BENGALURU: While electric kick scooters has been gaining traction in many foreign cities, the trend is yet to catch up in Bengaluru.
Globally, stand-up foldable electric kick scooters have seen a rise in popularity as it is convenient for last-mile connectivity. But high cost, lack of electric-charging stations, clogged roads, absence of wide pavements and good-quality roads are the reasons for the poor response here, said experts.
With the Centre aggressively pushing for electric vehicles, new-generation micro-mobility options like e-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds and e-skateboards are likely to get popular in future, mainly for last-mile connectivity. However, electric scooters may be a nuisance to pedestrians because of already crowded pavements, some experts feel.
Bengaluru’s bicycle mayor Sathya Sankaran said, “Electric kick scooters will become popular in Bengaluru. The major hurdle is lack of infrastructure. In foreign cities, they have well-maintained footpaths and roads, so they can use them without fear.”
Sanket Agrawal of Ahmedabad-based Swagtron, a firm that sells kick scooters and hoverboards, said there is a growing demand from Bengaluru. “People are using electric kick scooters at private spaces and large campuses like tech parks and educational institutions. Instead of a 15-minute walk from the main gate to their workplace, they can reach within five minutes.” But people avoid using them for longer distances in public places because of crowded pavements and inadequate infrastructure, he added.
The models, weighing around 150kg and with a speed of 30kmph, are available in the range of Rs 30,000-Rs 50,000. Once fully charged, they can run up to 20km. The firms will allow users to lock the vehicles, switch ride modes and plan trips with GPS through an app. The foldable scooter comes with a handbrake and a thumb throttle for acceleration.
Yulu’s Miracle, a dockless battery-powered lightweight scooter, launched the city in February, has been receiving an overwhelming response. Yulu has deployed 500 Miracle scooters across Indiranagar, Koramangala and HSR Layout.