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Electric Scooters Aren’t Quite as Climate-Friendly as We Thought

Electric scooter companies like to tout their green credentials, frequently reminding riders that every two-wheeled trip they take can help reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change — but the truth is much more complicated. From a report: A new study from North Carolina State University found that shared e-scooters may be more environmentally friendly than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options, including bicycles, walking, and certain modes of public transportation. Riders tend to think they’re making the right move by hopping on a scooter that’s electric and thus carbon-free. But what they don’t see are all of the emissions that are produced by the manufacturing, transportation, maintenance, and upkeep of dockless scooters. If you only think about the segment of the life cycle you can see, which would be standing on the scooter where there’s no tailpipe, it’s easy to make that assumption,” said Jeremiah Johnson, corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State. “But if you take a step back, you can see all the other things that are a bit hidden in the process.”


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