University of Warwick: Increasing shared E-scooter service life from 3 months to 3 years

• Rental e-scooters are a rising trend in cities across the world, although they do not produce CO2 when used, their typical service life is 2-5 months, after which they are scrapped

• Scrapping of scooters has a huge environmental impact, which will only get worse over time
• To decrease the number of scooters being scrapped researchers from WMG, University of Warwick, want to increase their lifespan from three months to three years, making them more eco-friendly

The current lifespan of a rental e-scooter is on average three months, after which they are scrapped, which isn’t environmentally friendly despite the scooters not producing any CO2 when in use. Researchers from WMG, University of Warwick, aim to increase their lifespan from three months to three years, making them more eco-friendly.Caption: An e-scooter on campus Credit: University of Warwick

Shared, or rental e-scooters are quickly becoming a popular mode of transport across the world, being trialled in numerous cities across the UK. Their usage has accelerated rapidly since 2020 in response to COVID-19, as people seek alternative options from public transport.

With the rise in number of e-scooters deployed, there has been an increased focus of their environmental impact. Although e-scooters do not produce any CO2 at the point of use, which can help to promote cleaner air in the places they are deployed, the typical service life is only 2-5 months, after which point they are scrapped. This has a huge environmental impact, which is only going to get worse over time.

Thanks to funding from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, over the next two years researchers from WMG, University of Warwick will seek to increase e-scooter service life from three months to three years, through innovative human factors engineering processes in collaboration with leading e-scooter companies.

The researchers are taking a deployment view of rental e-scooters, considering not only the e-scooter vehicle, but every aspect of the service design. This includes analysis of the environment e-scooters operate in and how both riders and non-riders engage with the service.

Dr Roger Woodman, from WMG, University of Warwick explains:
“Thanks to funding from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we are able to take a human factors approach to look at how e-scooters are constructed and operated, to find areas for improvement in both the service and vehicle design, to increase their usable lifespan and make them more eco-friendly.”

“This massive increase of the average service life has the potential to greatly reduce environmental impact and make e-scooters a truly sustainable form of transport.”

Comments are closed.