E-scooter in check: is an electric scooter something for me?

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E-scooter in check: is an electric scooter something for me?
Svenja Faust


technology & future

E-scooter in check: Is an electric scooter something for me?

Everything about e-scooters
Is an electric scooter for me?

What is in store for us? If you need an electric scooter, what is the “Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance (eKFV)”, you can injure yourself with it? We took a close look at the topic of e-scooters and summarized them for you.


In summer 2019 the new Small electric vehicles regulation, also e-scooter law called, come into force. Then manufacturers and consumers will know exactly how an e-scooter has to be designed so that it is given an insurance license plate in Germany. In this article we focus on the areas of application of e-scooters, the differentiation from e-bikes, the overestimated topic of range in the e-scooter area, the underestimated topic of injury potential and the assessment of market development.

opinion poll

Are you considering an e-scooter as a means of transport for short distances??

Voted 1685 times

Yeah sure why not.

No, an e-scooter won’t get under my feet.

I’ve been driving one for a long time.

Areas of application for e-scooters

On the one hand, there are of course the commuters that the e-scooter manufacturers are expecting. Especially with models that, when folded, offer a somewhat S-Bahn-compatible pack size and are not too heavy. Example: If there is a kilometer between the bus stop and the place of work, this usually means a 15-20 minute walk. Or take a bus. With an e-scooter you can save yourself the bus and shorten the walk. Conversely, you are of course more flexible at the end of a working day. You no longer have to plan 20 minutes in advance which S-Bahn to take, the decision can be made much more spontaneously because the way to the train only takes a few minutes. If a local train fails, you can bypass a stop with an e-scooter. Or drive to the nearest alternative (tram) train line and change trains.

Difference to the e-bike

Sure, cycling is also an option. But that’s where the e-scooters stand out clearly. Commuters who switch to bicycles or e-bikes usually pedal the entire way to work. In most cities, getting on public transport is not possible during rush hour due to lack of space and is mostly prohibited. “In addition, a bicycle needs more space at home than most e-scooters. For example, I don’t have a bike because I don’t even know what to do with it. I wouldn’t want to leave it standing outside, ”adds Dominik Neyer, marketing manager at the e-scooter start-up Yorks.

E-scooter in check: is an electric scooter something for me?

Svenja Faust

This S-Bahn-compatible pack size cannot be achieved even with a folding bike. The Yorks s1-elite e-scooter stands upright to save space and can be pulled like a trolley case.

The uses a completely different concept than the “last mile” BMW X2City, which we have already tested.

E-scooters for campers

Anyone traveling with a mobile home or caravan can either transport a motor scooter or even a small car in a very luxurious way, or they can strap their bicycles or e-bikes to the rear. In this case, the e-scooter could become an uncomplicated addition or even a space-saving alternative. From the caravan to the bakery, from the mobile home to the beach or on large campsites with the shower stuff to the bathing house – all predestined areas of application for the electric scooter. The e-scooter manufacturers definitely see great market potential here.

Range is not critical

The relevance of the range is currently still overestimated for e-scooters, according to the opinion of some manufacturers, product testers and experts. Consumers are familiar with the elementary subject of electromobility mainly from e-bikes – and a few kilometers can be more or less decisive here. However, the area of ​​application and the distance make the e-scooters stand out from the e-bikes: the e-scooters mainly cover distances in the single-digit kilometer range. Sure, less loading is better. But a few kilometers back or forth are by no means as important with an e-scooter as with an e-bike.

Pro / Contra 25 km / h limit

“A maximum speed of 25 km / h would have been the optimum for us in order to be able to flow with the traffic to some extent,” says Dominik Neyer from York. The fact that the current draft for the small electric vehicle regulation only provides 20 km / h as a permitted peak has something to do with the associated helmet requirement and the interests of the large e-scooter sharing providers, are some voices from the industry. Since the common townspeople do not always carry a bicycle helmet around with them on suspicion, the e-scooter rental companies would have to provide the necessary helmets – and that would be a huge effort.

You can read here what fines the current draft of the Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance provides.

Risk of accident and injury

The e-scooters are a new class of vehicle, at least they have driving experience. It looks child’s play when someone drives by on one of these electric scooters. But 20 km / h should not be underestimated. Against the background that driving stability, especially when braking, cannot be taken for granted with these small vehicles and the not-too-large wheels.

In the cities and towns of the USA and also in Europe, the typical head and ankle injuries have increased exponentially with the introduction of the numerous sharing scooters, so the statements of various emergency rooms. Even if helmets are not compulsory, a helmet is strongly recommended, the same applies to sturdy shoes.

Electric brake uncertainty factor

E-scooter in check: is an electric scooter something for me?

Svenja Faust

A drawer full of brake calipers – Yorks relies on solid disc brakes both front and rear.

The current ministerial draft for the E-Scooter Act provides that the “small electric vehicle” is equipped with “two independent brakes”. This is particularly useful and extremely safety-relevant because many e-scooters roll with electric front brakes. In an emergency, this can mean that the front brake fails – namely when the battery is empty. Depending on the model, the stipulated 44 percent of the braking effect then has to be mastered by a disc brake on the rear wheel or even just by a mudguard brake – which is nothing other than the mudguard pressed onto the rear tire by foot force.

Biggest challenge cable break

On the construction side, the greatest challenge for e-scooter manufacturers is in the area of ​​the folding mechanism. This is where all the cables run, which have to withstand a lot when the e-scooter is regularly folded and unfolded again. Cable breakage is also the most common reason for complaints about an e-scooter.

Assessment of the development of the e-scooter market

The start-up Yorks has been developing, designing and test driving for 1.5 years. The current prototypes of their e-scooters are quite mature and already cover a few thousand kilometers. York’s s1-elite is the name of the Sindelfingen start-up’s e-scooter, which will be launched on the market in spring 2020. We asked whether they would not miss the important mission when the new small electric vehicle regulation comes into force this summer.

E-scooter in check: is an electric scooter something for me?

Svenja Faust

The workshop of the start-up York: “We are still pressing in our bearings here.”, says Marketing Manager Dominik Neyer.

They miss the job, yes, but it won’t be dramatic, according to Dominik Neyer, who is responsible for marketing. “A high recognition value is important to us, and we also want to meet our own high security requirements and quality standards. That takes time, but it’s worth it for us. “

In addition, there are still many people who will take a look at the whole thing now, when the e-scooter law finally comes into force in summer 2019. A few months later, in autumn, the season for the masses is already over. “The market will be big enough and will only really take off from spring 2020”, Dominik Neyer is certain.

Variance in the e-scooter market

The five guys from Yorks are watching the market very carefully. And with a little experience, it quickly becomes apparent that currently new models are often just modifications of what are already known. “Ah, another new model. Ah, again the same components from the same factory. We see that often. ”The market may not yet produce as much variance as it seems at first glance. But that will change in the foreseeable future, because electric scooters can be used in a wide range of applications.

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