The newest wheels: the electric scooter, the monowheel and so on

Now and then you can spot them on the city’s streets: an electric scooter, a monowheel or a Segway. Toys for gadget freaks? Nothing could be further from the truth. These electric vehicles are an excellent solution for the last kilometres from a train station, a bus stop or a park and ride (P+R). They are environmentally-friendly and you can easily take them with you, wherever you go. The epitome of multimodal transport!

Electric scooter

An electric scooter is more compact than a folding bike. You can easily carry it with you or toss it in the boot of your car. Thanks to the electric engine, you can also swiftly get from A to B. In short, an electric scooter is an excellent transport option for short distances in the city.

Bird shared scooters

Bird provides a free-floating scooter sharing system. The scooters are never parked in a fixed place. You can easily ‘capture’ them with the app. Unlock the scooter with your smartphone, and you’re good to go. Once you have arrived at your destination, just park the scooter in a place where it does not cause any nuisance.

  • You must be at least 18 years old to use Bird.
  • You pay an initial small flat fee for every ride and then you are charged by the minute.
  • The scooters are only available from 7 am until 9 pm. They are then collected to be charged.
  • You can also make money by charging an electric scooter at home and registering as a ‘charger’.

The Bird scooters are easy to use: kick off three times and then push the throttle button.

  • Website: www.bird.co. You can find further information about the scooters in Antwerp and the zone in which they are available in the Bird app.

The Segway, the monowhee, the Hoverboard and skateboard

A Segway uses sensors. It moves forward when you move forward, Backward when you move backward. The Segway is quiet and easy to ride. It is rather largeish, making it less easy to take with you on the train or bus.

Monowheels work according to the same principle, albeit it with one wheel. Riding a monowheel requires some practice and a physical effort. You will stay fit while getting around. It is a very compact vehicle and you can easily take it with you wherever you go. You don’t even have to fold it. Just pick it up by the handle.

A Hoverboard is a board with two wheels. You ride it facing forward, rather than sideways (compared with a skateboard). Like the Segway and the monowheel, you operate it by shifting your weight. What’s fun about the Hoverboard is that it weighs next to nothing.

In effect an electric skateboard is an ordinary skateboard with slightly larger wheels and a remote-controlled engine. You manoeuvre the board by shifting your weight.

What about the traffic rules?

Since 2007, the Belgian highway code has rules for ‘non-motorised slow vehicles’. The maximum speed for such electric non-motorised vehicles is set at 25 km/hour.

Your speed determines where you may ride your vehicle. If you move at the same pace as a pedestrian, then you must heed the rules for pedestrians (up to 6 km/hr). If you move any faster, you may use the cycling path or the road like cyclists.