Bolt trial cuts emissions by shifting 60% of users from cars to electric scooters

Nudging Bolt customers to use an e-scooter, rather than ride-hailing

Bolt Electric Scooter
(Image credit: Bolt)

Bolt, the European scooter operator, and the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI), have shown that in-app encouragement will cause up to 60-percent of users to shift from ride-hailing to scooters for shorter trips. 

The trial shows a shift in mobility habits was observed for long-term app usage as well. In Oslo and Lisbon, users performed additional scooter searches for similar trips after the initial encouragement was performed in-app.

I've been a big fan of the best electric scooters for a long time now and think they are an incredibly efficient way to get around a city, but it's interesting to see this hunch backed up by research.

During the study last year, randomly selected groups of Bolt customers from 10 European cities received in-app encouragement to switch from ride-hailing to a scooter for trips shorter than three kilometers. Groups actively encouraged were compared to groups that didn’t receive the encouragement.

This allowed scientists to measure the shift in mobility habits, and the data resulting from the three waves of piloting was then independently analyzed by the Institute of Transport Economics. 

Bolt Electric Scooter

(Image credit: Bolt)

According to the final results, up to 60-percent of users on average shifted from a ride-hail to a scooter for short trips if the scooter was 300 meters away or closer.  

Bolt claims that the implications of the findings are considerable. In Europe, most car trips are less than five kilometres long, and around 25-percent of Bolt car-hailing trips globally are shorter than three kilometres. 

According to Bolt’s data, an electric scooter’s CO2 emissions are on average three times lower than a car’s CO2 emissions. 

The most successful results were seen in cities where there is a high availability of shared scooters. In Lisbon, for example, in-app encouragement led to a 210-percent increase of users opting for an e-scooter.

Significant results were also observed in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Krakow, and Madrid.

Bolt and the Institute of Transport Economics will continue to work together on a modal shift program and I hope that this will lead to the laws being changed in the UK and privately owned electric scooters made legal.

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Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.