This has been the summer of the electric scooter in Europe; but the United Kingdom and Ireland, which still ban the things, are probably right to hold out. So far, no government in the region has figured out a good way to regulate them.

United States e-scooter sharing companies like Bird, Lime and Jump (a subsidiary of Uber) have all been expanding in Europe this year. There, they face competition from local start-ups like Stockholm-based Voi and Berlin-based Wind. It’s impossible to determine the exact number of scooters that have appeared on the streets this year, but it’s likely to be in the tens of thousands. At this point, they look more like a plague than a transport solution.

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