With the summer at our door step, long weekends and even longer days, I want to pay homage to a travel companion I have enjoyed now for quite some time: The micro scooter.
I probably got my first micro scooter, or kick-scooter around 2002 when it first became very popular in Switzerland. Ever since, it remains a travel companion for me due to its versatility, light weight and also affordability.
The concept of a micro scooter has been known for many decades across the globe (see for instance this wikipedia article), but the version of Swiss Micro Mobility Systems made it to this increasing popular way of transport. It peaked first in the early 2000s when it became toy of the year and an easy gift for children in Europe. With the motorization/electrification of the micro scooter, I is aiming now for another peak.
When traveling through Europe, I saw many people using the scooter as an easy way to get around in urban areas. In combination with the metro, or other means of public transport, it seems to be an ideal match for good-weather days.
While it offers quite fast transport, about 2-5 times faster than walking, it requires not much more space per person than a walker, roughly 1.5m^2. Since it is foldable, it can be taken easily on public transport, e.g. metros, trains, trams, busses, cable cars… without requiring almost any space.
As a solution for distances between a reasonable bike ride and the car, it has a very high potential for dense city centers with considerably high quality pavement (yes, otherwise it is not too much fun). Unfortunately, I could not find any study about global sales, but it should be somewhat in the low millions per year.
As I understand, the company which invented this modern version, is now also working on another urban revolution: a very small, light weight electric car for urban areas: the microlino. This car allows to transport two persons with very little parking space, fully electric powered within a range of 120km and a speed of 90km/h. Even though it is definitely not the solution to transport lots of stuff (very small trunk), it could solve the “last mile” issue in combination with a sharing economy and public transport. Let’s see if they manage to make it into another little revolution..
Until then, I will cruise around with my micro scooter – of course it looks slightly silly, but hey, do you really want to grow up?