About a month ago, the Flemish MP Björn Rzoska entered an experiment to find out whether the 45 km/h electric bike is an efficient means of transport for commuting. He is now being joined in this test by some staff members of the Belgian province of “Vlaams-Brabant”.
So-called speed pedelecs are clearly getting higher on the Belgian political agenda. This is due to two facts. The revised Belgian traffic code, which determines where and how so-called speed pedelecs are allowed, as well as what helmet is required, is expected to be published in the next few weeks. Secondly, following their growing popularity, the number of so-called speed pedelecs on the roads is visibly increasing. As a result there is growing political attention for the potential that fast electric bikes may offer as an alternative means of transport for commuters.
About a month ago, we reported on the Belgian Green politician, Björn Rzoska entering a commuter experiment with a so-called speed pedelec. For over a month now, he has been travelling from his home to the Flemish Parliament in Brussels on a 45 km/h electric bike. Every day he covers around 100 km. The test will run for another two months.
The experiment is part of Bram Rotthier’s PhD Research, “Quantification of technical performances, cyclist experience and safety of speed pedelecs for commuter use”. He researches the technical performance of fast electric bikes, how riders experience the use of the vehicle and potential safety risks involved in that use.
Another interested party has now signed up for participation in the experiment. The Belgian province of “Vlaams Brabant” has 1 so-called speed pedelec available for their staff to use for commuting. Tom Dehaene, member of the Provincial Executive and responsible for mobility explains: “We would like more people on bikes for commuting in our province. This research is important to determine whether a fast electric bicycle is user-friendly and whether it can convince people to swap their car for a bike. We have a number of cycle highways in our province. Research has shown that the average commuter distance on these highways is just under 20 km.”
Earlier research has shown that commuters tend to use conventional bikes for one-way trips up to 7 km and 25 km/h pedelecs for up to 15 km. Consequently, faster e-bikes appear to be an ideal solution for longer trips. The test in Vlaams Brabant will run for 3 weeks and Tom Dehaene will be one of the participants.
AVERE LEV-TF invites LEV companies that are interested in learning about or contributing to any scientific research on LEVs, as well as on preconditions for their use (helmets, infrastructure, …) to contact LEV policy manager, Annick Roetynck, tel. +32 9 233 60 05, email [email protected].
For specific questions about Bram Rotthier’s research: tel. +32 494 34 66 05, email [email protected].