What's New in City Design

Micromobility: Moving cities into a sustainable future

This report by Ernst & Young and the French scooter company Voi (sets out to assess the potential contribution of e-scooters to urban mobility and decarbonization.

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Sustainability: The report presents clarity on scooter energy use and life cycle. In addition, the report looks at broader sustainability elements such as air quality, noise, congestion and efficient use of space.

Tips & Tehcniques

Report Table of Contents: includes: (1) A preface, (2) an overview of scooters tow year history, (3) summary of environmental advantages, (4) leveraging scooters, (5) paths to success and (6) sources.

Framing scooters and sustainability: For benefits, the report posits the main benefits as (1) a smaller environmental footprint (air quality and climate change), (2) reduced car use for travel, and (3) efficient, convenient and flexible travel option for citizens and tourists.  As for challenges, the report notes (1) mode shifts from walking and transit, (2) inadequate infrastructure, and (3) visual pollution of undocked scooters in rights of way.

History: (1) Cities are embracing micromobility (though with restrictions, (2) scooters as a complement to public transit, (3) increase in scooter durability & lifespan, (4) lower impacts for rebalancing scooters, (5) improved parking, (6) more (and better) employment options, (7) adoption as an alternative to auto use,

Hot Buttons: E-scooters as a complement to transit relies on easy access to high quality  buses and trains.

Sample Statistics: 

  • Since launched in California in September 2017, e-scooters have reached 626 cities across 53 countries
  • In Paris, scooters now produce 35g CO2 equivalents per person per kilometer, which is on par with many public transport options
  • Rebalancing scooters with cargo bike (instead of trucks) helped achieve a 51 per cent reduction in emissions
  • Swappable batteries in Voi scooters are expected to have a 24-month lifespan and reduce emissions by 51 per cent
  • E-scooters have accumulated over 300 million trips globally in two years 
  • 63 per cent of Voi’s users have combined e-scooters with public transport.

Areas for Improved Environmental Impact: (1) Electrify the entire fleet, (2) use renewable energy for recharging batteries, (3) use 100% swappable batteries to reduce resources for rebalancing vehicles, (4) use route optimization for suggesting routes, (5) improve vehicle lifespans with more durable designs, (6) focus on maintenance and increase predictive maintenance, and (7) devote more attentino to user behavior.


Micromobility: Moving cities into a sustainable future