Tuesday 1 June 2021

E-Scooter Trial in Ealing

Electric Scooters will be available to rent in Ealing from as early as Monday 7 June. TfL has selected Ealing as one of five London boroughs to run e-scooter trials. Three companies, Dott, Lime, and Tier will operate the scheme, which will run for a year. These trials are the only way you can legally ride an electric scooter in a public place in London. To hire an e-scooter you will need to have a full or provisional driving license for a car or motorbike, and take an online safety course before your first rental.  

The e-scooters for hire in London will have a maximum speed of 12.5mph, compared to 15.5 mph for  electric bicycles, and will only be allowed on roads and cycleways - not on the pavement. Geo-fencing will be used to cut the motor if riders attempt to leave the area of the trial. The geo-fencing technology will also be used to help ensure they are left at one of the 38 designated parking spaces in Ealing. Between  60 and 150  e-scooters will be available to rent in each borough. See the map below for rental locations in Ealing. 

See larger map

There has been much debate around e-scooters. Critics point out that they offer no active travel benefits - standing on one gives you no cardiovascular exercise. Early rental e-scooters were also found to produce more CO2 per mile travelled than some electric cars.* This was because rental scooters had a short life - in some cases as little as 1-5 months, so the CO2 produced during their manufacture added a significant amount to the whole life emissions.† They also required a fleet of vans to maintain them. Newer e-scooters have replaceable batteries, so the maintenance vans don't have to take them back to a depot to recharge them, and they are more robust, so have longer lives. Advocates of e-scooters see them providing a greener alternative to cars, and tackling congestion by taking up far less space than traditional motor vehicles.

In 2020 London Cycling Campaign published a report on e-scooters which welcomed the trials.

Dott is based in Amsterdam and operates in 15 cities in Europe, including Paris. Lime is based in San Francisco and operates in over 100 cities, mainly in the United States, Germany and Australia. TIER is based in Berlin and operates in 100 cities across 12 countries in Europe and the Middle East.