E-scooters have been into the spotlight everywhere across the world in the past few years. In the U.S., people's inclination and the rising popularity of e-scooters has helped scooter-sharing startups such as Bird and Lime to attain unicorn status.
Now, the small vehicle has landed in one corner of Japan: Urawa-misono Station in Saitama. It is an underground train ride of around 50-minutes north of Tokyo.
The e-scooters are lined up at a noticeable spot outside the ticket gate of the station. These e-scooters can be unlocked with a smartphone app. The users are allowed to borrow helmets from the station before they ride off.
How do the riders move on the e-scooters?
There is a special technique using which the rider makes the e-scooter move. The rider places one foot on the board and kicks off two or three times with the other. The scooter moves forward with a speed up to 19 kph. The e-scooters are managed with an accelerator on the right handlebar and a brake on the left.
The e-scooters are rendered by Wind Mobility Japan. It is the local wing of Berlin-based Wind Mobility. The company operates in 17 mainly European cities. The service that rolled out in March has crossed over 300 registered members right at the end of May.
Originally, Windway was feeling much difficulty to partner with railway operators. In an exhibit event in the last November, Saitama Railway felt a fondness for the e-scooters and helped Wind to get the service off the ground.
E-scooter usage prices:
The e-scooter which would move forward with a speed up to 19 kph would cost 100 yen which is around $1 for unlocking. Once the e-scooter is unlocked it will then cost 25 yen per minute while riding. The rates are on par with rates abroad. As the rides are mostly lasting for half an hour on an average, the company has also provided the riders with an option to pay by the hour or by the day.
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Looking at the legal aspect, the e-scooters would have to follow the rules shared by 2002 notice from the National Police Agency under Japanese traffic law. According to the law, the e-scooters at Urawa- misono will be treated as motorized bicycles. The lawful notice also states that the e-scooters should have license plates and side mirrors. The riders are encouraged to carry a driver’s license while riding the scooter. And most importantly, these e-scooters need to be driven on the road beside the cars.
The launch is another sign which can surely state that the future of mobility if micro and e-scooters will, in fact, be a significant name in the vehicle categories list in the future.
McKinsey & Company estimated the shared micro-mobility which includes e-scooters, bike sharing, and the likes in the U.S, Europe, and China to reach a total of $500 billion.
There are accepted pickups in the predicted mass adoption.
We cannot deny that e-scooters are a contentious travel alternative driven by the reckless driving style. The devices lying on the sidewalks have provoked accidents and also annoyed the locals living near the area.
It is because of these reasons that even Germany and France are inflicting strict rules and regulations on electric scooters. Whereas many other U.S cities have completely banned e-scooters or forced cessations on their use. But the Wind’s e-scooter service in Japan service has till now bypassed such issues so far with no accidents or complaints report. That means this is the most undersized of Japan’s concerns when it comes to e-scooters’ growing adoption.
In recent months, safety matters and extensive operating losses have pitched doubt on the long-term possibilities of the electric scooter and bike-share industry.
American commutation networks like Lime and Bird are possessing so many e-bikes and scooters that even Chinese manufacturers from whom they buy their e-scooters fret their pace is unsustainable.
Even when certain specific companies strive hard, the e-scooter commutation is not affected at all. If we take the example of China, they already have around 200 million electric bicycles and scooters running on their streets. Since American cities are making space for the e-scooters it is expected that they can nurture technologies that could absolutely change the face of urban transportation.
In the country of China, now there are e-bikes consisting of one for every Chinese car. These e-bikes have served entirely new classes of vehicles which include the electric scooters propagating in the US cities today.
In America, companies like Bird and Lime have blended micro mobility with another Chinese innovation. Dockless technology is becoming more and more popular with each passing day. In the year 2015, Chinese companies like Ofo and Mobike stationed their fleets of bicycles. These e-scooters and e-bikes used wireless networks and apps which are able to track the vehicles on city streets. Thus, the need for dockless stations is altogether eliminated. The American mobility networks and technologies made new advancements in the e-scooter sector by electrifying dockless bike and scooter shares.
If you are also planning to get your shoes wet in the e-scooter market in Japan, you must know the details before entering this business. In our previous blogs, we have covered the information and suggestions regarding business models and also the list of manufacturers to buy your first fleet from.
The e-scooter market is at its high and now it is your turn to make the best of it by partnering with us. Connect with us for any further queries through below and schedule your free consultation session.
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