Escooters are one of the losers of 2021 for micromobility providers

When I think of mobility failure in 2021, unfortunately, one mode of transport comes first to mind — escooters. And both micromobility providers and manufacturers are feeling the pain.

To many, escooters seem like the vital cog in last-mile mobility solutions in urban areas. They’re highly accessible, environmentally friendly, affordable, and there’s plenty of variety to choose from. Just this morning, I counted four different brands blocking the sidewalk in my street. 

I feel like in 2021 we were just starting (at least in Europe) to see escooters transition from something that drunk people and teenage boys ride short distances for kicks, to a legitimate form of short trip transport. 

But deaths, accidents, injuries, and escooters crowding the pavement have resulted in a year of crackdowns and regulation that shows no sign of abating. 

Cities forced to respond to escooter accidents and casualties 

In November, Paris introduced new rules for hire escooters to be limited to speeds of 10 kmph throughout the capital, with only a few areas remaining limited to 20 kmph. It followed an accident where a pedestrian was hit and killed by an e-scooter. 

Nordic countries have also struggled with escooter deaths and injuries throughout 2021. As a result, many cities reduced the number of escooters available on the streets. In Sweden, one cyclist died after crashing into an e-scooter parked across a cycle path. 

A hospital in Helsinki told Euronews Next that it had hired an additional doctor to cope with the extra burden of scooter-related injuries. 

The UK shows the pain for micromobility providers