Are Electric Scooters on the Rise in Poland?
Everyone is trying to do their bit for the environment because of the very real threat of climate change on the horizon. Whether it's eating more plant-based food, using biodegradable materials, recycling more or just how we get from A to B on our daily journey. Electric cars, electric bikes, and now electric scooters are all appearing across Poland. We're all getting more conscientious of how we move about.
These green and eco-friendly forms of electric transport are one of the many ways that we can reduce our impact on the planet. It's incredibly important that we, the human race, turn our backs on the combustion engine and embrace the new methods of electric low-carbon green transport. Not only does riding these vehicles help our way of life, but they're actually hugely fun to ride.
We look at the rules and culture of the electric scooter in Poland and its impact on everyday life in the country. What one is, for those of you that don't know, what the rules are, if you can hire them, and other information that surrounds the electric scooter's rise in Poland.
What is an electric scooter?
Let's start with the basics and look at what an electric scooter is. And yes, it's exactly what you think it is. The electric scooter is a push-scooter that is motorised. It falls into the bracket in Poland as a personal transport device. Which also includes electric skateboards and electric unicycles (We'll talk about those another time!).
The electric scooter, like an electric bicycle, has a battery that powers the motor which turns the wheels allowing you to glide along the streets of Warsaw with ease and grace. Simple.
The output of the size of the motor in the electric scooter can vary. From the humble 150 watt motor in the Kugoo Kirin Mini S2 Electric Scooter which still propels you along at a fine 25 Km/h, to the monster 800 watt motor of the Kugoo G2 Pro Electric Scooterwhich gives it a flying top speed of 50 Km/h. Regulated of course. We'll come to that later. A more powerful motor also has other advantages such as quicker acceleration and a better hill climb angle.
Battery size makes a difference in the electric scooter. Most electric scooter batteries give a range of about 20 Km to 35 Km, which gives you a balance of charging time and how far you take your daily adventure. Some of the electric scooters have larger batteries, like the Inmotion L9 Electric Scooter which allow ranges up to 95 Km! Of course, this range is only achieved in certain conditions. Such as a fully charged battery, flat surface, 75 kg rider weight, no headwind, and 30% of the maximum speed. You get the idea.
The bigger battery also suffers from a longer charge time, which can be annoying if your e-scooter runs out of juice halfway up Poland's Mount Rysy (Not recommended). The Inmotion L9 charge time is 7.2 hours or one sleep. However, those clever folk in the Inmotion R&D department have gotten around this by adding twin charge ports. As long as you've got two plug sockets, you can reduce the charge time on the L9 to just under 4 hours.
The other main feature that all electric scooters have, is a set of brakes. All electric scooters in Poland have at least a simple rear manual brake. This is where you put pressure on the rear mudguard with your foot, which presses onto the tyre, slowing the scooter to a stop. However, most electric scooters across Poland will arrive with some sort of electric or disc brake. These brakes allow the vehicle to stop quickly and safely. As it should be.
Scooters arrive with a non-slip footplate, so you don't fly off when cornering. And speaking of cornering, the scooter's tyres are either solid or pneumatic but always treaded. As well as working with the brakes for a safe stop, the tyres are also ideal for gripping the road or pathway. Allowing perfect control through the streets of Kraków.
Being seen in the dark is important. Being seen in the dark on an electric scooter is super important! Most electric scooters arrive with at least a front light, and most with a rear light or reflector. Other reflectors around the scooter allow other road users and pedestrians to see you in the dark evenings. As a rider, wearing a reflective jacket or gilet will increase nighttime visibility and reduce the chances of an accident.
A lot of scooter brands have dedicated apps that work with your scooter. These give you data such as battery charge, distance ridden, as well as offering other features like locking your electric scooter from your smartphone.
Now you know what an electric scooter is and how they work. Let's look at what the rules are for riding one in Poland.
Are electric scooters legal in Poland?
Yes! Personal and hired electric scooters are legal in Poland.
Rules and regulations keep us safe right? To reduce potential accidents with electric scooters the Polish government brought in laws and regulations to keep everyone safe.
These are as follows:
- Electric Scooters are limited to 20 Km/h on public roads. Even if they can go faster.
- Cycle lanes must be used if available.
- Roads can be used if there are no bike lanes. However, if the road exceeds 30 Km/h the footpath is allowed.
- When on footpaths and built-up areas, pedestrians have right of way and scooters must give way.
- No more than 5 Km/h in a pedestrian area.
- No towing.
- No passengers.
- No alcohol or drugs. Naturally!
- No phone to be operated while riding an electric scooter.
- No child under 10 is allowed to ride an electric scooter on a public road. Even if supervised by an adult. Only allowed in a residential area, supervised by an adult.
- From the ages of 10 to 18 years of age, riders will need the same qualifications as cyclists like a bicycle card or driving license with categories AM, A1, B1 or T
For parking in Poland:
- You must position the electric scooter as close as possible to the outer edge of the pavement, farthest from the road and must be placed parallel.
- A gap of 1.5m must be left for pedestrians on the pavement.
These rules and laws are to keep riders, pedestrians, and other road users safe. Stick to these, and you're all good! Otherwise, you could see yourself with a large fine off the local Police.
Can you hire Electric Scooters in Poland?
Yes! Electric Scooters are available to hire in around 60 towns and cities in Poland. Poland is the fourth largest country for scooter hire. With around 40,000 electric scooters available across Poland.
Hiring electric scooters works better for some people across Poland. Ideal if they only use them occasionally, can't afford a personal scooter, or doesn't have the space to store one.
BOLT, Dott, Lime and Tier operate around Poland with some smaller operators filling in the gaps. All offer different hiring options and different price points. Poland's Blinkee electric scooter operator works around some of the smaller cities and towns. And of course, Warsaw has the most electric scooters available for hire, with around 10,000 being available.
The Polish Electric Scooter Craze looks Bright
With easy accessibility and solid scooter riding laws, the future looks great for the electric scooter revolution in Poland. More people are turning their backs on cars and are looking for more affordable and eco-friendly forms of personal transport. Taking cars off the road and replacing them with scooters and other forms of electric personal transport eases congestion in the cities and towns. With all these advantages, the future of the electric scooter in Poland is most definitely on the rise.