To Diversify Transportation, We Need to Refine and Reclaim our Concepts of EVs, Electric Mobility, Micromobility, and Electric Bicycles
If you’ve had any interest in electric-powered vehicles in the past few years, you’ve likely come across terms like EV, e–Mobility and Micromobility. At Vvolt we want to reclaim the term EV from the auto industry and use related words with greater purpose. We invite you to do the same– including eBikes and lightweight electric vehicles in our EV conversations is an important step toward reclaiming our streets for non-auto users.
What's in a word?
It can be helpful to have a shared starting point in such conversations. We rely on the following definitions.
EV is a pretty straightforward acronym for Electric Vehicle, but in use it often doesn’t refer to anything but electric autos (more on that later.)
e–Mobility has a more complex history, but simply refers to the practice of using electric vehicles to move about.
Micromobility is a bit tougher to define, but we use the broadest sense of the term. Any type of personal transportation smaller than a car, including non-electric options like traditional skateboards and bicycles.
The big tent of e-Mobility
Adapting Infrastructure & Increasing Access
At Vvolt we use these terms carefully to guide our mission. We founded the company to provide e–Mobility solutions by making EVs for people to accomplish their own Micromobility goals. While at first this may sound like we’re trying to have our cake and eat it, we are thinking about the bigger picture.
For us, successful e-Mobility requires being more than just a company making electric vehicles. Of course we’re here to make great EVs, but we can’t stop there. It’s important to bring together all proponents of small electric vehicles under the umbrella of e–Mobility to help advance our society to a low-carbon future.
To that end, we’re forging relationships with advocates and governmental representatives to create a future where everyone has the chance to use lightweight EV technology to safely move through their communities.
So Many Benefits
Environment & Public Health
When we have more efficient and safer ways to travel, we all reap the amazing benefits of greater environmental sustainability and improved public health. Imagine what else will come from filling our streets with human-scale transportation instead of low-occupancy automobiles!
The benefits of increased support for lightweight e–Mobility options also work for traditional micromobility users. More and better bike lanes and protected paths, bike racks on buses and trains, and additional secure parking for bikes and scooters makes it easy for everyone to enjoy “alternative transportation,” whether using electric power...or not!
For Vvolt, it’s a benefit to get more people out of their cars and into their bike lanes, sidewalks, paths and public transit. It’s better for everyone when there are fewer people taking up space and resources driving cars by themselves. Strength in numbers outside of autos helps achieve road safety; when out on our streets and when advocating to our elected officials.
EV can be so much more than a synonym for "electric car"
Finally, a word about EVs. We love the idea that Electric Vehicle covers everything from an electric bicycle to an electric school bus, from shared scooters to electric sedans. What we don’t love is that people in governmental, consulting and auto-manufacturing spaces consistently narrow the definition to exclusively mean “electric car.”
If you believe as we do, that a healthy mix of transit incorporates ebikes, regular bikes and scooters along with electric autos, buses and rail, then it’s important for us to stake our claim to use “EV” whenever talking about any sort of electric vehicle!
We encourage you to use the term EV whenever you’re referring to any sort of electrically-powered transportation machine; let’s normalize thinking about bikes, scooters, electric motorcycles and more when we say “EV.”
This is especially important as our federal, state and local governments gear up to provide a new slate of subsidies for low-carbon transportation.