Assessing Environmental Performance of Micromobility Using LCA and Self-Reported Modal Change: The Case of Shared E-Bikes, E-Scooters, and E-Mopeds in Barcelona
Felipe-Falgas, Pol; Madrid-Lopez, Cristina; Marquet, Oriol
OPEN ACCESS at Sustainability, 2022, Vol.14(7), p.4139 Micromobility is often thought of as a sustainable solution to many urban mobility challenges. The literature to date, […]
OPEN ACCESS at Sustainability, 2022, Vol.14(7), p.4139
Micromobility is often thought of as a sustainable solution to many urban mobility challenges. The literature to date, however, has struggled to find consensus on the sustainability of shared and electric scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds. This paper uses a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to calculate the impacts of micromobility modes in three categories: Global Warming Potential (GWP), Particulate Matter Formation, and Ozone Formation. It does so by incorporating the self-reported modal change of each transportation mode: shared e-moped, shared e-bicycle, shared bicycle, and personal e-scooter. The results show that modal change brought by the introduction of shared e-mopeds and shared e-bicycles caused an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while shared bicycles and personal electric scooters decreased GHG emissions. All micromobility modes except personal e-scooters increased particulate matter emissions, but decreased those which were emitted within the city, while they all decreased NOx. The findings of this study suggest new micromobility services are not always the best environmental solution for urban mobility, unless the eco-design of vehicles is improved, and they are strategically used and deployed as part of a holistic vision for transport policy.