8 August 2022

Gender disparity in e-scooter riders


A recent study released by Dutch micromobility sharing company, Dott, shows that there’s a significant gender gap in the EV market. It’s exactly as you might think; men greatly outnumber women as users of electric scooters.

According to Dott’s latest study, about 71% of its e-scooter riders are men, with the remaining 29% made up of female riders - so, just over a quarter of the entire market.

The company discovered that the gap reduces a bit in certain more established markets such as France and Belgium, however women comprise a small minority across all markets.

Quoting Dott:

"The research indicates that more mature markets have a better perception of safety, and women are less likely to indicate that e-scooters are a service for men. As the service becomes more rooted in daily travel, the visibility of women using e-scooters is increased."

It's interesting to see that the perception of safety appears to be the largest disparity between men and women, with women much more likely to speak about their safety concerns preventing them from riding E-scooters. Whilst some women indicated that the vehicles themselves are perceived as being unsafe, many more women mentioned a lack of safe infrastructure in cities and a fear of sharing roads with cars.

39% of women taking part in Dott's study voiced these infrastructure-based safety concerns. Women in the UK (35%) and Italy (51%) are much more concerned about poor infrastructure compared to only 20% of women in France.

The Dutch based company explained that the disparity by country could be attributed to a variety of factors such as: maturity of the market, with e-scooters being much more widely adopted in France than any other country. Dott also claimed that it could be related to the type of infrastructure in countries and in certain cities, such as segregated cycle lanes and car-free zones or lower speed limits for cars in each country. For instance, cars and any other moped in Paris are limited to a maximum speed of 30 km/h (about 18 mph), bringing them closer to the speed of electric scooters and allowing scooter riders to more confidently share the road with other vehicles.

However, quite surprisingly, around 20% of women actually found e-scooters to be a safer alternative for travelling alone at night, especially compared to walking alone or taking public transportation. 

Laura Hensel - Dott’s Head of Sustainability commented on the findings:

"This research shows there is gender disparity in the users of shared micro-mobility. As we work towards a service which is accessible to everyone, we want to make it easier for more women to choose shared e-scooters and e-bikes to get around their city in a sustainable, effortless and efficient way. We hope that our new training sessions will help build confidence in a controlled environment, helping more people take advantage of our vehicles out on the road."


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