, 7 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I get asked a lot about the waste from #micromobility - e-scooters, and those big piles of Chinese shared bikes. They definitely wear out faster and have short lifecycles. Lime's average 45-60 days. Look at all that waste!! Here's why that's the wrong way think about it.
The average Chinese bikeshare bike weighed 15-20kgs. There were 25 million of them deployed over the last few years and are mostly scrapped by now. But here's the thing. In aggregate, those 25m were made from steel that weighed about half a million tons (25m*20kg=500k tons).
Your average car weighs 1600kgs/3500lbs. So all of the Chinese bikes that have been produced equate to around 300,000 cars. For reference, that's only about 1-2% of what the US will *scrap* THIS YEAR. Man, if you worry about this waste, I have a pile of used cars to show you.
Plus, we are trying to deploy scooters and e/-bikes that were largely designed for consumer use into shared use cases where they get thrashed. They're very fragile. We don't have 100 years of evolution and refinement like the car has had. It's understandable the tech sucks.
You can see this in the new designs from Bird and Lime - they're building scooters that will last 6-12-18 months now. They need to do this to improve the unit economics (if you're spending your VC money replacing scooters all the time, your business is going to succccccck).
But it's largely useless to look at the waste now and try and compare it to where things will be in even 12-24-36 months from now. The quality of vehicles is going to improve super quickly. Waste will minimise as we refine the use cases and better design for them.
I should note that I really appreciate the work that @ChesterEnergy has done in this space. Looking at total lifecycle analysis for scooters is still really important and a valid enquiry. It'll just change way faster than a lot of people think. chesterenergyandpolicy.com/2019/01/28/its…
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