The trial has also demonstrated the personal benefits of cycling for transport, with participants experiencing financial, time and health / wellbeing benefits. Participants collectively saved over $1,600 and 7 hours per week, which is pretty impressive. Health and wellbeing benefits included improved fitness, feeling fitter and more healthy, weight loss, feeling happier and less stressed and improved sleep quality.
Taking electric bikes for a spin
Taking electric bikes for
a spin with the
RAC WA eBike Trial
AITPM National Conference
Sydney, 26-29 July 2016
What the trial was about…
• Trial design
How it worked…
• Trial outcomes
What it achieved…
• Moving forward
Keeping the momentum going…
About electric bikes (eBikes)
• Bicycles with electric motors and rechargeable
• They take the “puff” out of cycling.
• Two categories in WA – those with 200 watt outputs and
• Rapidly expanding global market
• “Global annual sales of E-Bicycles are expected to exceed
40 million units by 2023”, Navigant Research, 2014.
About Perth’s congestion challenge
Source: Infrastructure Australia, 2015.
About the trial
• The RAC eBike Trial
• Four workplaces – 40 participants.
• Participants had exclusive access to an eBike for 10 weeks
(31 August to 6 November 2015).
• Gain insight into user experiences.
• Better understand the potential of eBikes.
• Showcase the growing importance of personal mobility
options, and benefits of cycling.
The Trial was supported by the City of Perth, City of Wanneroo,
North Metropolitan Area Health Service through QEII Medical
Centre Trust, University of Western Australia, and the WA
Department’s of Transport and Sport and Recreation through the
Your Move program.
• Workplace “lease” system
• eBikes loaned for storage at place of work and home.
• Risk management
• Robust risk assessment and mitigating controls:
• Induction process.
• Crash and breakdown procedures.
• Insurances and participation T&Cs.
• eBike selection and procurement
• Choice of bike was important.
• Negotiation of supplier agreement.
• Recruitment process
• Expressions of interest.
• Eligibility criteria:
• All: be fit and healthy to ride, willing / able to commute
by bike twice a week, and happy to share experiences.
• Wanneroo participants: live within Council area and be
a Your Move participant.
• Other participants: live within 20km of work.
• 110 applicants from the four organisations.
Data collection & evaluation
• “Before” and “after” surveys capturing travel behaviours and
• Weekly travel diaries
• Record of trips, experiences and issues encountered.
• Flexibility to complete daily, every couple of days or once a
• Unable to skip weeks.
• Sharing of experiences
• “Where has your eBike taken you?”
Timely completion of travel diaries and the after survey was incentivised through prize
draws but eBike usage was not.
“Hanging out with my crew”
“Oh I do like to be beside the seaside”
“A ride through Kings Park on a sunny 200c
Mode of travel for trips to and from work
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Percentage of total trips to and from work
Car as driver
Car as passenger
Park & ride
Kiss & ride
Walk & public transport
Bicycle & public transport
e-Bike & public transport
Motorbike / scooter
Walk all the way
Car = 32%
eBike = 55%
Impacts on cycling and driving
Likely to drive a lot less often
Likely to drive less often
Likely to drive the same amount
Likely to drive more often
Likelihood of driving less
Neither likely nor unlikely
Likelihood of cycling more than before the trial“… even now the trial has
finished, I am still getting up
early in the morning to go for a
scenic bike ride along the coast”
– a UWA participant.
“It has renewed my love of
cycling, and now it is the only
way I will commute to work”
– a City of Perth participant.
Note: Results based on the 32 “after” survey completions.
“The e-bike trial experience
changed my way of thinking and
gave me the confidence to cycle as
the primary mode of transport” –
a City of Perth participant.
Personal benefits of cycling
• 24 out of 32 respondents made financial
• Collectively saving over $1,600 per week.
• 7 reported time savings associated with their
• Collectively saving around seven hours per week.
• 23 experienced a range of health / wellbeing
and / or fitness benefits
Increased awareness and appeal of eBikes
• Extensive media and industry interest
• Media coverage reached a total audience
in excess of 500,000 (to 29/12/2016).
• Satisfaction with eBike
• 29 out of 32 “satisfied” with their eBike.
• 31 out of 32 would recommend eBikes to
others for commuting.
• 17 participants (& a partner organisation)
“The trial was a life changing
experience for me…. it introduced
me to eBikes which are an excellent
option for active transport” – City
of Wanneroo participant.
Lessons learned & considerations
• Key lessons include:
• Maximise opportunities for engagement and activation.
• Understand and manage risks during trial design.
• Consider the “exit strategy”, are there opportunities to –
>> Encourage sustained behaviour change?
>> Keep the momentum going?
“I'm most definitely interested in
purchasing my e-Bike. I love it and
can't imagine life without it” –
City of Perth participant.
• Embracing the power of eBikes and encouraging
safe and responsible cycling.