Why the coronavirus is a perfect opportunity to buy an electric scooter or e-bike
Commuting will change forever after the lockdown lifts. Electric scooters and e-bikes will be part of the new normal.
The death rate is dropping and the number of new cases stalling. In the UK, the coronavirus pandemic is slowly on its way out. What has become clear however, is that when we do emerge from our homes in the coming months, the way we get around will forever change.
UK transport secretary Grant Shapps admitted last Saturday that public transport capacity will be reduced to 10% of its former capacity, to enable proper social distancing. The use of public transport will have to be staggered, and many will choose to use alternative methods to get around.
Yet so far, we haven’t seen this work. After Boris Johnson’s recent easing of the lockdown in England, pictures soon emerged of a packed Jubilee Line train in London. A recent poll from SYSTRA suggested that 61% of Britons are nervous to take public transport after lockdown. Rightfully so.
A packed underground platform at Canning Town and Queensbury stations. Courtesy of Sky News.
This is where electric mobility comes in. Electric scooters and bicycles are perfect for getting around post-lockdown. Apart from being fun to ride and carbon-efficient, they will let you get to work sweat-free and cheaply, all while avoiding the queues at the tube or bus station.
There has already been increased demand for bicycles. Cycle-to-work schemes which give employees tax credits on bikes bought at work, have already seen a 200 increase in orders from people working for emergency services.
Up until now, cycling, and other forms of micro-mobility in the UK haven’t been a popular way to get around. According to Cycling UK, cycling only accounts for 1.7% of all trips in 2018. This number hasn’t changed much over the past 17 years.
Across the channel however, our European neighbours have been embraced cycling in much higher numbers. Cycling is particularly popular in the Netherlands. In Copenhagen a staggering 41% of trips to school or work are completed with a bicycle.
There are a variety of reasons why people avoid cycling in the UK, but in big cities like London, a common issue is the lack of infrastructure and perceived danger. According to one study, 96% of people in London reported feeling unsafe cycling. In the Netherlands 76% report feeling safe.
To combat this, the government has announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking infrastructure. This is a huge investment that has the opportunity to make cycling much safer and more enjoyable. It could also lead to significant falls in air pollution.
Electric scooters and e-bikes, which have just emerged in recent years, haven’t yet had their breakthrough in the UK. Despite rising popularity, electric scooters remain illegal, although this is bound to change very soon. As part of its £2 billion investment announcement, the government has announced it is “fast tracking” the e-scooter trial that has already been underway since March. This means, the trial will likely conclude more quickly, finally letting people get around in their beloved electric scooters.
With a full legalisation imminent, and a huge investment in cycle-ways on the horizon, there hasn’t been a better time to invest in electric mobility. These little machines will help you get to work safely and quickly as soon as everything returns to normal. If you’ve never used one, trust me when I say they are a hell of a lot of fun. Besides, we saw how quickly people emptied the shelves of toilet paper. With legalisation coming, we recommend you get your hands on one sooner than later.
Although you cannot visit any stores to try one out at the moment, here at OnBoards, we offer free returns and free delivery. It has never been easier to try out an electric scooter. Or, if you rather play it safe, we also sell a variety of electric bicycles, which are already fully legal. Check out our selection of scooters and e-bikes here.