Denmark's electric scooters to come under scrutiny for impact on traffic and environment

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark's electric scooters to come under scrutiny for impact on traffic and environment
People riding electric scooters at Kongens Nytorv, central Copenhagen on July 15th. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

Road safety and impact on climate will be considered as a decision is taken on whether to allow rental electric scooters to continue using Danish roads, according to transport minister Benny Engelbrecht.


The vehicles have been the subject of considerable debate since their introduction to cycle lanes and sidewalks – where they are often left badly parked -- earlier this year.

Police recently cracked down on users of the light vehicles by arresting dozens of people for driving them while drunk or stoned.

Copenhagen is also to introduce rules limiting the number of scooters which can be parked in specified areas of the city.

Engelbrecht wants to consider the environmental impact of the two-wheeled vehicles before deciding whether to extend the arrangement which provides for their use on roadways, Børsen reports.

“Part of the learning process is, of course, also how we ensure that when the next thing comes out – electric pogo sticks or whatever it may be – that we view it as a whole, so it’s not just about traffic safety but also the business model and the climate footprint,” Engelbrecht told the newspaper.

The current trial provisions for use of the scooters on Danish roads run until January, when they will be reviewed with regard to traffic safety.

But the minister wants this assessment to be supplemented with an environmental review and has asked the Danish Traffic Authority (Færdselsstyrelsen) to look into how this might be done.

In a recent report by newspaper Politiken, the scooters were described as only lasting two to three months before needing to be replaced.

As such, the environmental impact of the machines could be equivalent to driving a car weighing 1.5 tonnes, Jeppe Juul, a transport specialist with the Danish Organic Council (Det Økologiske Råd) argued in light of that report.

Lime, one of the operators of rental electric scooters in Copenhagen, said it is working to be as CO2-neutral as possible.

“The recharging of our scooters and our workshop in Copenhagen is powered exclusively by sustainable energy,” the company’s head of operations in Denmark Niklas Joensen said in a written comment to Politiken.

“Additionally, we only use scooters designed specifically for rental. That means that 96 percent of Lime scooters can be recycled if they are damaged, which also helps to limit our climate imprint,” he added.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen Police charge 28 for riding electric scooters while intoxicated


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[email protected] 2019/09/25 13:08
I'd suggest active efforts being made in ensuring electric scooters are better implemented.<br /><br />They're generally more convenient for short travel within the city, so many parts of my body hurt from riding bikes and the crashes have been more dangerous. It's insane to be conservative and repealing at this opportunity, which is the impression I'm getting from Mr. Engelbrecht.<br /><br />Electric pogo sticks? How much vision do you lack of travel convenience, Minister of Transport?
[email protected] 2019/07/17 15:22
I would also like to see how many of these scooters end up in the water in the canals?<br />

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