Urban mobility is changing radically. Today, 60% of all journeys are less than 8 kilometres and a growing number of people choose to combine various means of transport with personal mobility vehicles such as electric scooters and skateboards. In major cities such as Paris, Berlin, Barcelona or Madrid they are already a common form of transport; it is estimated that in Spain alone there are more than 26,000 on the streets.
Four months ago, pastry chef Jairo Borox added a SEAT eXS KickScooter to his daily routine. He uses it to travel more than 400 kilometres every month and saves 60 euros in transport costs. This is how he spends his day with his electric scooter.
05:30 a.m. One more hour of sleep
60% of all trips made by car are under 8 kilometres.
Jairo has to get up early for work. This is the time he leaves home in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, southwest of Barcelona, and rides his scooter the two kilometres to the train station. He catches the train at 5:38 to Sant Boi de Llobregat (Barcelona), which is where his bake shop is located. He used to take a bus to work the whole distance that he would catch at 5 in the morning. “My scooter lets me sleep an extra hour and that’s a major advantage when you have to get up so early”, he says.
06:15 a.m. Scooting to work
Jairo’s electric scooter takes him the 3 kilometres from the train station to his bake shop, where he puts on his chef whites to begin making all kinds of chocolate confectionary.
11:00 a.m. Back on his scooter
Jairo now has to take all his finished baked goods and chocolates to the pastry shop in Barcelona so customers can enjoy his freshly made creations. He takes the train as the shop is 17 kilometres away, but again scoots to the station as it is the fastest way to get there.
One of the main advantages of combining these means of transport is that there are no surprises; all my travelling times have been perfectly calculated”.
11:45 a.m. Ideal solution for cities
Jairo gets off the train at the last stop, Francia Station. The pastry shop is just 400 metres away in the trendy Born neighbourhood, which he reaches in just two minutes on his scooter. “Many cities are scooter-friendly. Others are working on making it easy for people to safely get around anywhere on their scooters”, he claims.
2 p.m. Ideal for short distances
After work he often stays in Barcelona to have lunch with friends. “I like the flexibility it gives me. It only takes a few minutes to go short distances and then you can fold it up and take it with you wherever you want.”
4 p.m. Home again
After lunch, Jairo takes the metro to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and rides his scooter from there – under one kilometre in about two minutes.
8 p.m. It rides with him in his car as well
On Friday evenings and at the weekend, Jairo and friends go out for supper and fun in Barcelona. He drives to one of the parks and ride facilities at the entrance of the city and unloads his SEAT eXS KickScooter from the boot to get to their meeting point. “This way I can forget about driving around looking for a place to park and having to pay for it as well.”
11 p.m. Not without my scooter
Back at home he plugs in his scooter to recharge it. Today he travelled more than 20 kilometres with it and reckons he saved about two hours of time. He also saves money - more than 60 euros a month on fuel, parking and public transport fares. “When scooters started coming out I didn’t see them as an option, but now it’s become an essential part of my daily routine”, he admits.
Three questions about the electric scooter
What is its range and top speed?
Users of the SEAT eXS KickScooter save time and money.
The SEAT eXS KickScooter has a range of up to 25 kilometres, and its maximum recharging time is three and a half hours. Its top speed is 25 km/hour and it weighs 12.5 kilos. It features LED headlights to better see and be seen, and electric and mechanical brakes for safe, effortless stopping. Both the brake cables and battery are integrated in the steering column for greater protection. In addition, it has solid rubber wheels to prevent punctures.
What are the laws governing its use?
It can be ridden by individuals who are at least 14 years old. Each city has its own regulatory framework, but few in Europe have specific regulations. In Spain, only Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia have them, but the National Department of Traffic is preparing a general law. They can be ridden in bike lanes and streets with a speed limit of 30 km/h, and it is forbidden to ride on pavements and roads. Protective headgear is recommended but is only obligatory for anyone under 15.
Are they only for private use?
No. The electric scooter is here to stay in its multiple formats, including renting them when and where needed via a mobile app. SEAT has collaborated with the UFO start-up to implement this service in Madrid with 500 electric scooters available city-wide. According to SEAT Product Marketing director Lucas Casasnovas, “this means of transport has a great future ahead. Its growth prospects are very significant, and we have just begun our collaboration with UFO. For now, we’re operating in Madrid, but we expect to continue collaborating on providing this service in the rest of Spain and other cities in Europe.”