Researchers at North Carolina State University were skeptical of emissions claims made by Lime and Bird about their dockless electric scooters. These claims were based on the assumption that the electric scooters’ life cycle is two years. The North Carolina State University study looked at real-world usage and found the product’s life cycle to be closer to two months than two years. That is a lot of obsolescence happening very quickly.
Factoring in the emissions released from making, shipping, charging, collecting, and disposing of scooters, the report found that Lime’s statement on their receipts (“Your ride was carbon free”) is not true. The researchers concluded that scooters are responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions per passenger mile than a high-ridership diesel bus, an electric moped, an e-bike or a bicycle.
The best way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions while getting around town? That is still walking.