June 21, 2024


Built General Tough

Small electric cars popular in Montreal

More and more Montrealers are deciding to get electric scooters and gyroroues, small cars that can reach speeds of over 30 km / h.

Since last summer, Laval resident Éric Boissonneault has been combining the metro and gyroroue to get to work in downtown Montreal.

This small device consists of a single wheel, two retractable steps and a rechargeable battery. The user gets on and only has to lean forward for the vehicle to move forward.

Thanks to it, Mr. Boissonneault no longer has to wait for the bus and deal with its delays. “A great advantage is the minimum effort to be made to get to your destination, compared to a bicycle, which also takes up much more space in the metro car”, adds the one who recalls that bicycles are prohibited in the metro during rush hour, unlike the gyroroue.

The arrival of self-service electric scooters from Lime and Bird operators in Montreal last summer also allowed people to familiarize themselves with these devices, which was then reflected in sales, explains Guillaume Hergat, co-founder of the Montreal web store selling scooters and gyroroues, Noaio Shop.

“People were able to try it out and then get hold of it,” he notes.

The businessman of French origin believes that the high cost of maintaining a car and the public’s awareness of environmental issues are other factors that encourage people to buy these cars.

This micromobility offer is all the more attractive because of its affordable price and its simplicity to maneuver as opposed to a gyrorane. For around $ 700, it is possible to get an electric scooter that can reach a speed of 40 kilometers / hour. For its part, the gyro requires several hours of practice and costs between $ 800 and $ 4000 depending on the speed and battery life of the models.

Aghiles Ladj, delivery man for DoorDash, for example decided to swap his bike for an electric scooter in June. He does not regret his choice. “I do more deliveries and I tire less than before,” explains the young man I met in downtown Montreal.

Unlike many countries, Quebec still has not legislated on the use of scooters and other small electrical devices on public roads.

The rules can therefore change depending on the city. In Montreal, for example, it is forbidden to use a cycle path other than a conventional or electric bicycle, in-line skates, skateboards, in a motorized or non-motorized wheelchair, in a scooter or a scooter.

However, users surveyed believe that many police officers tolerate small electric vehicles on the tracks.

The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has launched a pilot project to use electric scooters on certain public roads. Until 2021, those who wish to use it on public roads must, among other things, take training in driving such a vehicle and have a valid certificate in hand.

Determined to bring their self-service electric scooters back to Montreal next year, operators Bird Canada and Lime are considering hiring a company to ensure parking rules are respected by their users.

Recall that self-service scooters were authorized in the summer of 2019 in the streets of Montreal, but that non-compliance with parking rules by users had pushed the City to ban them on its territory in 2020.

In their discussions with the City of Montreal, Bird and Lime propose to pay themselves a company which would have the mandate to locate the badly parked scooters in the metropolis and to notify the operator.

The latter could thus impose a fine on the infringing users, learned the 24 Hours.

Bird Canada is also proposing to integrate a padlock system into its scooters so that users can attach them to municipal infrastructures.

The City has yet to determine if scooters could return in 2021.

According to a CROP poll conducted for Bird Canada at the end of August, 59% of Montrealers hope for the return of self-service electric scooters to Montreal next year.