-2 p.m. Ideal for short distances: After work he often stays in Barcelona to have lunch with friends. “I like the flexibility it gives me. It only takes a few minutes to go short distances and then you can fold it up and take it with you wherever you want.”
-4 p.m. Home again: After lunch, Jairo takes the metro to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and rides his scooter from there – under one kilometre in about two minutes.
-8 p.m. It rides with him in his car as well: On Friday evenings and at the weekend, Jairo and friends go out for supper and fun in Barcelona. He drives to one of the parks and ride facilities at the entrance of the city and unloads his SEAT eXS KickScooter from the boot to get to their meeting point. “This way I can forget about driving around looking for a place to park and having to pay for it as well.”
-11 p.m. Not without my scooter: Back at home he plugs in his scooter to recharge it. Today he travelled more than 20 kilometres with it and reckons he saved about two hours of time. He also saves money - more than 60 euros a month on fuel, parking and public transport fares. “When scooters started coming out I didn’t see them as an option, but now it’s become an essential part of my daily routine”, he admits.
Three questions about the electric scooter
What is its range and top speed? The SEAT eXS KickScooter has a range of up to 25 kilometres, and its maximum recharging time is three and a half hours. Its top speed is 25 km/hour and it weighs 12.5 kilos. It features LED headlights to better see and be seen, and electric and mechanical brakes for safe, effortless stopping. Both the brake cables and battery are integrated in the steering column for greater protection. In addition, it has solid rubber wheels to prevent punctures.
What are the laws governing its use? It can be ridden by individuals who are at least 14 years old. Each city has its own regulatory framework, but few in Europe have specific regulations. In Spain, only Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia have them, but the National Department of Traffic is preparing a general law. They can be ridden in bike lanes and streets with a speed limit of 30 km/h, and it is forbidden to ride on pavements and roads. Protective headgear is recommended but is only obligatory for anyone under 15.
Are they only for private use? No. The electric scooter is here to stay in its multiple formats, including renting them when and where needed via a mobile app. SEAT has collaborated with the UFO start-up to implement this service in Madrid with 500 electric scooters available city-wide. According to SEAT Product Marketing director Lucas Casasnovas, “this means of transport has a great future ahead. Its growth prospects are very significant, and we have just begun our collaboration with UFO. For now, we’re operating in Madrid, but we expect to continue collaborating on providing this service in the rest of Spain and other cities in Europe.”