Matute on Carbon Footprint of Electric Scooters

Juan Matute, deputy director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a study attempting to tally the carbon footprint of electric scooters. The research measured several factors: the energy-intensive materials that go into making the vehicles; the driving required to collect, charge and redistribute them; and the shortened lifespan of scooters battered by use on urban streets or attacked by vandals. The study concluded that e-scooters aren’t as eco-friendly as they may seem. While traveling a mile by scooter is better than driving the same distance by car, it’s worse than biking, walking or taking a bus — the modes of transportation that scooters most often replace, the researchers from North Carolina State University found. “That actual trip somebody’s taking on the scooter — that’s pretty green,” Matute said. “What’s not green is everything you don’t see.”


1 reply
  1. Adam
    Adam says:

    First thing first. The title should read: “Scooter sharing might not be as eco-friendly”.
    Everyone understood that just by looking at these companies’ plans of operation. Really annoys me, I’ve seen these headings all over the place last year and it just makes me so angry. Talk about narrative, next you tell me its the bus companies who have sponsored the research 😀 Be more truthful, you should know that a shared scooter that needs pickup by car and has a life-span less than a packet of fresh milk is far from someone owning her/his own scooter taking care of it. Better yet, add some nuclear power into that mix and the bus can pretty much go drive into a lake. Of course, walking and biking are going to be more eco-friendly… but an electric scooter isn’t far behind the bike. Sorry, I just get so upset by people hiding the actual research found. They even said these things within the research papers if I recall correctly.


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