In many cities worldwide – from the tech stronghold of San Francisco to the venerable Vienna – electric scooters are already enjoying great popularity. This is not least due to the fact that a large number of startups have set up corresponding rental systems. Customers can borrow a scooter there in seconds and simply turn it off after the trip. In Germany, however, such systems are not yet available. The simple reason: Because it lacked an appropriate regulation, the use of electric scooters is not allowed in this country. Even those who had such a vehicle under the Christmas tree, it may theoretically use only on private grounds. However, this will soon change: Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has authorized the necessary small electrical vehicles regulation.
With up to twenty kilometers per hour on the road
Accordingly, not only the popular scooters are to be allowed with electric drive, but also appropriate skateboards. Here, the responsible officials had long filed concerns. Because without handlebar and handbrake, they saw the safety of other road users at risk. Ultimately, however, the Minister opted for extensive liberalization: both skateboards and scooters may be ridden in the future with a maximum of twenty kilometers per hour on the road or the bicycle lane. A special driver's license is not needed. However, the officials left a back door open. The approval of the electric boards is a kind of practical test. If too many accidents happen, the permit could be revoked unbureaucratically again. First evaluations from other countries seem to indicate at least an increase in the number of accidents.
Investors have invested many millions in the industry
The approval in Germany is also of interest to many million-dollar startups. In the United States, among other things, the company Lime has attracted numerous investors with the rental of e-scooters – which led to imitators around the world. There is now a high single-digit number of startups that are entering the market and where well-known funders are active in the background. Most recently, however, the euphoria had slowed down a bit. For while the business figures in the summer were still almost unbelievably good, the number of users declined significantly in the winter, especially in the colder areas. It therefore remains to be seen whether the scooter rental is actually as good a business as expected. As yet untapped market the German megacities should be of considerable interest to the startups.
Via: The mirror