New urban "micromobility" trade fair opens in Hanover

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-02 22:43:56|Editor: xuxin
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BERLIN, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The first "micromobility expo" trade fair presenting "environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient solutions" for transport in German cities opened on Thursday in Hanover.

During the three-day fair, around three dozen exhibitors, including the German carmaker Volkswagen, will be presenting more than 60 models of electric miniature vehicles including e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-bikes or mini e-cars.

"Miniature electric vehicles are agile, quiet and, above all, more environmentally friendly than cars on short journeys," said Andreas Gruchow, member of the managing board of Deutsche Messe AG Hanover, which is organizing the fair.

Gruchow noted that these electric miniature vehicles "are spreading at a fast pace and can significantly change traffic" in German cities.

"The micro-mobiles have great potential to close the gap between public transport, cars, bicycles and pedestrians. The expectations are high that micro-mobility will help to solve problems such as traffic jams and air pollution," said Bernd Althusmann, Minister of Economics for Lower Saxony.

A recent study by the consulting firm McKinsey estimated that the market potential of micro-mobility products in Europe could reach 150 billion U.S. dollars by 2030, of which more than half could be earned through the sale of e-scooters.

In Germany, McKinsey estimated that turnover for e-scooters, also known as electric pedal scooters, could reach 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2030.

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is seeking to push through the approval of electric scooters in Germany, which he believes hold "enormous future potential".

E-scooters are already in use in many European cities but the planned approval of these electric pedal scooters on footpaths has led to safety concerns in Germany.

The German transport minister had proposed that electric scooters that move faster than 12 km per hour should be allowed on cycle paths while slower scooters which travel at less than 12 km per hour should be allowed to be used on footpaths.

On Tuesday, the Transport Committee in the German Bundesrat recommended that all electric scooters should be on cycle paths but that slower models should not be allowed on pavements.

The Bundesrat will vote on the German transport minister's plans in a plenary session on May 17.