Amsterdam is a beautiful city. It’s also a traffic nightmare and therefore full of particulate emissions, and not happy about any of that. Part of the plan to reduce its emissions is the introduction of Hopper electric scooters.
Electric Taxis on Two Wheels
The Hopper program is meant to be very flexible public transportation. In practice, it’s a network of electric taxis, except that the taxis are all scooters instead of cars (this is actually a good call for Amsterdam’s narrow, twisty roads).
According to Hopper’s website, you can catch a ride on one of the zero-emission, super-cute scooters by flagging one down on the street, by calling for a ride, by booking a ride on the website, or by using their mobile app (this last option is not actually available yet, but it should work something like San Francisco’s Scoot Networks). Each ride is a flat rate — € 2.50 — regardless of where you go or how long it takes.
Electric vehicles having zero emissions is a no-brainer. Of course it’s better for the environment, of course it’s more sustainable, of course there’s the potential for totally clean power all the way up the chain. Electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts than ICE scooters, and therefore require maintenance less often — if it’s not there, it can’t break.
Scooters, specifically, also make a lot of sense for Amsterdam for two reasons.
The first goes back to emissions — European emissions standards are much laxer for mopeds than cars, which leads to greater pollution potential. Having electric scooters on the street instead of gas-powered mopeds reduces particulate emissions considerably.
The second is the actual streets themselves — have you seen them? They’re gorgeous, but also narrow and twisty and full of lots of moving things, and the one and only time I drove through Amsterdam in a 4-wheeled vehicle, I was sure someone was going to die (probably not me, because I was in the giant metal cage, but still). Scooters and other small vehicles? Way better choice; it’s a matter of tailoring the fleet to the location.
And The Rest Will Follow
Hopper hopes to launch fleets in Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht within six months, and I wish it well with it. Even though inclement weather will sometimes make them a less than comfortable choice, I love the idea of a fleet of electric scooter taxis.
If you’re in Amsterdam, hop on one and let us know how it goes — they’ll be on the streets from 8am to 8pm, and it sounds super fun. Or just let us know what you think of the whole project!
Charis Michelsen spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissin, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.