Running Out Of Gas Teaches YouTubers The Full Value of Micromobility

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For many people, electric scooters and e-bikes are mostly used for fun. I’m mostly in that situation, because I don’t travel alone much and the infrastructure where I live isn’t great. For many other people, using a scooter or e-bike for local trips makes a lot of sense. But, it’s only a rare few who would consider using micromobility on long, long trips. At best, most people would use them as a last-mile stop gap measure, to get to and from places like train stations and bus terminals.

But, a recent misadventure some YouTubers got into shows us that having compact electric transport on hand can be a whole lot more useful than many people think. (article continues after video)

For EV drivers, the dearth of available charging stations, especially in rural areas and small towns, is a very real problem. But, ICE car drivers can almost always find a place to get some gasoline, right? But, the people in this Rider Guide video found themselves in the opposite situation when a small town gas station closed up shop a few weeks before their trip.

Normally, when you run out of fuel, you can whip out a cell phone and get AAA or a tow truck to come bail you out. Unless the fuel is covered by roadside service, it could cost you a pretty penny even to have them give you a gallon or two of fuel. In some cases, they might just tow you. But, getting anyone to come help requires communications, and the crew ended up running out of fuel in a place with no cell service, and they’re about 4 miles away from help.

So, one of them got a scooter they had been testing out of the vehicle and unfolded it. With half of its range left, it had around 30-40 miles of range left. He rather comically points out that instead of suffering range anxiety on the EV, they suffered range anxiety in the ICE vehicle they were driving. He grabbed a small gas can, filled it with fuel, and put it in his backpack to head back to the vehicle to rescue it.

(It’s worth noting that the early part of the video was a heavy exaggeration for fun)

The Scooter Plus EV Combo Does The Opposite Of This

I’ve done something similar with an EV, but in basically the opposite way. Instead of being stranded due to lack of charge, I used to find myself stranded charging. I was one of those crazy people who drove EVs on long trips before fast charging infrastructure was available, and had to spend a lot of time doing either Level 2 charging at an established EV charging station or charging at places like RV parks.

Having a small scooter or other micromobility vehicle on hand helped because we could go and enjoy a whole area without having to do long hikes. Some RV parks are a good ways out from the fun things small towns have, and being able to quickly go a couple of miles often made road trips a lot more pleasant.

But, we probably won’t see very many people do this going forward!

Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1877 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba