E-scooter market and regulations in Russia, Austria and France

The electric scooter market and regulations in Russia, Austria and France
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    Russia's electric scooter market sales up 43% year-on-year

    With the promotion of green travel, electric bike and e-scooters are favored by many people.

    Since the large-scale development of the global electric scooter market, Europe and North America have been the main focus of the market due to the strong cycling culture and the large market volume.

    But there is a market that is rarely mentioned, and that is Russia. Russia is not a major market for electric travel.

    The volume is not comparable to Europe and the United States, but the speed of market development is by no means inferior to Europe and the United States.

    Even after the epidemic, the demand for electric scooters in Russia is still rising.

    Russia's electric scooter market sales up 43% year-on-year

    A market that continues to grow despite the general downturn

    Entering 2023, many manufacturers are looking for a breakthrough in the gradually saturated market.

    And the dividends brought by the external environment are gradually fading, so manufacturers began to improve their competitiveness in the market, technology, segmentation and marketing, wanting to get rid of redundant low-end models and create high-end intelligent products.

    Russia is not the same, alone in a corner of the market where only stable and sustained growth is seen.

    According to the first quarter sales statistics, Russia’s electric scooter sales increased 43% year-on-year to 245,000 units.

    Most people see e-scooters as an economic alternative to taxis, car sharing and private cars.

    As a result, 85% of vehicles purchased are electric scooters, about 10% are electric bicycles, and the rest are two-wheeled balance scooters and single-wheeled vehicles.

    Because of the climate, Russia is not suitable for outdoor riding in spring and winter, but in summer, when it is suitable for riding, sales are rising from month to month, especially the use of shared electric scooters.

    The high latitude climate limits the time of use of vehicles, and electric scooters can only be ridden at most in May-October in Russia.

    A market that continues to grow despite the general downturn

    If you buy a private electric scooter, it will undoubtedly be idle for half the year, which is why the convenience of shared electric scooters is even more important.

    The convenience of scooters is even more pronounced, and there is no need for users to worry about charging and storage.

    According to expert analysis of data on shared e-scooters, the number of users has tripled compared to last year.

    And the number of users in the Northwest and Volga regions has doubled, demand in all cities has grown 11 times in Tula, 10 times in Kislovodsk, 9 times in Kazan, and the most active users are in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Ekaterinburg.

    Shared scooters are mainly used by people between the ages of 25 and 35, accounting for 47% of the total number of e-scooter users.

    At the same time, the number of users in the 50+ age group has increased significantly over the past year, up 84%, making them popular with all age groups.

    Higher demand for internal

    Although the Russian market is not as large as Europe and North America, it is still not to be ignored, and with most of the vehicles in Russia imported from China, there is a high demand for Chinese e-mobility vehicles and bicycles every year.

    Fueled by the external environment, sales of electric cars and bicycles exported to Russia via Inner Mongolia rose 49% year-on-year in the first two quarters of 2020.

    According to the Russian company’s data, in 2021, sales of electric cars and bicycles in Russia are 60 times that of last year.

    In Russia, sales of electric scooters account for a larger share of the market.

    In the first nine months of 2021, sales of electric scooters on Russia’s AliExpress grew more than sixfold.

    Higher demand for internal

    On Ozon, Russia’s largest integrated e-commerce platform, demand for electric scooters quadrupled. Most consumers choose to buy online.

    Consumer spending and preferences change from different platforms.

    On Ozon, electric scooters priced at 19,000-20,000 rubles are the most popular, while at Svyaznoy, Russia’s leading online electronics retailer, popular demand is in the 40,000-55,000 ruble price range.

    Chinese brands have also taken a larger share of the market in Russia, with Makhalyuk noting that China’s Kugoo is the market leader, but with the gradual increase in competitors, the share has fallen from 30% to 21.9%.

    Another Chinese brand, Hiper, has a 13.9% share, up 3% from last year, and in third place is Ninebot with a 12.6% market share.

    Strengthen traffic rules

    Just as electric bikes have the e-bike laws, e-scooters also have the corresponding regulations.

    In the first half of 2021, the number of accidents involving electric scooters in Russia rose from 160 to 266, and the number of accidents involving children rose from 21 to 38, with a total of 188 people suffering various degrees of injury.

    But surprisingly, Russia still maintains a high level of enthusiasm for electric scooters, and the Russian government is allocating 75 million rubles for the development of shared electric scooters.

    Nevertheless, the government has taken appropriate measures, and as of March 1, 2023, electric scooters are officially recognized as vehicles in Russia.

    Officials classify electric scooters, hoverboards, electric unicycles, and similar mobility devices as MIMs, and in an effort to control the speed of shared scooters, Moscow has implemented a 15 km/h speed limit in city centers.

    When rented scooters enter the area, they automatically slow down to that speed.

    Strengthen traffic rules

    Personal mobility vehicles (PMVs) have a maximum permissible speed of 25 km/h and can be driven on hard shoulder (on roads with a speed limit of 60 km/h) or, if there is no shoulder, on the right side of the road.

    The lightweight properties of electric scooters make them more suitable for urban commuting, not only bypassing congested roads, but also reducing travel costs.

    More and more people choose electric scooters to travel in Russia, and the public also said that using electric scooters to travel can shorten commuting time, but also to avoid traffic jams.

    So there has been a substantial increase in sales of electric scooters in Russia, and the use rate of shared electric scooters has also greatly increased.

    Russia is also gradually improving micro-traffic infrastructure and laws and regulations.

    Perhaps in the future, electric scooters and other means of transportation will become an indispensable part of Russia’s travel.

    Paris, France bans electric scooter sharing

    On April 2, 2023, Paris held a referendum on whether to ban the operation of shared electric scooters, and 90% of the people supported the abolition of “shared electric scooters”.

    The mayor of Paris said that he would respect the public’s choice, and decided to ban the sharing of electric scooters on the road from September 1st.

    In 2018, Paris took the lead in supporting electric scooters in Europe, and was one of the first cities in the world to introduce electric scooters in the city.

    Coupled with the environmental wave of green travel at the time, electric scooters and electric bicycles were once blown up to the throne of environmental protection.

    However, with the increasing popularity and number of two-wheeled vehicles, the management of this area of obvious deficiencies, but also caused an increase in the number of accidents.

    In 2022, electric scooter accidents in Paris caused 3 deaths, 459 people were injured, and the number of accidents has risen, so the public has serious doubts about the safety of electric scooters.

    A Parisian citizen said, “I am very afraid of scooters speeding on the road, and I often see two or three teenagers riding an electric scooter together, which is especially dangerous, and I prefer electric bicycles to scooters.”

    Aiming at electric scooters, all kinds of driving chaos, before this, France introduced a variety of regulations on electric scooters for control, such as the requirement to wear high-visibility clothing and not against traffic, or will be punished with a fine of €135, speeding will also be punished with a maximum fine of €1500, to raise the minimum driving age to 14 years old, cut the operator and the sharing of skateboards speed, parking area to make restrictions.

    But these But these bans have gone largely unheeded, and everyone is still doing what’s convenient for them, and it certainly hasn’t helped reduce the likelihood of accidents.

    Paris, France bans electric scooter sharing

    The result of this vote was overwhelming, but a look at the composition of the voters indicates a bit of confusion.

    According to official figures, just over 100,000 of the 1.38 million people eligible to participate in the referendum voted, and more than 90,000 of them voted against scooters.

    This was disputed at the time, with a spokesperson for Dott noting that the referendum was influenced by the voting method, which resulted in a very low turnout, heavily skewed towards older age groups, meaning it was a less convincing result.

    However, the mayor of Paris said he would follow through on his promise to start banning shared e-scooters.

    The referendum was only aimed at shared electric scooters, private vehicles were not included, so while shared scooters were banned, people’s own electric scooters could still be driven as usual.

    But this is a huge blow to the three main operators in Paris.

    The operator has also been canvassing and campaigning in the run-up to the referendum to keep its business going, even offering free weekend rides, but the tide of opposition was overwhelmingly in favour.

    Dott Managing Director Nicolas Gorse said: “We don’t deny that driving violations and dangerous behaviour occur on rides, but this is controlled by human behaviour, not by the vehicle, and what we need more than anything else is education, detection and punishment.”

    A Lime spokesperson said Monday, “We remain hopeful that we can continue to work with Mayor Hidalgo to enact sensible regulations rather than banning e-scooters.”

    While many voted to ban scooters, others believe one size does not fit all and they should be regulated with stricter rental regulations.

    “I don’t want scooters doing whatever they want on the sidewalk, but banning them is not a priority,” said Piell, a 35-year-old Parisian citizen.

    Austria tightens regulation on e-scooters

    Austria has announced an overhaul of electric scooters in Vienna, further strengthening the regulation of electric scooters.

    The main change is the creation of 200 designated parking spaces for e-scooters, which prevents you from ending your ride unless you park in an official parking space.

    The move is intended to better control parking on sidewalks or roads. Close to the WienMobil bike station.

    Austria tightens regulation on e-scooters

    Stations have parking spaces for 8 to 10 scooters and parking will be prohibited within a 100-metre radius around them.

    Outside these stations, commuters are advised to park between cars.

    Vienna has already implemented a cap of 500 scooters in its central zone and 1,500 in zones 2 to 9 and 20, and plans to designate red zones in hospitals, markets and other hotspots, where scooters will not be allowed to work and parking violations will be punished.

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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