Saturday, April 20

This will be the new electric scooters


The regulations of the DGT specify the technical requirements to improve the safety of these vehicles

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The recent entry into force of the manual that includes the characteristics of personal mobility vehicles (VMP) forces the popular electric scooters to meet a series of technical requirements (dimensions, wheels, brakes, lights, indicators…) in order to circulate down the street In fact, all those that are marketed from January 22, 2024 will not only have to respect these requirements, but must also have a circulation certificate for that specific brand, model and version. “It is about guaranteeing road safety and protection, both for the person driving the vehicle and for other users. And, in the background, the objective is that the vehicles that go on the market have minimum guarantees of quality and durability, ”they explain in the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), in charge of writing the manual.

If you have recently bought an electric scooter or plan to get one in the coming months, don’t worry. The regulations establish a transitory period in which both manuals will coexist. That is to say, “all personal mobility vehicles marketed until January 22, 2024 may circulate without being certified until January 22, 2027”, they specify in the DGT. What is mandatory since last March is to ride with a helmet.

The definition of VMP includes vehicles with two or more wheels and a single seat powered by a battery, such as electric scooters (but also bicycles). “The maximum speed at which scooters can circulate is 25 kilometers per hour, both on the road and on bike lanes,” they add in the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU). If it does not reach 6 kilometers per hour, it is considered a toy and is not required to comply with the regulations that regulate the circulation of this type of vehicle.

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Now, the increase in sales – it is estimated that more than a million electric scooters circulate in our country alone – and in the accident rate – in 2020 8 people died and almost a hundred had to be admitted with injuries despite confinement – ​​has led those responsible for urban mobility to regulate the characteristics of this type of vehicle, which has completely changed the way of moving around cities.

The average price is 300 euros, although the most sophisticated models exceed 800

Apart from the technical specifications, what should we look for when buying a scooter? “Battery and autonomy are two very important aspects to take into account. Most have a 36-volt battery, enough power to get around town. There are models with more powerful engines, but the maximum speed they reach should be consulted, since if they exceed 25 kilometers per hour they would not fall within the legal category of VMP, ”the OCU warns. Loading time is also important. There are scooters that are recharged in a few hours and others that need a whole night. As for autonomy -which is the distance the scooter can travel without recharging the battery-, experts consider that 10 kilometers are enough to cover the daily journeys of most users.

The new regulations establish a maximum weight while driving of 50 kilos – vehicle weight (normally they do not exceed 15 kilos) plus all the equipment, without counting the passenger. “If it is used daily, it is important that it be as light as possible,” the experts agree.

Buy or rent?

Imagine that you want the scooter to use an average of 15 minutes a day from Monday to Friday. That is, 250 days a year. In this case, is it worth buying one or renting it? The OCU has done the calculations and the result is clear. “If the idea is to own one, the first year you will pay 360 euros (300 for the scooter plus the 60 euros it costs to charge it daily), while if you rent it, in just 100 days you would have already spent what it costs to buy and load the scooter.

FINES

  • Test positive for alcohol or drugs:
    From 500 to 1,000 euros

  • Not wearing a helmet:
    200 euros

  • Walking on sidewalks:
    200 euros

  • Driving on highways, interurban roads, urban tunnels or crossings:
    200 euros

  • Travel more than one person:
    100 euros

  • Driving without lights and reflective clothing at night:
    200 euros

  • Circulate with your headphones on or using your mobile:
    200 euros

  • Parking in a place not allowed:
    It is regulated by each city council


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