Should you E-Scooter to Work?

Jun 14, 2022

Since starting at vBridge last year I've been electric scooting to the vBridge office, this only takes me about 5 minutes door to door, as you can image I have saved time, money and only have 1 car in the family, but should you also consider electric scootering to work ? Well, it depends.

1.       Location, probably the biggest factor in deciding whether to e-bike or scooter to work, luckily Christchurch is flat and some great biking infrastructure with bike lanes throughout the city. The bike lanes serve two primary purposes, protect the bike lane user and prioritisation at intersections/traffic lights. Whereas Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin are hilly, so biking or scootering becomes an issue, it drains batteries faster and cheap smaller e-scooters struggle with inclines. Also, these cities biking infrastructure is lacking, especially Auckland which is very much a “car centric” city. Finally, weather can also be a factor, Christchurch compared to the other NZ cities is relatively dry with low rain fall, whereas Auckland is the opposite, biking or scootering in the wet is no fun and can damage a e-scooter if it has no IP rating and yourself if you crash.

2.       Situation, everybody's work commute is different making e-scootering or e-biking to work not practical. Some take their kids to school then head to work, some people require driving during the day to meetings or appointments, these are all valid reasons and not just excuses to e-bike or scooter to work.

3.       Distance, Christchurch is compact and continuous with no harbours or hills dividing the city up making most commutes under 30 minutes. The same can’t be said for the other cities mentioned, with large harbours and inlets/estuary making the cities somewhat discontiguous e.g. Wellington and Auckland have harbour’s and hills dividing the city into different smaller cities making a CBD commute from the suburbs on an e-bike or scooter difficult. So if you live on the North Shore and work in South Auckland then a 30km e-scooter commute obviously isn't going to work.

There are some interesting e scooters coming out that even 3-4 years ago didn’t exist, some have 180km+ range, top speeds of 100km’s, dual motor scooters great for inclines, safety tech like ABS braking, traction control, cruise control and hydraulic brakes, off-road models, so there maybe a scooter that fits your requirements.

The cost savings from not driving to work are more than just petrol, there's WOF, insurance, repairs, parking, car depreciation. Rough calculation of running a $20,000 car is about $7000 per annum ! So given the running costs, cost of living crisis and inflation maybe a e scooter or e bike purchase for a work commute be economically viable.