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E-Scooters roll on – also at MediaMarkt and Saturn! After legalization: What’s going on on Germany’s streets?

Germany is stepping on the gas when it comes to electric mobility: after years of targeted support for the switch to all-electric or at least semi-electric driving, the way was finally cleared for electric pedal scooters in mid-June. Even though environmentally friendly scooters have been around for quite some time and in countries such as Austria and France they have long been buzzing across the streets without emitting emissions.

On June 15, the „Small Electric Vehicle Regulation“ came into force, the aim of which is to “pave the way for the mobility of the future“ and at the same time „ensure the greatest possible road safety“. “Together with public transport, electric scooters are a real additional alternative to the car, ideal for about the last mile from the subway, suburban train or bus stop to home or work, according to the ministry (cf. German Federal Ministry of Transport). 

Important: You have to differentiate between electric pedal scooters (short e-scooters) and electric scooters (without pedals, powerful electric versions of the classic scooters, so rather electric “vespas”). The current trend only affects the former, and that’s what this text is about.

Who can drive where and how?

E-scooters may not drive faster than 20 km/h. If you want to drive them on public roads, you also need a self-adhesive insurance sticker – there are now many liability insurances for e-scooter drivers, some of which cost 15 euros a year. However, only adults can take out compulsory insurance. 

Are e-scooter driver allowed to do everything now? Of course not, says the German Federal Ministry of Transport. The most important things in a nutshell:

  • E-scooters may only be used on cycle paths and lanes marked in this way. If you drive along sidewalks, you have to expect fines starting at 20 euros, sometimes up to 75 euros.
  • Where there is no cycle path, electric scooters may also drive on the road.
  • E-scooters must not be driven side by side, but only one behind the other.
  • Electric scooters, like bicycles, are not allowed on motorways or highways.
  • You are not allowed to drive electric scooters on paths where cars, motorcycles or bicycles are also prohibited.
  • Anyone who drives without insurances is liable to prosecution and is also liable in the event of accidents.
  • Hitching to other vehicles is forbidden, as is freehand riding. 

A driving license is not required for electric scooters, but the minimum age is 14 years. And, of course, you can’t drive through traffic under the influence of alcohol – the first careless drivers have already got rid of their driving license. The same alcohol limits apply to electric drivers as to motorists. This means that anyone driving an electric scooter with a blood alcohol level between 0.5 and 1.09 commits an administrative offence. For drivers under the age of 21 and new drivers in the probationary period, 0.0 per mille apply. A helmet is still optional, but recommended in view of the bicycle-like speed. There are also knee and elbow protectors. And of course a robust lock is recommended so that no one else can pinch the trendy mobility treasure. Helmets, protective clothing and locks are of course also available in the MediaMarkt and Saturn stores and in their onlineshops.

The technology of the e-scooters

The e-scooter itself requires an operating permit, which manufacturers must obtain from the Federal Motor Transport Authority. Electric scooters, for which the operating permit has already been issued, are market with the note “road approval”, all others are marked with the note “only for private property.”

All electrified scooters must have at least two independent brakes, a removable light, a steering or holding bar, a bell and side reflectors in order to drive.

In addition, e-scooters naturally differ in numerous performance date. E-scooters with a maximum of 500 watts are allowed, but hardly anyone really needs such a power pack. 250 to 350 watts are usually sufficient, unless the scooter has to overcome regular gradients. So it always depends on the intended use. 

The range of the scooters starts at about 20 km up to 50 km and more, depending also on driving behaviour and battery capacity (currently often between 5000 and 8000 mAh). If the e-scooter uses a recovery function (recuperation) during braking, the battery is automatically recharged a little. The scooter can be recharged at the normal socket.

There are differences between the wheels; the more expensive scooters usually have bigger and softer wheels which makes it easier to endure even cobblestones. The technology (display with speedometer, charging indicator, navigation functions, Bluetooth connection …) and the possibility to fold the e-scooter compactly also differs between models. Also to consider: the maximum load capacity (at most models approximately 100 kilos), or the own weight of the scooter, usually around 9 to 12 kilos.

The e-scooters with road approval, such as the iconBIT IK-1971K DELTA PRO E-Board, are already available from 399 euros (MediaMarkt and Saturn). In addition to iconBIT, MediaMarkt and Saturn offer models of the brands CityBlitz, Technostar, CAT, Inmotion, Ninebot and Xiaomi Mi, which can already be pre-ordered. When it comes to the price as a rule of thumb the more the customer spends on his electric scooter, the more load capacity, battery capacity and engine power (and therefore range) he gets. 

But are e-scooters also sustainable?

At the moment, a lot of people are turning to electric scooters simply because they’re curious, it’s fun and something different. In the future, e-scooters in combination with public transport could be an attractive, time-saving and at the same time climate-friendly alternative to cars. And it is particularly environmentally friendly if e-scooters are charged with green electricity after the journey (for example with the MediaMarkt and Saturn electricity tariffs from Innogy). Then they are an important contribution to climate-neutral mobility.

E-mobility: also at MediaMarkt und Saturn

MediaMarkt and Saturn offer a wide range of e-scooters of the brands CityBlitz, Inmotion, Ninebot, iconBIT, CAT, Technostar und Xiaomi Mi for all customers who want to combine environmental protection with fun. And for all those who want to take a first look at the e-scooters, a selection is also available in the stores.