Here’s a bit of trivia for you. What year did the first motorized scooter hit the road? 1981? 1969? Are you thinking perhaps during the 1950s with motorcycles and poodle skirts? Well, according to Smithsonian Magazine, the Autoped, America’s first motor scooter, was built in 1915. Yet, globally, the first public display of an electric scooter
(e-scooter) was at the 1896 Stanley Cycle Show in London, England.
In 1911, Popular Mechanics ran a story covering the e-scooter, claiming it capable of a 75-mile range in a single charge and able to reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour. Early on, men and women alike used e-scooters to travel to and from work. The New York Postal Service put them into service for delivering mail. When Amelia Earhart wasn’t flying, she could be spotted riding an e-scooter around town.
Now, in the Digital Age, many developments in consumer technology can be attributed to improvements in battery power. E-scooters had been limited by cumbersome batteries. Yet, recent advancements in lithium-ion equipment have resulted in a smaller, more powerful, longer-lasting option, helping to boost e-scooters to the forefront of personal transportation.
As a result of improved technology and a focus on green energy, e-scooters are the entrée into the micro-mobility movement. E-scooters are shrinking the physical footprint needed to move people over relatively short distances. They have the potential to better connect people with public transit, reduce reliance on private cars, and make the most of existing space by “right-sizing” the vehicle. And, if you are in a beachside location such as Galveston, e-scooters are the perfect way to zoom around town while taking in all the sights, sounds and locations of this tropical island. Stop by Salt Water Gift Shop to try out this small piece of history.