E-scooters disposed of in a Cologne water basin: According to a report by WDR, 500 pieces are in a much deeper body of water - the Rhine
Photo: Christoph Hardt / Geisler-Fotopres / picture alliance
E-scooters are a potentially practical mobility solution.
Small, handy and available almost everywhere in major German cities.
However, scooters parked in the middle of sidewalks or overturned cause frustration again and again.
Some people take it out on their two-wheelers and throw them in garbage cans, wells or rivers.
According to the broadcaster WDR, divers have spotted more than 500 e-scooters on the bottom of the Rhine in Cologne alone.
The providers apparently fail to get the vehicle out of the river.
A few days ago, for example, the Cologne construction diver Markus Hambüchen received a call from a large scooter provider.
According to the report, the company asked for a cost estimate for the recovery of 500 electric standing scooters in the area of the Hohenzollern Bridge, where rioters had thrown them into the Rhine.
Battery casings are apparently leaking
Hambüchen told the WDR that he was happy that someone was finally taking care of the problem.
“We find scooters like this wherever we work on the bottom of the Rhine.
Before we can start working on quay walls or bridge piers, we have to clear the scrap aside.
I'm not talking about ten or 20 scooters, but about hundreds lying in the Rhine «, says Hambüchen.
The scrap is not the only problem.
According to Hambüchen, some of the rollers shed a sticky mass.
"Apparently, the battery casings on the vehicles in the Rhine are leaking and chemicals are released from the batteries."
Nevertheless, a rescue was apparently too expensive for the scooter rental company.
"As a result, the man in charge said that, considering the costs, it was not worth getting the scooters out of the Rhine," said Hambüchen.
According to WDR, the unnamed company assures that all scooters that are within reach will be taken out of the water - but the Rhine is deep and the current is strong.
It is difficult to recover all the scooters.
Two providers reacted to the findings with specific changes.
Bird and Voi have now imposed parking bans on the banks of the Rhine and on the bridges to prevent more scooters from landing in the water.
In addition, customers can no longer end their journeys near the Rhine.
According to the WDR, Bird also announced that it would commission a specialist company with the recovery in the Rhine.