leave a car on the sidewalk, it would certainly be ticketed and towed just about no matter where you are.

          4 votes
          1. [4]
            iiv
            Link Parent
            It's not considered littering where I live. Bicycles are locked to street lamps or just leaning against walls everywhere. And sure, your car will be towed if you leave it on the sidewalk, which is...

            It's not considered littering where I live. Bicycles are locked to street lamps or just leaning against walls everywhere.

            And sure, your car will be towed if you leave it on the sidewalk, which is reserved for footwalkers. If you leave it either in a parking space or on the side of the road, nothing will happen.

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              Akir
              Link Parent
              Bicycles in particular have different rules depending on where you are in the world. For me, I was always taught to lock my bike in bike stands, which are very common public fixtures. If you don't...

              Bicycles in particular have different rules depending on where you are in the world. For me, I was always taught to lock my bike in bike stands, which are very common public fixtures. If you don't lock your bike it is likely to be stolen.

              China is having the same problem we are having with scooters, except with bicycles. But China is doing something about them.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                balooga
                Link Parent
                Those photos are horrifying!

                Those photos are horrifying!

                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. Parliament
                    Link Parent
                    Horrifying yet weirdly satisfying to see them all lined up so perfectly. I had no idea these car graveyards existed.

                    Horrifying yet weirdly satisfying to see them all lined up so perfectly. I had no idea these car graveyards existed.

          2. Nmg
            Link Parent
            Streetside parking takes up as much space if not more than many sidewalks, yet that seems to be a kind of "littering" that society has accepted and ingrained as a right.

            Streetside parking takes up as much space if not more than many sidewalks, yet that seems to be a kind of "littering" that society has accepted and ingrained as a right.

            1 vote
    2. Nmg
      Link Parent
      I haven't rented them often, prefering my bicycle or public transit as you do, but of the times I have rented, it was because it was I just missed the last bus of the night or because I was going...

      I haven't rented them often, prefering my bicycle or public transit as you do, but of the times I have rented, it was because it was I just missed the last bus of the night or because I was going somewhere far that was not designed for transit.

      So far as they are parked responsibly, I think they are a net societal benefit. I will take whatever gets people out of dangerous, polluting motorized vehicles.

      3 votes
  4. Klayy
    Link
    In Prague renting a Lime scooter costs around the same as ordering an Uber. They're fun but extremely expensive.

    In Prague renting a Lime scooter costs around the same as ordering an Uber. They're fun but extremely expensive.

    1 vote
  5. [2]
    elcuello
    Link
    I would recommend everyone using these to read the TOC very carefully. They collect everything and that's how they make money.

    I would recommend everyone using these to read the TOC very carefully. They collect everything and that's how they make money.

    1 vote
    1. Adys
      Link Parent
      Source your claims please, especially these because they're pretty nonsensical. The data they can collect is worthless. Who do you want to sell it to? Governments would be the only interested...

      Source your claims please, especially these because they're pretty nonsensical.

      The data they can collect is worthless. Who do you want to sell it to? Governments would be the only interested party, and they can get it from a bunch of different providers already, seeing as you have your phone with you and data+gps enabled when you move around on these.

      2 votes