One in seven adults plans to buy an e-scooter or e-bike this year, survey

22 July 2020, 05:59

One in seven adults in the UK are planning to buy an electric bike or scooter this year.
One in seven adults in the UK are planning to buy an electric bike or scooter this year. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

One in seven adults in the UK is planning on buying an e-scooter or e-bike this year, according to a new survey.

Changes to laws brought in because of concerns over social distancing mean rental e-scooters were allowed on Britain's roads for the first time at the end of June.

This was part of a 12-month trial to see if the devices reduce motor traffic and what impact they have on the safety of users and those around them.

But the road-legal e-scooters will be limited to speeds of 15.5mph.

Many have turned to cycling to avoid public transport as lockdown eases, but research by Electrical Safety First suggests more are considering an e-bike or e-scooter.

One in three of the 3,002 adults surveyed said they would be willing to purchase a battery charging pack for their e-bike or e-scooter from an online marketplace, which opens the risk of consumers acquiring substandard and dangerous imitations.

E-bikes and e-scooters are almost all powered by lithium-ion batteries, charged from the mains outlet in a property.

The charity warns that substandard versions can have explosive consequences, leading to fire and injury.

"As personal transport evolves, we are becoming increasingly dependent on electricity and consumers should be cautious of the risks involved," said Martyn Allen, technical director at Electrical Safety First.

"Items such as e-bikes and e-scooters are powered by lithium-ion batteries and will be required to charge for long periods of time.

"Substandard versions of these batteries can pose a serious risk to life if a fault occurs.

"Where you purchase your batteries and charger packs is just as important as the bike or scooter itself.

"With so many set to make the purchase of an electric bike or scooter this year, consumers should exercise caution about whom they are buying from."

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