Electric vehicles have gone from something read about in science fiction books or seen on The Jetsons, to becoming a reality. No longer are electric vehicles seen as a novelty that will never catch on, now the e-vehicle market is thriving.
The world’s electric vehicle market reached a value of $246.7 billion in 2020. The following year it grew further to $287.36 billion. It was then predicted to continue to grow at a very healthy CAGR of 24.3% until 2028.
Recent events such as Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis may push consumers toward e-vehicle purchases sooner rather than later.
Electric cars first commercially appeared in 2010, and that year saw just 300 plug-in cars sold. Now though, there are a wide variety of e-vehicles on the market, not just cars.
What types of electric vehicles are on the market now?
One of the e-vehicles that is becoming more visible is the electric scooter. These provide a fast option for nipping about cities and towns and are being seen in use by commuters more and more.
However, they aren’t the only electric vehicle to choose from today. A quick look at ERideHero will show you the best electric vehicles now, and how varied the choice is.
Apart from electric cars and scooters, there are:
- Electric skateboards
- Electric bicycles
- Electric unicycles
- Electric skates
Then there are transport options such as electric buses which China is investing heavily in. The Chinese electric bus industry was worth around $29 billion in 2021 but is expected to grow to $118 billion by 2027. It seems then, that the interest in all forms of electric transport, big or small, is growing.
The electric car is already well known and discussed. An electric bicycle could offer a valuable form of transport around town and maybe commuting. But, the electric scooter may be the most intriguing and has the enticing combination of being practical and perhaps economically sound too.
How economically viable are electric scooters?
As with any vehicle, electric scooter prices vary by model and brand. For a ballpark figure though, you could expect to pick up an electric scooter for $300 on average. A higher-end electric scooter could cost around $600, but several factors determine these prices.
With electric scooters selling for as low as this, then it may be time to consider the other economic factors of using one of these e-vehicles.
How much do they cost to charge?
The cost of charging one of these scooters depends on the battery’s capacity, where you are in the world, and whether you are charging at peak or off-peak rates. Of course, if you are using solar power to be even more eco-friendly, then this will make a difference too.
To simplify this question though, the average electric scooter can be taken as an example.
In the US, the average electric scooter would cost around $0.02 off-peak and about $0.07 at peak. A high-capacity scooter might be around $0.45 at off-peak for comparison.
Denmark charges more for electricity than most other countries. Even there, it would only cost around $0.16 to charge a 400 Wh electric scooter fully.
What about parking costs?
You can say goodbye to parking costs with an e-scooter. An electric scooter’s typical weight would be between 15 and 30 pounds. It is true that heavier models can weigh up to 40 kilos, but there are many lighter models on the market.
Electric scooters are very often highly portable, and they fold up. Meaning that a commute can be split between a scooter, foot, and another form of transport. The scooter can then be folded and taken into your place of work.
Electric scooters are not currently recognized as vehicles in the UK or the US. This means that they don’t require any form of insurance. However, this doesn’t mean cover isn’t available.
If you wish to take out insurance against vandalism, theft, and accident liability, then it may be as little as $20 per month. The average monthly insurance fee for a car today is around $136.
With maintenance costs being minimal too, an electric scooter seems to be an economical way of getting about. Certainly for short journeys or ones that involve flat terrain.
How important are electric vehicles today?
Fossil fuels are being depleted at an alarming rate. It is becoming increasingly clear that other forms of energy are needed. The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere believes oil reserves will be depleted by 2052.
It would seem then that gas-guzzling vehicles will need to be replaced, and e-vehicles offer an alternative. Unfortunately, around 60% of the world’s electricity is generated through coal-powered plants. And coal is going to run out in 2090. Not to mention that burning coal is bad for the environment.
The good news is that there is massive investment being made into alternative energy sources to continue producing electricity. Currently, around 29% of the world’s electricity is generated through hydro, solar, and wind power sources.
The question not so long ago would have been is the world ready for electric cars and the like. Now, with coal, gas, and oil running out, electricity will be a more viable option for powering cars. And with hydro, solar, and wind being truly renewable energy sources, electric vehicles will become the norm.
Are electric vehicles good for the economy in general?
A major switch to electric vehicles will mean something of a culture shock for automobile manufacturers. Nevertheless, all the major players have seen the change coming and research and development mean more jobs being created.
Electric vehicles mean cleaner air and less greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles also need less maintenance, so there would be benefits in public transport moving to EV motors. Public buses and trains being powered through electricity would provide revenue for local governments. And EVs becoming more common would mean a better atmosphere leading to reduced health problems and less strain on healthcare.
Also, electric vehicles need places to be charged which helps to create and sustain a whole industry in itself. It is estimated that by 2030, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure market will be worth $148 billion.
Are electric vehicles gaining in popularity?
Without a doubt, electric vehicles of all types are becoming more common. Walk around a city or an urban area and you are likely to see electric scooters, skateboards, and bicycles.
But it is in the automobile industry where the biggest changes are being seen. Tesla is the 19th largest car manufacturer on the planet, but there are predictions for even bigger things.
It has been predicted that Tesla, which sold 1 million cars in 2021, will become the world’s most valuable company in 10 years. Pretty impressive for a company only founded in 2003.
One wonders what may happen if Elon Musk turns his hand to electric scooters too.
All forms of electric transport offer some environmental benefits when replacing traditional passenger vehicles. Some such as hoverboards, may be more fun and casual, but others such as bicycles, cars, and scooters offer serious practical use.
An electronic scooter may not be practical for long journeys or traveling in the rain. However, an electric scooter would save you money over any other form of transport for a commute to work or zipping around town, with no traffic jams to be concerned about either.