Top 7 Navigation Apps for Electric Scooter Commuting

You know the score when it comes to commuting in a city – constant heavy traffic and clogged pavements, and everyone competing to get to their destination on time. The electric scooter for commuting is great for getting you out of a jam but with Elka scooters, you’ll have an extra battery pack too. And that means you don’t have to stick to the same route every day. You’ve got your wheels, you’re in control, all you need now is a navigation app to avoid travel disruption and to venture to horizons new.

Do you need navigation apps when using an electric scooter for commuting?

A navigational app is not a necessity when you buy an electric scooter for the daily commute because you could stick to the same first or last mile route every day. It makes sense, we grant you, to stick with what you know.


But there are times when bottlenecks slow your journey or disruption means you have to alter your route completely. From demonstrations to victory parades to terrorist incidents, the effect on overland public transport, as well as the tube and rail network, can make getting out or into the city problematic. For example, the recent Extinction Rebellion climate change protests brought inner-city London to a halt. Commuters and visitors found navigating the streets of the city nigh on impossible and when something does come along to disrupt your daily commute (and it will), finding an alternative route can be difficult.


It doesn’t matter how long you have lived in the city, there will be streets you don’t know and routes you are unfamiliar with but venturing off the beaten track, you may think, is not possible with a scooter. We’ve solved that problem with a spare battery back. All you need to do is keep your scooter charge topped up and the spare battery in your backpack and when congestion is worse than usual, or there is a problem on your normal route, you can take a slight detour.


You’ll love the freedom that the electric scooter offers for roaming a little further because the electric scooter is not just for commuting. A quick trip to the shops, a convenient way of getting to the gym, to meet friends for a drink or coffee with a business client, you’ll find more and more uses for your electric scooter as you continue to ride.


We want you to fall in love with the commute again and so apps that help you find your way around, take the scenic route or get you out of a jam are certainly worth a second glance.

Taking a look at the best navigational apps for Android and iOS, we have highlighted those that come highly recommended.


But before we plunge in, let’s ring a note of caution: currently, navigational apps are designed with car drivers in mind. Some relate specifically to cyclists, whilst other navigational apps reach for the combined driver and cyclist approach thus, app features are specific to these groups. Some London apps specifically target those unfamiliar with the city, the day visitor or the tourist from foreign climes. Again, features are included to appeal to them and what they need an app to offer.


That said, the seven apps we’ve chosen to highlight have clever features that the electric scooter commuter can and would find useful and interesting. Until there is an app specifically for the electric scooter riding community, enjoy these apps and what they have to offer.

Google Maps


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Most likely, Google Maps is already on your phone which is why it outstrips other online map providers with 154 million unique visitors a month and so getting yourself out of a jam should be relatively simple – just open the app on your phone, enable GPS and you have a real-time navigational tool at your fingertips. In 2012, Google added a direction function for cyclists which could be useful for city electric scooter riders although there are shortcomings (according to cyclists). Google Maps is an app describes by cyclists as being ‘geared for car drivers who occasionally cycle. In other words, it provides the most ‘convenient and comfortable’ cycling routes, usually following busy main roads,  although most cyclists want the safest route or the quietest one. There are other ways in which it lets cyclists down - and by default, electric scooter riders too - such as spoken instructions not always being clear (“head west” is fine if you know where west is) or instructions being nonsensical, such as cutting across a dual carriageway.


Great for finding the fastest route, there are other apps that could work better for commuting on the electric scooter.

Komoot


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Self-proclaimed it may be but we like the confidence behind their claim their app is “the world’s best route planner”. Similar to Google Maps, it turns your smartphone into a sat-nav, complete with voice commands. Unlike other apps, however, Komoot doesn’t just give you the quickest route but a range of different routes (take note Google Maps!).


If you want to explore a new route home after work – and heck, why not? – then this is the app that will give you options. Commuting on an electric scooter is not just about getting somewhere quickly but to inject joy back into the twice-daily journey to and from work.


This desktop and phone app is specifically geared toward cyclists and hikers, so some of the off-road options are not for use on an electric scooter. That said, most cycling forums agree that as a navigational app goes, it is one of the best out there. You’ll need to unlock some maps although you can have a single region for free. Not an expensive app by any means if you decide to unlock more mapped regions, each map currently costs £3.99. The global package is one-off cost of  £29.99, a great idea if you travel (with or without your scooter). There is talk of Komoot possibly becoming a subscription service and so if you plan on giving Komoot a try, do so now.


Worth a go? Komoot is certainly worth a look – and not just for scooting to work either.

Waze


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Originally a GPS software concept developed by an Israeli company, Google acquired Waze in 2013 and has grown considerably since. Geared toward the car user in the city, it is an app that encourages people to interact, sharing information on what’s happening on the roads. It also encourages commuters to car share in an attempt to reduce travel costs, pollution and congestion in the city. Cyclists are also turning to Waze for real-time road information.


You may think that this community-driven app, as it describes itself, doesn’t have much for the electric scooter commuter. That said, there were projects that looked at adding specific cycling routes to Waze but as yet, even though cyclists do use Waze, it doesn’t quite have everything you need for electric scooter commuting or venturing.


What cyclists (and walkers) find useful is the interactive Waze community. With updates of what’s happening in your locality, you can contribute too. Essentially, this app is as much about information sharing as it is about finding your way around.


The live map search is only as good as the information that commuters share but for the electric scooter commuter in the city, you could avoid potentially very busy areas by keeping up to date in real time as to what’s happening. Worth a look if you need to get from A to B quickly, download Waze to take a closer look, but there are other, better apps for the commuting and venturing on your electric scooter around the city.

Citymapper


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Describing it as a must-have app for the London commuter, Citymapper is specifically geared toward public transport in the city. In fact, it says, anyone who commutes in the capital needs Citymapper on their phone.

Getting around any major global city, London included, has become more complicated in recent years. Along with problems on the underground network, roads are increasingly congested, as we know. Throw in terrorist attacks, some of which have hit London in recent years, and anyone who navigates the thronging streets of the capital will appreciate just how difficult it is to find a different route.


Citymapper wants to solve this problem by offering an app that gives commuters all the options for moving around. Essentially, electric scooters for commuters do the same and thus Citymapper could be a useful app to have on your phone. Get all the latest information and up to date travel news for problems on the network and roads, meaning you can avoid it as you scoot your way to and from work, with Citymapper.

CoPilot


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This is a paid for app (currently £10.99 but check before you buy) and as you would expect, you get more for your money than some of the free, in-purchase apps. The CoPilot interface has the same level of detail as GPS systems such as TomTom, with high-quality graphics and other information. There are sidebars showing delays on the roads and where there is congestion, perfect for electric scooter commuting and avoiding disruptions. Users rate it as 4.5 stars out of 5 which shows the quality of the app, especially as it comes up with alternatives routes and not just the shortest or quickest.


Talking you through a route it helpfully repeats the street names before you make your turn, a feature that certainly helps as you commute through very busy areas. You can also download maps to your phone for ease of navigation, a feature that many cycling websites and forums have tried out and, along with voiced instructions, have given the CoPilot app the thumbs up.

HERE WeGO


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According to users, the app from mapping giant HERE impresses on all kinds of fronts. As well as a clear map layout, directions are easy to follow at-a-glance, again making it perfect for when you are on the move.


HERE WeGo is available on both Android and iOS and gives you three choices of routes, highlighting traffic and congestion along the way. Accurate in identifying where there are problems, it also has another feature which you could find useful – and not something you’ll find on the others – and that’s house and building numbers on the map too. Maps can be used offline too, great for saving on your phone data.

Navmii


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Sticking with offline maps for a moment, Navmii is similar to Waze in that it is an active community in which drivers report on congestion and other problems on the daily commute, in real time - although there is nothing stopping the community of electric scooter users from doing the same. Currently free, it uses mapping resources from OpenStreetMaps.


With a clear layout, the app can be incredibly useful except – and this is The Big But with this app and others like it – how useful depends on the number of users and how interactive they are in feeding into the map. It does have 23 million people users worldwide and is now positioned as a comprehensive and well-used sat nav tool.


With a supportive forum, it’s only a matter of time before Navmii for Scooters comes along...

5 more apps for city living and electric scooter commuting

As we said, we’re reclaiming the daily commute as something joyous, rather than the daily grind it can become. Thus these four apps are perfect for commuting and venturing around the capital on your scooter.


Best Coffee is a brilliant app that lets you find the best coffee houses and cafes on your daily commuting route. With cafes included across London, no matter where your commute takes you in any given day, you’ll find great coffee on the way.


If you love street art then the Street Art London app guides you to enjoy some of the best art on the streets of the capital. Again, it covers the whole of London as well as highlighting the work of talented street artists, adding more joy, more colour and more culture to your daily commute.


Weather doesn’t need to be problematic for commuting on your electric scooter either, not when you have DarkSky on your phone. Giving you hyperlocal weather information – specifically rain! – you can keep your weather-eye on the black clouds every day of your morning commute.


Sometimes, you need cash in your pocket even in the world of contactless payments. ATM Hunter allows you to locate the nearest ATM, although this app is currently only available on iOS at the moment, although there are equivalent apps for Android users.


Elka App v1


And finally, to keep you moving on your commute on your electric scooter or ventures locally, there is our very own Ride with Elka app, launching July 2019. When a mishap happens, as they do from time to time, help with repairs and maintenance of your electric scooter is a few taps away. Our app is packed full of features to help you get the most out of your scooter - including a one-tap button to order a replacement scooter (if yours is damaged) in 24 hours.


We’re always working to improve our app, and we’ve got a few features in the works for you - including our own customised navigation software, bluetooth, GPS capabilities and much more. Stay tuned!


There you have it, seven great navigational apps for getting you out of a jam and for venturing off the beaten track, taking in parts of the city that are new and unknown (to you, at least). As you do so, you might spot some street art or find the best coffee house in London.


Enjoy the ride!


Introducing The Model-T Electric Scooter

Eight years into the 20th century, the streets of America faced a ‘dangerous’ new foe: the motor car. Ford’s Model-T rolled off the production lines and onto the streets in 1908 and the world hasn’t looked back. But the introduction of the motor car wasn’t without its problems or criticism - a bit like electric scooters in the 21st century.

The motor car was seen as a rising menace, a clattering, noisy heap that landed without ceremony onto city streets. Whilst many people immediately recognised the benefits of the car, others decried it. But the car won. Fuelled, if you excuse the pun, by our desire for increased mobility. Mayhem ensued for a short time until the car was an accepted and indispensable part of life. Essentially, within a matter of months, Ford’s mission of making motor vehicles a part of everyday life for the masses had been accomplished.

At Elka, we are following in Ford’s footsteps by introducing the Elka Model-T electric scooter, perfect for commuting and ideal for leisure. Bringing affordable eco-friendly personal transportation to the market, the Elka Model-T electric scooter is both reliable and easily maintained. Packed with novel, unique features, such as our swappable battery function, tubeless tires and industry-leading LED lights. The Model-T is not a noisy, clattering, polluting heap but an environmentally friendly means of personal transportation.

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Swappable battery

Easy and quick to charge, our 36v 6.4Ah swappable lithium-ion battery powered by Panasonic provides you with all the power you need for inner-city commuting. With a range of 15 km per cycle, and the ability to swap when you are out of charge. Even better, it re-charges in as little as 2-3 hours.

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Fuss-free charging is a must, simply plug it in, just like your phone. However, you also want a battery that doesn’t cost the earth to charge, literally and financially. Depending on your energy provider, charging your Swappable Battery from empty could cost as little as 15p. Get your energy from a green supplier, and you’ll save the planet too.

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“You can have any colour that you want, as long as it’s black” - Henry Ford 1922.

State-of-the-art Braking Technology

The Elka Model-T utilises cutting edge braking technology with disc brakes and regenerative eABS tech.

There’s a reason disc brakes are favoured by riders on the toure de france. They have the power to slow and stop your scooter for years without the need for replacement or repair. We prefer the disc brake on our scooter because it is effective, and riders simply get it.

If you can ride a bike, you’ll be used to depressing the brake lever - using light but even pressure to slow your forward propulsion. Familiar, easy to use and super-reliable, the disc brakes on our electric scooter deliver superior performance every time.

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Regenerative eABS technology kicks in every time you brake, converting a large proportion of your kinetic energy (speed) back into chemical energy (battery power). This maximises your riding efficiency and keeps you on the road for longer periods of time.

Vacuum-sealed tyres

Tyres are important for a comfortable ride of your electric scooter. The Elka Model-T comes with vacuum sealed tyres, the benefits of which are almost puncture-less performance and a smooth, comfortable ride.

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The conventional tyre is prone to slow punctures and flat tyres when ridden on uneven ground or when they travelling over sharp objects on pavements and roads. The vacuum sealed tyre combines the best of both superior riding comfort and puncture-protection.


Cruise control

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When you have a straight stretch unfolding in front of you and you want to admire the city around you, automatic cruise control is just epic.

The basis of the Model-T electric scooter design is your comfort. After five seconds at constant speed, the Model-T transitions into cruise control, gliding you effortlessly to your location.


Powerful motor

Our 700W (restricted to 350W) motor provides more than enough power for getting you around locally. The wattage of the motor gives you the torque you need for the daily, inner-city commute.

Torque is the force that causes the rotation of the motor. The more torque a mechanical item delivers, the more force there is in its propulsion. A 350-watt motor delivers more than enough torque for easy, carefree city commuting at legal speeds of 25km per hour with the ability to climb 17 degree hills.

Foldable & lightweight

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In order to utilise an electric scooter for commuting, it must tick a lot of boxes. It needs to be reliable and high-performing. And when the dash on the tube or overland is unavoidable, you need a scooter that is easy and quick to fold, and lightweight to carry. The Model-T is made from aircraft grade aluminium which means it won’t rust or break easily, yet it’s super-light-weight.

Pre-order your Elka Model-T today

We’re driving an inner-city commuting revolution. The daily commute can’t stay as the stressful, expensive, polluting activity that it is. The electric scooter is revolutionising the commute in cities across the globe from Australia to America and countries in-between.

But scooting to work is only as good as the electric scooter.

The Elka Model-T is the only electric scooter you’ll ever need. We’ve designed the Model-T with the commuter in mind. Durable, comfortable and fun, pre orders are now open - with the scooter shipping this summer. 

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How Commuting with a Scooter in London can Save You Cash

It’s a drudgery no-one would wish on their worst enemy – the daily slog into the heart of London. We’re in love with the city - full of energy and jam-packed with culture and excitement, London is one of a few places that could rocket your career to interstellar heights overnight. However, moving around the city is not easy. It’s hard on your pocket, it swallows time and causes significant stress to London’s commuting population - with effects of commuting on mental health now an increasingly discussed topic.

The status quo of London commuting cannot remain. Pollution is choking, the streets stuffed beyond capacity, the Underground bulges at the seams and Londoners are spending X% of their take home salary simply to get to work! What’s the solution?

Costs of commuting in London

How much do you really spend on getting from your front door at home to the front door of work? Not all the commuting costs mentioned will affect you but the current costs of commuting in London paint a sobering picture of the cost of something many of endure daily: commuting to heart of the city.

·        Driving in the city

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Driving in and around London daily is an expensive business. Aside from your fuel – March 2019 fuel prices according to the AA were 121p a litre for unleaded petrol and 131p a litre for diesel – there are other costs to consider too.

Parking costs are eye-wateringly expensive. Different zones have different hourly parking rates.  To park in the city, you’ll be looking at £3.70 per hour minimum. In Hyde Park, Marylebone and Fitzrovia, if your diesel car is pre-2015, you’ll be paying £7.35 an hour to park.

In addition to fuel and parking costs, you’ll also need to consider the London Congestion Charge. The £11.50 daily charge applies to vehicles being driven in the charging zone from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, so peak working hours in other words

There’s more. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates every hour of the day, every day of the year within the same area of London as the Congestion Charge. Vehicles driven in the zone must meet emissions standards. If they don’t, you’ll get whacked with another daily charge of £12.50.  This is only the start as there are plans to expand ULEZ in the coming years.

Aside from fuel and insurance costs, driving and parking in London working 5 days a week with 8 hours daily of parking in the heart of the city will add an extra £1,072 a month to your commuting costs, with the new ULEZ charge included.

·        Ride the tube

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You could, of course, already be part of the 3 million commuters who take the tube. You can track how many others take your tube line every morning too, just for fun. Aside from the sheer volume of fellow commuters, there is the cost of it.

Adults without an Oyster card for a single tube journey in zone 1 will need to find £4.90 (there are other zones at different pricing structures). You can reduce the by half if you buy an Oyster card.

The average cost of catching the tube to work comes in at a £135, although some commuters say they pay much more than this, averaging £387 per month.

·        Take the bus

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The red London bus is an iconic symbol recognised the world over and synonymous with the bustling, vibrant streets of England’s capital. A single journey is £1.50 or for a few pence under £850, you can buy an annual bus pass. Again, you may find that fares change depending on zones and frequency of use.

The cheapest way to travel any distance on a regular basis by bus in London is the annual ticket but that will still set you back £70.84 a month. Add to this the time it takes to get from home to work and vice versa, along with overcrowding on buses at busy times and you can soon see how the daily bus journey is no-one’s favourite.

Number crunching the electric scooter for commuting

You don’t need us to tell you how expensive your daily commute is. But you do need us to show you just how brilliant and affordable an electric scooter for commuting is.

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Initial outlay is the amount you will spend on buying your foldable scooter. How much you choose to spend depends on your budget but you need a reliable scooter that has a strong robust frame and a reliable, high-performing  rechargeable battery. It is the battery, after all, that you’ll rely on to get you from A to B on your commute.

Around £450 (half that of an annual London bus ticket) will get the scooter you need: lightweight, foldable (for those unavoidable tube or bus trips), robust, stylish and a rechargeable lithium battery. You can choose to pay all at once or you can opt to pay monthly, a great way of spreading the cost. And because this is an interest-free option, you not paying any more for the convenience.

Of course, what we also need to consider is that with a monthly payment plan, after 12 months, the scooter is yours and no more payments. Our top commuter pro package comes with scooter and 24/7 helpline and breakdown cover, all for £68.60 a month for 12 months. If you spend £135 a month on a tube ticket, after only two electric scooter payments, your quids on. After 12 months, you have even more cash in your pocket!

Charging costs are an important consideration as you’ll need to plug in your scooter from time to time. Using an average hourly charge for electricity of 12.376p per hour (current figure from UK Power) and opting for the upper end charge time of 4 hours, it’ll cost you 50p to charge it. A 36v 6.4ah lithium battery, common on electric scooters, have an average run time of 15 kms or 9.32 miles so a daily charge over a 5-day working week will set you back in the region of £2.50 a week or just two single bus fares or half an hour’s parking in the West End.

Sneaky tip - buy an extra charger to charge your scooter at work for 0p!

Maintenance costs are a consideration too. Electric scooters for commuting have few mechanical parts but taking care of it, the battery and tyres, the less likely you are to face a ‘scooter breakdown’.

Replacing the lithium rechargeable battery is something you should think about, along with keeping an eye on the condition of your tyres.The tyres on your Model T- last for several thousand kms and so replacing them any time soon is not something you need to worry about.

The same can be said for the scooter’s battery. The long battery life means you won’t need to budget for a replacement just yet. Not keeping your scooter in a cold place extends battery life, as does charging it every 3 months when not in use. You can buy replacement batteries from us, when the time comes, for £90.

So, an electric scooter for the daily commute is the answer?

Yes, in part. Clearly it’s not meant for intra-city long distance travelling, but the electric scooter is making an impact in replacing the first and last mile commute – so the expensive bus journey or the two-stop tube hop could be a thing of the past. And if you live in the heart of London, it has the potential to replace both by cutting out public transport completely.

The electric scooter is not just a trendy item. It is a commuting workhorse, a smart investment that gives massive financial and lifestyle returns into the long term. Commuting in London is not just about expense: it’s about the time spent commuting, the drudgery and the pollution, three things that have affected commuting in the city for decades. Is the electric scooter part of the answer to commuting problems? Absolutely.


Electric Scooters for Commuting – A 9 Step Guide to Riding Etiquette

Electric scooters are a great way of getting around. Fact. With a decent reach in mileage per charge and quick charge time, the electric scooter for commuting is an increasingly popular choice for many inner city workers.

However, as with any form of transport, accidents can occur. To keep you safe, we’ve put together a helpful list of things to remember when out and about on an electric scooter.

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#1 Practice makes perfect

Quick and simple suggestion – when your new scooter arrives, unpack it and take it for a short spin to get used to it, preferably where you can’t run into people or objects. Practice braking, stopping sharply, get the feel of it when you corner and how much of a lean it will take before you have to take a foot off. The better you know your scooter before you take to the crowded city pavements, the safer you’ll be.

#2 You are sharing the pavement

London’s pavements are busy throughout the day but with increased foot traffic during the morning and evening rush hours, the small strip of pavement is rammed from kerb edge to wall.

Harmony amongst all pavement users, pedestrians and electric scooter riders included, is key to free-flowing city pavements. Riding with this in mind means you scoot along with no problems at all.

However...

  • If it’s busy, get off.

  • Don’t zip in and out of pedestrians – the pavement is not your personal slalom track.


#3 Be heard and seen

Lights on your scooter are perfect for darker mornings and evenings, giving other pavement and road users more chance of seeing you. A bell, should be used to warn other pavement users you are there, so someone stepping out of a doorway, looking down at their phone would, we’re sure, prefer the gentle ring of a bell than colliding with a scooter.

#4 Make sure YOU are seen

Ok, let’s be honest– the idea of a high-viz waistcoat fluttering in the breeze as you scoot to work may not be your idea of the best fashion accessory.

We understand your reluctance. The high-viz vest is not the most fashionable item of outer wear but there are other choices, you’ll be pleased to hear.  

  • Riding in light coloured clothing and in a way that gives everyone – pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers, bus drivers etc.- a chance of seeing you in good time.

  • In the depths of winter, a high-viz vest is a wise investment and certainly worth the four or five pounds that it will set you back. That said, there are come quite stylish waterproof ‘visible’ jackets on the market that look nothing like a workman’s jacket, worth a second look we would have thought.

#5 The basic rules of the road still apply to you

It’s just basic ‘rules of the road’ stuff…

  • Walk across the road rather than scoot.

  • Do the same at both pelican and zebra crossing.

  • Ride with caution - that is, looking ahead, taking action in good time to avoid street furniture as well as other pavement users.

#6 Respect the terrain

The likelihood is that most of the terrain on your commute is relatively flat and with a solid surface. Most electric scooters for commuting can handle a hill or two with no problem. But where electric scooters are not so good is uneven ground.

Forget off-roading – this is not what your scooter was built for – and take care with potholes in pavements and uneven surfaces.

#7 Consider a helmet

Aside from motorcyclists and their passengers, wearing a helmet on an electric scooter or bike is not compulsory. Yet.

It makes sense though, don’t you think, to protect the most important organ of the body with a helmet?

You may argue that you “won’t be going that fast” – touché – but flying off the scooter at its top speed of 28 kph (or 17mph) will do you some damage. And even at slow speeds, banging your head against a hard pavement is not recommended.

#8 Look after your scooter

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Essentially, electric scooters for commuting are simple, efficient machines. Lightweight and foldable, they have the latest breaking technology that makes them a safe riding option, no matter your age or agility. With very few moving or mechanical parts, the risk of serious mechanical breakdown is minimal.

But, if you a. rely on the scooter to get you to and from work and back again and b. travel on busy city pavements, it makes sense to keep the electric scooter well-maintained. Check the tyres for wear and tear on a frequent basis, get it serviced (you’ll find that’s part of what we do) and if it doesn’t feel right/not riding as well as it used to, get it serviced.

#9 Have fun (responsibly)!

Electric scooters are for commuting and pleasure. The way we get around busy cities, whether that is San Francisco with its electric scooter share programme or the busy pavements of London, has to change.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is one of the most harmful pollutant gases, irritating the lungs and nasal passages. As we walk or cycle through London, for example, we are exposing our bodies to this harmful gas. London is not the only UK city struggling to deal with the effects of pollution and so maintaining the status quo is simply not an option. Electric scooters for commuting is part of the answer.  

And then there is the fun element. Whizzing along a quiet pavement, hearing the wind singing in your ears, just like when you were a kid… there is no better way of commuting through the hustle and bustle of the city.  


How Commuting with a Scooter Reduces Morning Stress

There are few things in modern life that carry the same hysteria and notoriety as the morning commute. Sending shivers down the spine of many a city worker on Sunday night, the reality of the daily journey into the city can be a nightmare; frantic, packed and tiring - a distressing symbol of modern working life.

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The daily commute is a necessary evil. There is now evidence to prove what we have known all along – commuting is stressful. Ranking the tube stations across the London Underground network using commuter input and other data, Kings Cross St Pancras holds the unenviable title of ‘most stressful tube station 2017’. The London Underground is not the only source of commuting strain either – half of regular train commuters say it is a significant source of tension in their working day.

What is it that causes commuting stress?

#1 Overcrowding

The stand out feature between the most and least stressful tube stations are the number of daily entry and exits over the year. 97.92 million ‘entry and exits’ were recorded at Kings Cross St Pancras but at Barkingside, a mere 1.62 m annual ‘entries and exits’ were recorded. At peak travel times, upward of a quarter of a million people can pass through London’s busiest tube and train stations.

#2 Financial constraints

Londoners estimate they spend 20% of their income on commuting each month, not an insubstantial amount by any stretch of the imagination. The annual cost of the zone 1 - 2 Oyster card comes in at a hefty cost of £1,406, a figure that places the monthly cost of commuting in London as the most expensive in the world. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced a two year freeze on TfL fares starting from January 2019 - a move that will go some way to alleviate the financial burden of commuting across the capital.

#3 Delays

Aside from worrying about how you will afford your annual ticket next year, delays are another major headache for commuters. Used in ranking London’s tube stations, it’s no surprise that the more delays commuters faced on their morning commute, the more stressful they rated it. Kings Cross St Pancras averaged 1,853 minutes of delays, compared to only 17 minutes of delays at Barkingside.

#4 Commuter behaviour

Most commutes are incident free. But there are occasions when commuter behaviour is unpleasant. From rarely making eye contact to not speaking, there are incidents on the commute that can leave people feeling fearful or vulnerable.

#5 Sensory overload

Heat, cold, noise… taking the tube at peak times is an assault on the senses. It is not uncommon for commuters to feel nervous about riding the tube. Combined with being underground and unfamiliar with exit routes whilst improvement works are being carried out in underground stations, the resulting anxiety makes for an unpleasant start to the working day.

To think that you have to do this every morning and every evening, five or six days a week… it can prove such a strain, your mental and physical health can begin to suffer.

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You wait for one and they all turn up at once... @jacobshutler Unsplash

Commuting with a scooter is the answer

Finding another way to get to and from work is one solution. There are several options – driving to work is one, although London’s roads are increasingly congested. Plus, you’ll be adding to pollution as well as facing the congestion charge to drive in the capital.

You could hail a cab, but this is not the cheapest of options...

The bus is always available, but brings similar issues as commuting on the Underground...

You could cycle on congested roads, but there are no showering facilities at work… Who wants to start the day hot and sweaty?

Fast, cheap, convenient and stress free.. The scooter is the answer!

The electric scooter solves the ‘last mile’ problem

It’s a phenomenon that has proved unsolvable. Until now.

The last mile problem is the challenge of moving people from transport hubs, such as a tube station, to their final destination. When the gap between the transport hub and your final destination is over a quarter of a mile, our willingness to use public transport all but evaporates.

The commute is not just the tube ride but the walk to the office. It’s walking the ‘final stretch’ to the office, scrambling through busy streets or even a bus ride. The electric scooter for adults is a personal electric light vehicle that has the potential to transform the stressful  morning commute into a pleasant journey.

With a range of up to 25 km or 15 miles on a single charge, you could alight your tube train several stops before you reach your destination, taking a different route into work by scooting along the pavement. If you live within a 15-mile distance of the office, you could leave the London Underground behind completely.

Financially speaking, once you’ve bought your electric scooter, there is no further outlay other than the few pence it costs to charge it up. And with options to spread the payments, you won’t have to find a chunk of money to outlay either.

Commuting with a scooter means no frustrations about delays and certainly no sensory overload either. An understanding of pavement etiquette is all you need and after a bit of practice, you can easily navigate the ‘last mile’ or possibly ditch your usual commuting method.

The scooter for commuting is here

San Francisco welcomes electric scooters for commuting back to its streets in early 2019. An earlier programme ran into several issues, one being availability of scooters at key points and the inevitable dumping of scooters. The better option is to own the experience and invest in your own scooter for commuting.

For many inner city London commuters, the electric scooter will make a difference in reducing the stress of the daily commute. The electric scooter for commuting is here. And it’s staying.  


Adult electric scooters: A 2019 Guide

In the past couple of years, hundreds of electric scooters for adults have come in to the UK market. Amazon’s now pretty saturated.. from the famous Xiaomi m365, to the sleek ninebot ES2, to the monstrous Condors, such a range of options can create a paradox of choice. We’re all familiar with this - it’s like ordering food from a 100 page menu… how can you possibly decide?


We’re here to help make this process a bit simpler, and help you to understand which adult electric scooter is best to suit your needs. Here’s a summary of things to think about:


  1. Purpose

We think the most important thing to keep in mind when electric scooter shopping is what you need it for! Are you a commuter, looking for a solution for your “last mile” problem? Or are you 72, looking for a quick ride to the bingo on monday evenings? It’s important to bear this in mind..


If you’re a commuter, folding up your scooter to take on the overground, you’ll need to prioritise weight. 15kg might not seem like a lot, but when you’re carrying it around train stations all day, it can get heavy.


Or perhaps you’re skipping out the overground entirely - in that case, you need to be conscious of your scooter’s range. Has it got the legs to get you to the office? The last thing you want is to run out of battery half way there!

N.B. most scooters are easily charged at the office - so you’ll usually just need the range for one leg of the journey.


Maybe you’re looking to purchase a scooter as a gift! In that case, think about what they’ll be needing it for.. You probably don’t want to be getting grandma a 40mph bullet scooter, but maybe that weird cousin of yours might like it? That’s for you to decide...


2. Important indicators


Great… you’re thinking… but how can I think about the purpose when I don’t understand the jargon? Brushless motors, regenerative technology, lithium batteries... it all seems a bit overwhelming.


Ultimately, we think the main indicators of importance in an adult electric scooter are the speed, range and weight. Focus on those as your main measurements, and leave the technicals for later. Industry standards are around 25kmph for a 25km range, at around a 12kg weight.


3. Extra specifications


Once you’re happy with the speed, range and weight, you might want to think about the motor power. The higher the number, (250W, 300W etc), the higher the torque - meaning your ability to accelerate and get up hills easily. If you live on a mountain side, you’ll be wanting a powerful motor so you don’t end up walking home!


Other than the motor power, there are a few useful gizmos to consider.


Does your electric scooter offer an app interface? Many in the industry do this, so you can track trip time, distance, remaining range etc. These are usually connected to pretty simply via bluetooth.


What about regenerative technology? This means that you’ll be saving power when you brake - more efficient for your transport needs, better for the environment. But it’s not critical to a good ride.


If you like to cruise effort-free, have a look to see if your electric scooter offers cruise control. (Note, “effort free”, not “hands free”!).


Conclusion


That’s a simple breakdown of how to choose an electric scooter that fits your needs in 2019.


If you’ve got any questions, on our scooters or any others on the market, you’re always free to drop us an email at support@ridewithelka.co.uk.


Enjoy the ride!


Electric Scooters: Shared VS Owned

As the day draws to a close and the sun settles over the horizon on the west coast of America, Dave the ‘bird-catcher’ swoops around picking up any electric scooters he can find and bundling them into his truck. It’s just another day for Dave, who makes $5 for every scooter he can find, charge then return in the morning, ready for the commuters.


Scooter sharing has been blowing up all over the place. For just $1 to unlock then $0.15 per minute you can hop on an electric scooter and fly around town. Wait... hold up, doesn’t mean paying $2.50 for 10 minutes? Well, we guess it’s worth it if you’re about to miss your train and have no idea when the bus is going to arrive…


The plus side of owning your own electric scooter is that you can use it whenever, wherever, rather than having to use an app to locate the nearest scooter. And then you realise it’s going to take you 5 - 10 minutes to get there. Suddenly the whole experience seems a bit pointless as you realise it’s probably quicker to just hop on a bicycle, or even walk...


But hold up, this is an interesting debate... Would you rather own your own electric scooter and be free to use it wherever, whenever, whilst taking responsibility for charging it and taking it around? Or would you rather pay per usage and enjoy the convenience of dumping it when you are done, but have the uncertainty of finding a scooter as well as the high cost of usage?


Leave a comment below with your thoughts 😊

The end of commuting as we know it?

As I sit, perched on a cramped South West Train service on my way to Waterloo station at 08:12AM on a dark January Monday morning, whilst being held at a red signal for nearly half an hour, I can’t help but ask myself, does this pain that I seem to be experiencing on a weekly basis spell the beginning of the end for commuting as we know it?

From last minute service cancellations to surprise increases in train fares, sporadic red-signal hold-ups to awkward stepping-on-toes, it’s easy to feel like another sausage on a conveyor belt, optimised for maximum return on investment. As 21st century customers living in a highly competitive world, don’t we deserve more than this?

We need more options to choose from as we plan our daily commute. An option that doesn’t require you to be stuffed into a metal underground box that closely resembles a can of tuna. At least one option that doesn’t incrementally charge you more whilst reducing the quality of service over time. Please, just one option that doesn’t try to squeeze every last drop of ‘pounds per square human’ out of the space that is available.

In fact there is a better, more affordable and time efficient way to get around London. And not only does it save time and money but it saves the planet too. By investing in your own personal electric scooter you can take control of your commute, save hundreds a year in London Underground travel fees oh yeah and the trees will be happy too. It’s fun, efficient and good for the environment!

So hop on and join the crowd of adults that seem to have ‘never really grown up’. Or perhaps they could argue that they’ve just got their heads screwed on ;)