Saad Salem and his father in front of their shop in Snoubra, west Beirut on Jan. 9, 2019. (The Daily Star/Jacob Boswall)
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A legal loophole in Lebanon permits anyone to drive an electric scooter without a registration number or a license -- and will do so until a government is formed that can legislate on new forms of transport.However, according to dealers, the past few years have seen a dramatic rise in the trade of privately owned electric scooters.Not to be confused with the government approved ride-sharing service Loop SAL, these vehicles remain unregistered thanks to the patchy legislation surrounding electric scooters. Today, electric scooters account for almost all the business' sales.Salem quickly discovered that electric scooters present an unexpected loophole in the legal code, giving wheels to people previously forced to choose between public transport and Beirut's uneven pavements.Nicholas Jamal, founder of Dox -- Lebanon's first battery analytics startup -- has dealt with many of Beirut's electric scooter dealers and is familiar with the legal loopholes.However, Garzouzi admitted that Medco's current chargers are not designed for privately owned scooters. While they can charge a Loop scooter in a matter of minutes, it can take up to five hours to charge Chinese-made scooters with larger batteries, such as those sold by Salem Trading.
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