Germany’s traffic is undergoing a transformation. Electric cars and bikes have been around for some time now and their number is growing slowly but steadily. However, another electric vehicle is gaining an impressive foothold in major urban areas: e-scooters. When traveling to Berlin, Munich, or Hamburg this summer, it is more than likely you’ll stumble across the latest addition to Germany’s roads. We’ll show you how far you can actually get with them.
The first the e-scooter regulation did not come into force in Germany until mid-June this year, after a long political debate. In a country in which climate change is widely perceived as being one of the most pressing topics, hopes remain high that e-scooters will come in handy as a long-needed green revolution of urban mobility. Being considered a viable alternative to city car traffic, their widespread use promises reduced traffic congestion and lower emissions.
E-scooters offer an independent, flexible, and convenient way of traveling through the city for both tourists and locals, especially for short and medium distances. Accordingly, their number has been increasing drastically over the course of the last three weeks. A recent survey suggests that every fourth German could imagine buying an e-scooter in the future.
New Game, New Rules
Internationally, these environmentally-friendly vehicles jumped onto the scene approximately 18 months ago and are now a common sight from Canada to New Zealand. However, the rules for e-scooters vary widely across the globe. Germany tightly restricts them to bike lanes as well as roads with their speed limited to 20km/h (or 12.4 mp/h). Security concerns further require all vehicles to be officially authorized and their owners must have liability insurance.
Evidently, this new emerging market presents a huge opportunity for both vendors and sharing companies. In the case of Berlin alone, eight sharing services announced their interest to enter the playing field. Among the main competitors currently are Lime, Circ, Tier, and Voi. Their fleet is “free floating”, which means that the vehicles do not require docking and can be left anywhere within their area of service.
Where Can You Go?
Due to their size, weight, and affordability, e-scooters run on comparatively small batteries which have to be charged using a normal socket. While the sharing companies hire “juicers” to recharge the individual vehicles, chances are low the one closest to you will be at 100%. Even with your own e-scooter, the specific range is rarely self-evident. Will you make it to your workplace? Your favorite restaurant? The lake?
To answer these questions in the most intuitive and fast way, we tweaked our travel time API: The map of Germany below allows you to determine the areas you can reach with your e-scooter based on your current location and the remaining power in watt-hours (Wh). You can enter your location manually or automatically share it.
This application calculates the travel distance between your starting position and all surrounding coordinates along bike lanes and streets. It takes into account differences in altitudes, as they strongly influence energy consumption. The model could be further enriched by making it possible to add individual body/baggage weight to the equation. Our API would also allow the integration of POIs such as restaurants and city sights or display the most energy-efficient routes to the destination of your choice. If that would be useful to you, just drop us a line. Have a safe journey!