Tag Archive: UK

  1. London’s ULEZ subsidies could contribute to increased LEV use in excluded groups

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    Subsidies available through the ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ scrappage scheme have been confirmed to be valid for the purchase of e-bikes, cargo bikes, and e-scooters.

    London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) was designed to reduce the use of the most polluting vehicles in the city centre. Thus far, the ULEZ has helped to reduce roadside pollution levels by 44% in central London and 20% in inner London. Hence, the scheme is going London-wide from August 2023, aiming to improve air quality for an additional 5 million residents, trigger a 2% reduction in car use, and cut further into PM2.5 exhaust emissions.

    A key factor in the ULEZ expansion is the associated £110 million ‘scrappage scheme’; the full details of this can be found here. Transport for London shared, “Following the success of our last scrappage scheme, which saw the removal of more than 15,000 polluting vehicles from London’s roads, our new scrappage scheme will support Londoners on certain low income or disability benefits, and eligible micro-businesses (up to 10 employees), sole traders and charities with a registered address in London. Only eligible applicants with vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standard will qualify for our new scrappage scheme.

    It is excellent to hear that scrappage subsidies can be applied to the purchase of e-bikes, e-scooters, and cargo bikes. This massively improves the accessibility of LEVs and green mobility to many Londoners who may have been priced out until now.

  2. Zero-emission cargo bike trader’s market sees successful trial in the UK

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    The ‘Cleaner Air Markets’ report from Fare City reveals that using cargo bikes and electric vehicles for the delivery of goods to local trader’s markets may reduce CO2 emissions by 67.5 times compared to use of conventional diesel vans.

    The new UK-based report examines how the traders of a working market were enabled to switch from their polluting internal combustion engine vehicles to trial zero tailpipe emission modes of transport, such as cargo bikes and electric vehicles. Report publisher, Fare City shares, “There is an exciting opportunity to reconsider how we service our public markets. At present, traders use polluting vans and cars to bring goods to and from markets in towns and cities across the UK. For years, this practice of driving goods into the heart of communities has contributed to local air pollution, congestion, and carbon emissions, adversely impacting the very people such markets aim to serve.”

    Find the full report via the Fare City website.

    In its inaugural effort to develop one London marketplace, Fare City reports that if all traders within the trial were to permanently switch to zero-emission modes, annual CO2 emissions would drop by 1,175kg. This, of course, is due to the substituted transport methods such as cargo bikes and e-bikes producing 67.5 times less CO2 pollution than diesel vans in the same scenario.

    Mark Sutton’s write-up of the report describes a carbon reduction of 99% over journeys of 5km. He shares, “Assessment of a typical 5km journey returned the finding that a trader travelling 5km each way in a diesel van will produce 2.65kg CO2e. This will reduce to 0.77kg CO2e if using an electric van, a 71% reduction, while if the diesel van was replaced by an electric cargo bike the carbon emissions would drop from 2.65kg to 0.04kg CO2e, a reduction of 99%

    A secondary finding highlights the warm reception of market traders to alternative transportation methods – 90% of all market traders and 57% of all market businesses engaged with the project. From the user-base 80% of participants stated that they were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to use a zero-emission device again thanks to the benefits they experienced.

  3. E-scooter trials have fueled ‘a progressive shift away from private vehicles’ – UK Government

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    Source: MicromobilityBiz, A. Ballinger

    The review commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) covers the 32 e-scooter rental schemes run across the UK between July 2020 and early 2022.

    The report highlights both the positive areas and any areas for concern created by the e-scooter schemes. Of particular interest, the report notes a “progressive increase in mode shift away from private vehicles as trials matured“, with the majority of residents seeing the introduction of the schemes as a positive thing.

    A key concern is that surrounding the safety of the relatively new technology, with data indicating e-scooter collisions to be more common than those of either conventional bikes or e-bikes. Further concerns regard the technical elements of the scooters (audibility, viability, and acceleration), as well as the behavior of users in shared pedestrian and road spaces.

    The trials have seen shifts in policy throughout their operation, including mandatory identification numbers, and increased campaigning for helmet usage, parking responsibility, and care while riding.

    In response to the report, the DfT said: “To maximise the benefits of the e-scooter trials evaluation report, DfT will learn lessons from this evaluation and we look forward to releasing further information on the future policy around e-scooters and similar light electric vehicles.”

    To read more on the current state of shared e-scooter rental schemes in the UK, see our recent article “UK shared e-scooter trials reach 30 million total journeys.”

  4. UK shared e-scooter trials reach 30 million total journeys

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    Source: Zag Daily, O. O’Brien

    Since launching in the summer of 2020, the UK’s shared e-scooter schemes have reached a total of 30 million journeys across multiple locations and providers.

    At present, there are 45 e-scooter fleets based in the UK, totaling 24,000 vehicles. These were established on a trial basis to test the potential for micromobility options in the UK’s urban areas. The trial officially came to a close on 30 November 2022, and local authorities must now decide on extending the scheme in their area until 31 May 2024.

    Status of extension, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Confirmed: London, Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Southampton, Bournemouth/Poole, Colchester, Chelmsford, Salford, Portsmouth, Basildon, Norwich, York, Cheltenham, Chester, Isle of Wight, Great Yarmouth, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Yeovil, Gloucester, Princes Risborough, Sunderland (with new operator), Taunton, Minehead.
    • Anticipated: Liverpool, Nottingham, Northampton, Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Rushden & Higham Ferrers, University of Warwick, Oxford, Middlesbrough.
    • No news yet: Redditch, Hartlepool, Scunthorpe, Whitehaven, West Bromwich.
    • Closing: Canterbury, Slough.

    UK Fleet distribution and journey totals, as reported by Zag Daily:

    • Bristol (Voi): 7.1 million in 25 months
    • Liverpool (Voi): 3.4 million in 25 months
    • Northampton (Voi): 2.1 million in 26 months
    • Nottingham (Superpedestrian replaced WIND): 2.1 million in 25 months
    • London (Tier, Lime and Dott): 2 million in 18 months 
    • Also over 1 million: Milton Keynes (Lime, TIER, Ginger), Birmingham (Voi) and Cambridge (Voi). 
    • Close to 1 million: Newcastle (Neuron) and Southampton (Voi)

    Voi is one of the UK’s most successful micromobility providers. Head of Public Policy for UK and Ireland Matthew Pencharz, shared with Zag Daily: “Reaching more than 30 million rides highlights the UK as one of the most dynamic and exciting markets for micromobility in Europe. 

    “Over the last two years, Voi has established itself as an important part of people’s daily lives in how they get around. Recent research shows that in 2022 alone its services created more than £50m in economic and social value.

    “While there has been a demonstrable success in the modal shift away from the car, micromobility remains a nascent industry in the UK. For the long-term viability of the industry, operators need to work actively with cities and central Government to ensure a level playing field for all and that the cost of operating in the UK doesn’t threaten their ability to deliver a financially sustainable service.”

  5. Rad Power Bikes announces new CEO and opens UK service centres

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    Phil Molyneux becomes the CEO of LEVA-EU member Rad Power Bikes, following previous positions at Sony and Dyson.

    Molyneux will replace Mark Radenbaugh, who steps down from the role of CEO but remains the brand’s Chairman. “With Phil now leading the day-to-day operations, Mike will focus on eBike advocacy and innovation. Together they are devoted to accelerating the eBike revolution,” shares the Seattle-based eBike company.

    Rad Authorized UK Service Partners

    To improve after-sales service in the UK, partnerships across the nation have begun. The creation of authorized repair locations is a tried-and-tested method for improving customer satisfaction and is likely to help Rad Power grow its UK presence.

    The selected locations will offer all-around servicing capabilities, including the acquisition of spare parts for any Rad Power Bikes model. With a valid warranty, all labour and service costs are free of charge to the customer.

    In addition to regular services, Rad Partners will also have the option of offering a test ride on a Rad Power Bike, giving the brand a new physical presence.

  6. TfL and London Councils to extend London’s trial of rental e-scooters following national trial extensions

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    Source: Transport for London

    Transport for London has announced it will extend the trial of e-scooter rentals in London, ahead of the Government’s planned legalisation of private-use scooters.

    In an announcement this week, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils confirmed that e-scooter schemes in the capital run by Dott, Lime and Tier will be temporarily extended to allow authorities to collect more data on this developing mode of transport.

    TfL has also launched a competitive procurement process for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trials.

    The Department for Transport recently updated its guidance to allow rental e-scooter trials to run until 31st May, 2024. London’s schemes will now run until at least September 2023, when the procurement process is completed.

    Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m pleased that TfL and London Councils have been able to extend the country’s largest rental e-scooter trial. The Mayor and I are determined to continue building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London for everyone, and e-scooters can play a useful role in our city’s transport network by offering alternatives to car use. Through the trial, we are also helping to inform future Government legislation on these vehicles to ensure they are safe for all riders and other road users.

    The e-scooter trial has proven to be popular, with more than two million trips already taken, and this next phase of the trial will build upon this, replicating the high safety requirements and high operating standards, and continuing to learn through testing newer technology to ensure that these vehicles work for everybody. With the right regulations that prioritise safety, rental e-scooters can help ensure a green, sustainable future for London.”

    London’s e-scooter trials launched in June last year, with 10 London boroughs initially joining the schemes, with almost two million journeys made and 4,425 e-scooters currently available to hire.

    A competitive procurement for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trial has now launched and operators will be chosen on their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards, TfL said. 

    It is currently illegal to ride scooters on the road outside of these nationwide rental trials, but the Government has instigated plans to introduce a new low-speed, low-emission vehicle category, paving the way for the legalisation of privately-owned scooters. While there is no definite date for when e-scooters will be legalised, the new legislation could be introduced by summer 2023.

    The contracts let under the new procurement may run for longer than the DfT national trial term (which ends on 31st May 2024) in anticipation of new legislation being passed. To ensure there is a continuation of service in London, the current trial contracts operated by Dott, Lime and Tier, which expire this year, will be extended temporarily until the procurement is complete.  

    Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London, which is why we’re really pleased to be able to extend the e-scooter trial. We’re working closely with London Councils on our plans for the next phase of the trial, which will help us build on its successes so far. We hope Londoners can continue to benefit from the trial and we will continue to use its data to learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”   

    Throughout the continuing trial, operators will be required to provide critical data for TfL and the participating boroughs to understand the impact of e-scooters on London’s transport goals, including the Vision Zero aim to eliminate death and serious injuries from London’s roads.   

    Mayor Phil Glanville, London Councils’ climate change, transport and environment lead, said: “I am pleased that London’s rental e-scooter trial is being extended to allow more people across our capital to take advantage of this sustainable mode of transport. Thanks to the boroughs taking part in the trial, London continues to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to micro-mobility, transport and the journey to net zero.” 

    We look forward to working with TfL and stakeholders to make the next phase of the trial a success and we are confident that rental e-scooters will continue to provide an alternative to car-based travel in the capital. Safety remains our top priority and we will continue to look closely at data and insights to see how e-scooters can play a part in a more sustainable future for London.” 

  7. Wisper introduces new sales team member

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, BikeBiz

    LEVA-EU member Wisper appoints Paul Sims-Williams as a key player in dealer network development

    Sims-Williams will be working alongside Jeremy and Tim as part of the sales team, helping to support and grow the Wisper dealer network in the UK. He will be on the road visiting the dealer network and displaying the full range of Wisper bikes.

    The brand said: “As part of our continuing endeavour to provide top quality support to our dealers, and to meet the expected high demand for e-bikes in general and Wisper bikes in particular next year, we are very excited to announce that Paul Sims-Williams is joining the Wisper team!

    Sims-Williams has worked in the bike industry for over 30 years and has worked for Ison Distribution, Karrimor, Zyro and Moore Large amongst others. He has also worked in the retail sector so understands the difficulties that a bike retailer can have from day to day.

    He said that he is “really looking forward to getting out on the road for Wisper Electric Bikes. I will be taking a sample from the new Tailwind range of bikes out with me which is going to blow everyone away.”

    Wisper has this month launched its new Tailwind range of bikes which weigh just 19kg. The range has two sizes of easily removable in-frame batteries, and the three unique build kits offered on the Tailwind range allow the customer to tailor their bike to suit their specific requirements.

    Wisper has been at the forefront of the UK e-bike industry since its inception in 2005. Based near Sevenoaks in Kent, Wisper offers a high-quality range of electric bikes using the latest motor and battery technology. The brand designs and develops its bikes in-house before they are manufactured at its state-of-the-art production facility in Portugal.

  8. Veolia deploys fleet of street cleaning e-bikes across Westminster, London

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    Source: Future Transport News, T. May

    Launched in partnership with Westminster’s City Council, the e-bikes join the area’s expanding electric service fleet.

    The 14 new e-bikes are to be used for the fly-tip collection process, the delivery of commercial waste bags, and for monitoring hot spot littering areas. They join over 60 electric cleaning and collection vehicles that are already operating in the area in the council’s bid to reduce the number of diesel vehicles used in the sector.

    Helder Branco, General Manager for Veolia Westminster shared, “We’re very pleased to be operating with such a large electric fleet in Westminster. The new electric bikes not only lower emissions and contribute toward Westminster City Council’s target of net-zero emissions by 2040, but also allow us to offer a further improved and streamlined service for Westminster residents. We hope that our innovative approach to our operations across the borough will continue to set the standards for the future of sustainable operations.

    Of course, replacing diesel vehicles has extensive environmental benefits, including a significant reduction in noise pollution and a 100% reduction in operational nitrogen oxide emissions. Additionally, the bikes’ higher level of operational flexibility allows waste collection to continue during road closures and for services to be extended into pedestrianized areas. The e-bikes will contribute to the council’s 2040 net-zero commitment.

  9. 70% of British adults consider e-bikes to be a better tool than EVs for reducing carbon emissions

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    Source: BikeIsBest

    Research by BikeIsBest and the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy shows that the majority of attitudes in the UK toward e-bikes are positive. The study outlines a range of benefits and carbon reduction potential in comparison to electric vehicles (EVs).

    Conducted by YouGov, the study demonstrated broad support for e-bikes as a means of reducing carbon – even amongst those with no intention of purchasing one. Of adults who did not yet own an e-bike, one-fifth were considering purchasing one in the future, while 67% of participants stated cost as the largest single obstacle preventing purchase.

    The study touches on the potential of government policy to address this common barrier, such as subsidies or help-to-buy schemes. Whilst there is no national subsidy for e-bikes in the UK, there is for electric cars and motorbikes, despite these vehicles delivering lower health and carbon reduction benefits than e-bikes.

    The full study can be accessed here.

    The BikeIsBest campaign and Active Travel Academy highlight the following e-bike benefits in their latest report:

    Carbon emissions

    • According to research by Philips et al., “e-bikes are substantially lower emitters of carbon across their lifecycle when compared to both fossil-fuel and electric cars.”

    While e-bikes perform the same as battery electric vehicles in producing 0kg Scope 1 per km, research by Fyhri et al, states that they have substantially lower Scope 2 carbon emissions than electric vehicles due to their lower electrical power requirements. Additionally, when considering their full lifecycle emissions, including manufacture, maintenance, and disposal activities, e-bikes are substantially lower emitters of carbon in comparison to both fossil fuel and electric cars. According to the report prepared by #BikeIsBest and the Active Travel Academy, achieving widespread use of e-bikes as well as conventional bikes could replace three million car trips to work, and 10% of carbon emissions from commuting.

    Health

    • As stated in the transportation research by Castro et al., “E-bike users and users of conventional bicycles have comparable overall levels of physical activity, because e-bike users take longer trips.”

    The health benefits of e-bikes are similar to those of conventional bicycles. The physical activity required to ride e-bikes is less than that of bicycles; thanks to electrical assistance, riders can sustain a moderate cycling speed at a comfortable level of exertion across a range of otherwise challenging riding situations. Adding to this, e-bikes emit less particulate pollution than electric cars and thus have a positive impact on local air pollution.

    Economy

    • “Enabling more people to commute to work using e-bikes would increase life-expectancy and reduce absenteeism, with a potential health economic benefit of £2.2 billion per year,” according to the #BikeIsBest report.

    E-bikes present potential economic benefits besides those associated with improved health and reduced carbon. According to the #BikeIsBest and the Active Travel Academy report, in 2019, road congestion imposed an average of 115 hours of lost time to the average UK driver. This congestion is largely due to the lack of road space, which could be freed up if more space-efficient solutions were adopted, such as e-bikes. This not only applies to cars, but also, according to research by Verlinghieri et al., the use of (e)-cargo bikes could counteract even more congestion by replacing LGVs.

    Widening cycle use

    • According to the #BikeIsBest report, “because of their potential to reduce the physical exertion of cycling and therefore overcome barriers of fitness, topography, and proximity of housing to employment and other activities, users of e-bikes can encompass a wider diversity of age, gender, physical fitness and economic demographics than conventional bicycles.”

    E-bikes make it easy and practical for more people to make a wider range of trips by bike. A Swiss study found that middle-income groups were just as likely to use a conventional bike as an e-bike, both high- and low-income groups were more likely to use an e-bike (Rérat, 2021). This suggests that whilst e-bikes may appeal to higher earners as an additional transport option, they are also used by those on lower incomes as an alternative to more expensive transport options. As stated in research by Philips et al., e-bikes have been identified as a means to alleviate the economic vulnerability to increased motoring costs for those living in areas in the UK of high car dependency and low income. Adding to this, the research also suggests that e-bikes could appeal more to people of different ages and genders – as opposed to the predominantly male appeal of conventional bicycles.

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