Scooters have a history in the United States and Europe that goes back to at least the 1920s. In those days, scooters were more playtoy-like items for children so that they could roam the streets on their two-wheeled contraptions and not proper transportation. Unlike today's models, the first scooters were usually simple creations made from roller skates attached to a board and a handle, which was often an old box. Soon after these primitive scooters made their first appearance, manufacturers began turning out sturdier and more technologically-advanced versions. In the 1930s, scooters began to resemble bicycles slightly. Scooter frames and their visibly smaller front and rear bicycle-type wheels set them apart from bikes, however. Though they have waxed and waned in popularity over the decades, scooters have maintained a steady presence in many countries. Today, ultra-sleek human-powered and electric-powered scooters come in a wide variety of colors, styles, equipment, capabilities, and prices. One thing still holds. Scooters can be both fun and useful forms of transportation.
There are many benefits to riding a scooter, whether it's a pure human-powered version or an e-scooter. Here are just a few such benefits:
Scooters solve what's known as the "walkability problem." They are mobile and easily roll on the pavement. Scooters make it easier to get to places too far away for comfortable walking. For example, a two- or three-mile walk, which could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more each way, takes far less time using a scooter. Even trips of one-mile or less are easier when using a scooter than walking.
Pushing a scooter also provides health benefits to one degree or another. E-scooters and human-powered scooters could help cut down on pollution-emitting motorized vehicles, including mass transit such as buses. With space at a premium in tightly packed urban cores, scooters take up far less space than cars, trucks, SUVs, and buses. Mass use of scooters would also help solve the parking problems found in most cities and towns these days.
Electric scooters are a subset of traditional human-powered-only scooters. Since 2000, these e-scooters have also surpassed more-traditional gasoline engine versions, which often put out smoke and were bulky and sometimes irritatingly loud. Today's electric scooters, however, are lightweight and run only on electricity. Benefits of e-scooters include:
Electric scooters have also attained a certain cachet or attractiveness among city dwellers under 40. They also appeal to a wide variety of demographics. Plus, electric scooters are speedy, with some able to attain speeds of up to 50 mph. However, most people drive them at slower speeds to ensure safe operation.
Whether human-powered-only or electric, scooters cost far less than almost any other form of motorized wheeled vehicle. For beginners, an electric scooter might even cost as little as $100. However, those scooters are primarily intended for children starting at age eight and up. Push- or human-powered scooters are even more inexpensive.
Depending on their size, style, features, and color, adult-type electric scooters range from $300 up to $600 as of 2021. There are far pricier e-scooters, but they're more of a specialty item than anything else. At $600, an electric scooter often features a battery life of about 3.5 hours at around 15 mph, which is a speed that can quickly get you to nearby shops and stores and then back home.
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