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The greenness of shared micro mobility - how shared e-bikes and e-scooters are perceived

Those who use shared electric bikes and scooters have a more positive view of the environmental benefits of shared micro mobility than those who do not use these means of transport. Shared e-bike users are more motivated to use shared e-bikes because of their perceived greenness, compared to shared e-scooter users. These are results from a recent K2 study conducted in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Phil Flores

“It’s like we expected - users see these means of transport as environmentally friendly, while non-users usually don’t share that same perception”, says Phil Flores, PhD student at K2 and the School of Economics and Management at Lund University. 

Users and non-users in Stockholm and Copenhagen have been asked about their attitudes regarding the environmental and climate impact of shared use of electric bikes and scooters. The study shows that people who are open to innovations and like to try new things – such as e-bikes and e-scooters – are also highly environmentally conscious. This is especially true for cyclist who perceive themselves as “green” and who perceive e-cycling as a green alternative. This connection is weaker among e-scooter users. 

“The significant difference is mainly between users and non-users. Users regard the vehicle as environmentally friendly, while non-users generally don’t share that same perception”, says Phil Flores.

Why do non-users not see the environmental benefits?
“People must become aware of the benefits of shared transport. Shared electric scooters and e-bikes have appeared in our cities very quickly and no rules have been established for how they should be used. And those who don’t use these new micro vehicles also don’t belong to the group that quickly adopts innovations. People see e-scooters thrown everywhere, which creates great frustration.  It is also quite expensive to ride an e-scooter, and some may not see or believe that they replace other non-environmentally friendly means of transport such as using a car or taking a taxi. The shared e-scooters are mostly considered a fun ride”, says Phil Flores.

Why is it important to know how users perceive these vehicles?
“How we perceive things is very important. Both shared e-bikes and e-scooters are emphasized as environmentally friendly alternatives. If we want more people to use them, it is important that we communicate the right things. It is also important to solve problems and annoyances. To plan for an integration of micro vehicles, it is crucial to change non-users’ skeptical attitude towards e-scooters. Clear regulations are needed, for example when it comes to parking”, says Phil Flores.

Phil Flores is a PhD student at K2 as well as at the School of Economics and Management at Lund University.

You can read Phils article about how shared e-bikes and e-scooters are perceived here.