Information About Electrics Print
A January 2000 poll of Central Texas by the Sustainability Indicators Project reported that 92% of area residents commuted in private passenger vehicles an average of 21.4 minutes each way. This is responsible for the majority of the air pollution in the area (largest source of Nox and man-made VOCs). Furthermore, gas powered scooters are not regulated by emissions controls and actually produce more emissions than a modern SUV. A typical gas powered lawnmower engine, which is similar to a gas scooter engine in that it is not regulated, produces more emissions than 20 modern cars. Governments are already offering economic incentives to pollution free forms of transportation, and as pollution increases, this will only grow.

{josquote}The main source of [urban] pollution is the internal combustion engine. It's important to get people to carpool, vanpool, and [get them] on buses. It's important to get them out of vehicles and it's healthier to be walking and taking a bike anyway.{/josquote}






 -Fred Blood, City of Austin Sustainability Officer

Oil futures closed at an all time record of $60.00 a barrel on Friday, July 29, 2005 and are projected to continue rising as reserves of this non-renewable resource continue to run out. The Energy Institute in the UK reports that global oil production is going to flatten out and that there is essentially no reserve capacity any more in the event of a major disruption in Russia, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela. Oil is not only becoming less available, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult and ecologically damaging to extract from the Earth. America will eventually be forced to find alternate forms of energy for transportation and electric vehicles are already here. In addition, by tapping into a renewable, pollution free resource, the US will no longer be so dependent upon foreign powers for our economy to function and may even improve international relations.

When we consider that the majority of in-town trips are between five and ten miles, it only makes sense to get out of our pollution-ridden, petroleum-fueled cars and find a more efficient method of transit. Electric bikes and scooters provide a solution to this problem, and they are a ton of fun to ride! In most major cities, traffic congestion has reached an all time high and shows no signs of letting up. Rush hour drive times are growing, and parking spaces are continuing to diminish at key locations. Texas state employees recently lost their benefit of free parking. Scooters bypass these issues by almost always having a place to park and eliminating the need to waste precious time sitting idly in a car every day. One study shows that 70% of people in America have an average commute of 6 miles or less each day. A recent study by Alien Scooters showed that during rush hour in Austin over a variety of different routes that exceeded 6 miles, a person riding a scooter actually arrived before a person driving a car over the same route almost every time.

Electric scooters are allowed on public transit (bus/train/plane) whereas gas-powered scooters are prohibited. This allows a rider to combine clean, electric, personal short-range transportation with the efficiency of mass transit for longer commutes. On March 3, 2005, Mayor Will Wynn introduced a resolution before City Council committing the City of Austin to take a leadership role in developing a Green Power Transportation System with gas-optional vehicles.  A recent survey to 600K people in central Texas by TBC showed that 70% thought it was important or very important for people to have safe pedestrian and bike facilities. This will create paths for not only bikes, but electric bikes and scooters as well.

Owners take pride in the non-polluting, zero-emission nature of their vehicles. Some point out that knowing that your vehicle is non-polluting quickly leads to a realization of how stinky and noxious even modern, well tuned non-electric vehicles actually are — something that tends to be ignored when you are part of the problem.

Fueling at home by charging batteries is much more convenient than driving to obtain liquid or gaseous fuel, and both the availability and the cost of operation is predictable.  A typical electric scooter or electric bike can travel 700 to 900 miles for the same money that 1 gallon of gas costs.  Solar photovoltaic charging stations can also be used to produce the energy required for personal transportation with true zero pollution.