Onewheel Electric Skateboards Banned: What Does It Mean For E-Scooters?

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Updated on: 4/23/2024
Published on: 11/2/2023

The micromobility sector is taking the world by storm, providing sustainable alternatives to gasoline-powered transportation. According to Grand View Research, the market could increase to $69.32 billion in 2028, a massive increase from its $2.5 billion value in 2018.

With so many people searching for more eco-friendly ways to commute and get around their cities, it's only natural some brands are attempting to capitalize on it. Unfortunately, this also means that not all options boast the same safety features as e-bikes and e-scooters.

Just recently, Onewheel electric skateboards were recalled globally due to safety issues—but what will this mean for e-scooters?

Onewheel skateboards cause controversy worldwide

We've seen impressive inventions in the last few years, including practical e-scooters and bikes. Micromobility is a broad term encompassing a range of weird and wonderful electric transportation options.

Unfortunately, some of them are more weird - and less wonderful.

Electric unicycles promise a lot of fun, but their dangers led to New York City banning them from public roads. With the increased need for balance, navigating busy cities can be challenging, and minor lapses in concentration can be all it takes for a severe accident.

However, Onewheel skateboards were recently recalled after the CPSC highlighted the increased risks of crashes.

Due to their design, the boards can lose their balance, which puts riders in immediate danger and causes severe injuries, including:

  • Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Ligament Damage
  • Paralysis

Four people also died using the self-balancing skateboard between 2019 and 2021, leading to the CPSC recalling 300,000 boards.

What does the future hold for Onewheel skateboards?

While most products were recalled, Future Motion is already planning to release a new skateboard and promises upgrades to safety.

Updates include the Haptic Buzz feature, which alerts riders if there's an error or the skateboard runs out of battery power, promoting better safety.

Some skateboards can have the firmware update immediately, but owners of original models, such as the Onewheel and Onewheel Plus, will have to stop using their boards and wait for an alternative.

If owners want to update their board, they'll receive $100 in credit if they dispose of the original Onewheels.

Electric scooters are safer than skateboards

image

With the safety issues surrounding e-skateboards, it's natural that people might want to find a safer alternative and electric scooters could be the solution.

A comparison study by Gadget Review analyzed the features of both forms of transportation and dubbed e-scooters the clear winner regarding safety.

The article looked at numerous factors and came to the following conclusions:

More stability

Electric scooters have wider bases and two wheels, enabling riders to enjoy a more stable platform. Onewheel e-scooters require more balance, but scooters reduce the risks of crashes.

Handlebars

Electric scooters come with handlebars, allowing riders to grip securely and maintain balance. They can also facilitate better steering and braking, while e-skateboards rely on the rider's balance.

Learning curve

If you're searching for a way to commute or get around your city, you probably don't want to spend hours learning a skateboard.

For many, commuter scooters are easy to use and require little experience.

Foot placement

Riding an e-skateboard means having perfect balance and foot placement, which is challenging for many people to master. E-scooters have a designated deck for feet, and they're easier to maneuver.

Protection from road debris

Many electric scooters have IP Ratings, which can protect them from water splashes and dust.

On the other hand, skateboards are more challenging to control on the road, and small obstacles can cause serious accidents.

Affordability

Electric skateboards usually come at lower prices, making them more accessible for many people. However, the popularity of e-scooters means some brands are making them more accessible to riders.

For example, the Unagi All-Access subscription gives you a premium scooter, insurance, and services for a small monthly fee.

The future of micromobility

With all its benefits, electric transportation is something to embrace, not fear. Are there some issues? Yes. However, e-scooters and bikes pave the way for a more sustainable way of commuting and traveling around cities.

As more people realize that not all PEVs are made equal, scooters should begin to get the credit they deserve.


Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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