Opening of DfT funded ‘University Campus e-bikes’, a follow-on project using smart e-bikes results

Project lead Dr Frauke Behrendt successfully applied with Dr Anne Mandy for Department for Transport/Carplus funding (£35,464) for the ‘University Campus e-bikes’ project in Eastbourne. This project is an example for the impact of the ‘smart e-bike’ research findings.

The opening was supported by Transport Minister Andrew Jones, with Shane Snow and John Sweeetman from the Department for Transport, alongside  Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansel and Mayor Councillor Janet Coles, as well as the University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris.

“Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Electric bikes are a great way to encourage new people to get into cycling and I hope this interesting scheme encourages more people to take it up. Cycling helps cut congestion and is a healthy, affordable transport option.” (Press release).

Read all the other comments and watch the launch video on the university website.

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Research Results Video

This video summarises the results and policy implications of our e-bike research in the UK. When an e-bike is made available, many people choose to use it, and it has substantial effects on their travel behavior. This is likely to result in reduced carbon emissions, lower congestion and an increase in health and wellbeing. Our study gave electrically-assisted bikes to 100 people, for 6-8 weeks each (commuters of 2 large employers+community groups). The ‘smart’ monitoring system recorded and transmitted bike usage data, used with survey+interview data. Watch the video for more results!

Commuter Trial at the University of Brighton

We are very pleased to announce that the next commuter trial will be with the University of Brighton. The university’s Environment Team is working in partnership with the Smart e-bikes Project, to loan e-bikes free of charge to approximately 40 members of university staff in two trials.

The first trial is about to start with 20 members of staff from the university, but due to the research project’s geographical limits, only Brighton based staff can participate in the trial. For the first trial we shall be working with staff based at all four Brighton campuses. The selected trial participants will be contacted soon. Those that could not be included in the trial at this point will also be contacted soon.

Although the first tranche of participants are about to begin their trials, a staff survey is still open up until 29th June for potential participants for the second trial which is due to start in the Autumn term.

Smart e-bikes at Electric City with David Cameron and Boris Jonson

The Smart e-bikes project was presented at the Urban Age ‘Electric City’ conference in London on 6-7 December 2012. The conference was opened by Craig Calhoun (Director of LSE), Ricky Burdett (Director of the Cities Program), David Cameron (Prime Minister) and Boris Jonson (Mayor of London).

You can watch the live stream of the conference and check out the conference newspaper and program.

To view Frauke’s presentation click here

40 Cargo e-bikes trialled in Germany

40 Electrically-assisted Cargo bikes are currently trialled by courier firms across Germany. This illustrates the diverse uses and benefits of electrically-assisted bikes. It would be great to see a similar project in Brighton – please contact us if you are interested.

The “I’m replacing a car” (“Ich Ersetze Ein Auto”) initiative is run by the Institute for Transport Research  at DRL. The project aims to “allow couriers and express logistics services to reduce the use of combustion engine vehicles and therefore reduce GHG emissions.”
It’s a two-year project that started in 2012, and it aims to answer the following questions:
“How can electric cargo bikes contribute in reducing CO2 emissions and harmful traffic in cities? Which amount of car courier trips could be substituted by electric cargo bikes? What opportunities arise from the implementation of electric cargo bikes for urban courier services and their customers? What are the drivers and barriers for using electric cargo bikes from a courier‘s perspective?”
The bike used is called “iBullitt Pedelec Solar” made by Urban e; it can carry loads up to 100kg and has a 90km radius. In some urban areas 85% of all courier trips made by car could be replaced, and the fact that the running costs of cargo e-bikes are up to 85% lower could make it a cost-effective alternative for car couriers, according to the project website. The cargo e-bikes will be trialled in Berlin, Hamburg, München, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen and Mainz.
The German magazine “Der Spiegel” also has a feature on using e-bikes for cargo transportation and couriers, arguing that these bikes have a renaissance in Germany due to them now having electrical assistance.

First Trial about to Start

We are currently preparing everything for our first trial with a large Brighton-based company. Employees are registering their interest at present, and will receive more detailed information about their project participation once they indicated their interest.

We are looking forward to seeing the first smart e-bikes on the roads of Brighton this summer.

€7,000 in prize money for innovative projects involving an electrically assisted bicycle and a photovoltaic shelter to protect and recharge it

Check out the Eco Bike Design Contest 2012: “Industry and University united to promote innovation in the sustainable mobility sector through a competition that brings technology and creativity together.”


Solsonica and POLI.design are offering €7,000 in prize money for innovative projects involving an electrically assisted bicycle and a photovoltaic shelter to protect and recharge it.

Deadline: 29th June 2012
Total prize money: 7000 euro
Announcement available on: http://www.ecobikedesign.com/eng.html  

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