Project set to extend working life of e-scooters

A two-year project at WMG, University of Warwick is looking at ways of increasing the lifespan of rental e-scooters from just a few months to three years.  

e-scooters
E-scooter trials are taking place across the UK  (Image by Janik Lipke from Pixabay)

Shared, or rental e-scooters are becoming a popular mode of transport with trials taking place in cities across the UK. Their usage has accelerated rapidly since 2020 in response to COVID-19, as people seek alternative options from public transport.

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E-scooters do not produce any CO2 at the point of use, which can help to promote cleaner air in the places they are deployed, but the typical service life is only between 2-5 months, after which point they are scrapped.

Over the next two years, and with funding from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick will seek to increase e-scooter service life to three years through human factors engineering processes in collaboration with e-scooter companies.

According to Warwick University, the researchers will take a deployment view of rental e-scooters, considering not only the e-scooter vehicle, but every aspect of the service design including analysis of the environment e-scooters operate in, and how riders and non-riders engage with the service.

In a statement, Dr Roger Woodman, from WMG, University of Warwick said: “Thanks to funding from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we are able to take a human factors approach to look at how e-scooters are constructed and operated, to find areas for improvement in both the service and vehicle design, to increase their usable lifespan and make them more eco-friendly.”

“This massive increase of the average service life has the potential to greatly reduce environmental impact and make e-scooters a truly sustainable form of transport.”

The project has also bought more opportunities for students with a PhD opportunity within the team focussing on micromobility transport modelling.