Depending on your point of view, electric bicycles and electric scooters are either blights on the streets of major cities or represent the salvation for metropolitan areas choked by traffic and smog. Battery powered e-bikes and e-scooters have flooded cities from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, simultaneously delighting riders and aggravating city planners.
“I do think this is disruptive,” said William Riggs, a professor in the University of San Francisco’s School of Management who studies transportation, told Digital Trends. “It’s a hugely disruptive time in the era of transportation.”
Major companies are jumping on the trend: Ford purchased e-scooter company Spin. GM has designed its own e-bike. Uber acquired the e-bike rental firm Jump (possibly for more than $100 million!). And Lyft has started offering e-scooter rentals in Denver, Colorado; Santa Monica, California; and Washington, D.C. Major players in the e-wheeled world — Lime, Bird, and Skip — are proliferating like locusts, leaving cities — and all their smart city plans — struggling to adapt.