Since the winter of 2018 the streets of Lisbon have been overrun by electric scooters. Especially in the more touristic areas you can see them pass by frequently.
At the moment the places where you can find the scooters are shooting up like crazy, especially in the districts Baixa, Chiado and Belém. There are several companies that allow you to rent electric scooters.
We asked our pal Maurizio to find out what it is like to rent an electric scooter in Lisbon. Maurizio hails from Italy and lives and works in the Netherlands as an online marketer. He also runs the site HomeSweetShop.it.
In the beginning of March he spent a long weekend in Lisbon with his girlfriend and tried an electric scooter from Lime. The scooters are literally everywhere in the city, so finding one is no problem.
It is easy to rent a scooter:
1. Download the Lime app,
2. Enter your details.
3. Find a scooter on the street (or via the card in the app)
4. Scan the qr code on the scooter with the Lime app.
You are now ready to use the electric scooter.
Maurizio’s first impression when trying some maneuvers was that this scooter feels powerful and easy to control.
Maurizio: “The controls are easy, right handle to accelerate and the break is on the left hand, that’s it. It’s pretty nice to use even though going full speed for the first time was a bit scary, but once you get more confident with the controls there’s no problem.
After few meters on the street of Lisbon you realize the only negative part of running on such small wheels in this town: stones. Every time you get on the beautiful pavè of Lisbon the vibrations transmitted to the body are quite uncomfortable.”
Maurizio took two longer rides with an electric scooter. The first was from Cais do Sodré next to Praça do Comércio to Alfama. It took him 17 minutes and he experienced it as a pretty nice and smooth ride of 2.1 kilometers (1.3mi). He paid €3,55 for this ride, which is roughly £3.
Maurizio: “In Alfama I had the occasion to test the scooter on a slope, trying to climb up in direction of Castelo de São Jorge. I didn’t expect much and I was pretty surprised that it manage to bring me up for at least 200/300 meters. After that the street was to steep and I had to park it.”
Ending the ride is also super easy, says Maurizio. “You can leave it everywhere (of course in an appropriate location, not in the middle of the street), click ‘end ride’ and take a picture (this is to give more info to the next rentee). Nice combination of notes and the ride is finished.”
Maurizio’s second ride was in Belém, from Museu Nacional dos Coches to the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda.
“That street to get to the palace (Calçada da Ajuda) is all sloping up, but not so steep as near the castle in Alfama. In 12 minutes I arrived at the destination and it did the job quite well for €2,80 (£2,40). The performance, especially on a steep street is highly influenced by the weight of the passenger. I am 70 kg and on that trip it worked pretty well for me. But if you are above 90 kilo the feedback might be completely different.”
Maurizio thought it was fantastic to discover Lisbon on an electric scooter. These are his pro’s and con’s for using an electric scooter.
And these are the cons
The cost of renting an electric scooter is the same everywhere: €1 to unlock and then 15 cents per minute to drive, which comes down to €9 per hour, or just under £8.
Guidelines for use
There are a number of guidelines for the use of a scooter. It is forbidden to park in the historical red zone (Alfama and Bairro Alto) This is indicated on the map in the app. Don’t drive on the pavement but stay on the road, and if there is a bike path, don’t hesitate to use it, most motorists Lisbon are not used to cyclists or scooters in traffic.
Also wear a helmet and make sure you park your scooter in a responsible way.
The electric scooter seems to be a very welcome addition to the possibilities to quickly get around Lisbon. It is quite cheap, very easy to do and above all it’s a lot of fun!