Electric Scooters Taking Off and Being Left Behind in France

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Welcome to the combined July/August issue of PSD. I hope you all have a relaxing break planned for over the summer to set you up for the second half of the year. I’ve been too busy myself to even stop and think about getting away. I did manage a couple of days away in Lyon after a meeting in Grenoble during the height of the recent heat wave. I don’t know about anyone else but 42°C is a bit much with no cooling breeze like you’d find at a seaside resort.

One thing I did notice there was a trend towards electric scooters for short range journeys around the city centre, which I'd never seen before in the UK. They seemed to be everywhere. From a quick inspection, they had a 3D barcode, which I presume you could use to rent them with your phone. It seemed like a great idea to get around town while using the minimum of energy.

It piqued my interest and I did have a look for more information when I got home, and discovered that it may not be as great an idea as it initially seemed. I had noticed a couple of scooters left in strange places in Lyon, but it seems that electric scooters have become a real problem in Paris, where competing companies have flooded the city centre with up to 20,000 scooters – a number that’s expected to double by the end of this year. So far there have been two deaths and many more incidents through careless use of the scooters. In fact, the scooters have become such a nuisance, that the mayor of Paris has been forced to take action with fines for scooters being abandoned after use and for scooterists driving on the pavement. Hopefully that will teach the scooterists to act responsibly.

There’s no doubt that electrical powered vehicles are the future, whether it is rent by the journey scooters, or electric automobiles. In this issue, we focus on automobiles. Every new model that comes out includes technology not available to the last generation. SiC looks to be the greatest enabler of powertrain technology, but some companies are finding places for GaN in there too. However, in this issue, SiC is the focus of our first article written by Aly Mashaly from Rohm Semiconductor, who tells us how SiC will revolutionise the powertrain.

The second article we feature this month has been contributed by Diodes Incorporated. In the article, author Isaac Sibson discusses how to protect electronic devices in automotive applications by suppressing transient voltages. As the number of electronic devices in vehicles multiplies, it is important that they are not damaged by the ever present danger of transient voltages. He describes how TVS can be used to clamp high voltages almost instantly.

There are plenty more articles in the magazine, both on automotive design and on more general topics. I hope you enjoy.

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD