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Are Electric Scooters Actually Good For The Environment?

air pollution

Electric scooters are the latest urban transportation sensation. Last year alone, Americans took 38.5 million rides on electric scooters. From Los Angeles to Austin to Atlanta, people are now scooting to get around.

Scooters are electric, emission-free, and must be replacing gas-guzzling car trips. That has to be good for the climate, right?

But a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters says electric scooters actually aren’t very green. Researchers tallied up all the carbon emissions in a scooter’s “life cycle”—manufacturing, shipping, recharging—and found that scooters produce more emissions per passenger mile than an electric bike, a moped, and even a standard bus with high ridership.

One major cause of scooter emissions? The fact that they’re transported within cities, by cars, to overnight recharging locations and places they’re likely to be picked up the next day.

There is good news for scooter fans, though—policy changes have the potential to make them greener.

Sigal Samuel, a staff writer for Vox based in Washington D.C., joins Ira to talk more about the study.

Original story from sciencefriday