Last year I moved out of London and bought an electric scooter from these guys for driving the 3.5 miles between my new house and the train station.
The story so far:
1. When it first arrived it didn’t work: the batteries weren’t functional. It took a good two weeks to get it workable.
2. Finding an insurer was a mission. There’s apparently only one in the UK. They aren’t cheap.
3. Stuff just fell off the scooter. Nothing major (yet). But still I haven’t got working replacements.
4. One of the options I bought they never even delivered. Kept fobbing me off for best part of 9 months (and I didn’t have time to chase every day).
5. It was vandalised once (someone yanked an important cable out) – and the supplier expected me to be able to fix it. Heck, I don’t even own a soldering iron, let alone feel confident digging around in the bowels of the scooter.
6. Kids have sniggered at the man on the scooter … Until they realise it’s electric whereupon their sniggers are replaced by wows.
7. Fellow commuters are impressed by the electric scooter. Then they overtake me on the way home.
8. It is fun to drive a nearly silent machine. But it would be nice if it would go faster.
9. It’s nice not to need to stop and fill up with petrol (though I have no idea whether the electricity I use to charge it is cleaner, greener and/or cheaper than petrol would be).
It’s clear that this bike is still bleeding edge. It’s still the domain of enthusiast hackers. Definitely not ready for consumer prime time.
Parallels for professional buyers:
Beware of getting too far ahead of yourselves on green initiatives. Unless you have the time, inclination and executive support get too far ahead of the pack and you could struggle (1,2,3,4,5).
There is a good marketing angle (6,7).
And, heck, it might even make you feel better (8,9).
To be honest: When I look at my buying decisions at work I haven’t gone out of my way to buy greener at work. The only thing I can recall doing recently is ticking the box marked “plant a tree for every server” on a hosting deal.