The demand for electric motorised scooters (e-scooters) in Doha continues to surge as many residents – including office employees – find these battery-powered vehicles practical, easy-to-use and environment-friendly.
An employee of a leading retail chain in the country and the region told Gulf Times on on Tuesday that e-scooters are fast moving items like bicycles nowadays especially after offices and business establishments have reopened.
“A lot of customers are calling us and looking for e-scooters but we are currently out-of-stock in all our stores in Qatar. We hope that our next shipment will come soon, possible in the next two weeks,” he said, adding that new models are also expected to be launched within the year.
Asked about the growing popularity of e-scooters, he said these two-wheeled and compact vehicles are easy to carry and operate, foldable, and lighter (in weight) than some bicycles when riding the Doha metro.
In case of possible repairs, the employee added that users can bring their units to a service centre in Doha for fixing and parts replacement.
He noted that many customers also find the prices of e-scooters reasonable, ranging between QR1,200 and QR2,500 for brands such as Xiaomi and Segway.
Filipino expatriate Anthony M, who reports to work five times a week at West Bay area, said he enjoys using his e-scooter especially now that temperatures start receding.
“I use Optimus, my e-scooter, almost every day – riding from home to the Umm Ghuwailina station – then fold it, before taking the metro. From the DECC station, City Centre Mall is just a few metres away, so it’s really very convenient to use,” he said.
“I also often use it when I want to buy food or something I urgently need for cooking like vegetables, spices, or cooking oil at the nearest bacala or mini store. Just make sure it is always charged,” said Anthony, adding that he also decided to sell his car since he rarely use it.
However, a number of commuters raised safety issues on the use of e-scooters saying that some users tend to speed up while crossing the roads and trying to beat the pedestrian signal.
“Just like cyclists, I think they should be required to wear head gears or helmets and reflective safety vests for visibility, so car drivers will notice them especially in the evening,” said a commuter. “I almost hit a scooter user because he suddenly crossed the road as the signal turned green, which is highly dangerous.”
Many residents also formed a group on Facebook named 'Electric Scooter Qatar', which aims to educate and raise public awareness on the importance of road safety and the mandatory and proper use of safety gears. The group also holds meet up and riding activities at a number of locations in Doha.