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Taking electric bikes for a spin

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Sarah Macauley

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Taking electric bikes for a spin

  1. 1. Taking electric bikes for a spin with the RAC WA eBike Trial AITPM National Conference Sydney, 26-29 July 2016
  2. 2. Content • Overview What the trial was about… • Trial design How it worked… • Trial outcomes What it achieved… • Moving forward Keeping the momentum going…
  3. 3. Overview
  4. 4. About electric bikes (eBikes) • Bicycles with electric motors and rechargeable batteries • They take the “puff” out of cycling. • Two categories in WA – those with 200 watt outputs and ‘Pedalecs’. • Rapidly expanding global market • “Global annual sales of E-Bicycles are expected to exceed 40 million units by 2023”, Navigant Research, 2014.
  5. 5. About Perth’s congestion challenge Source: Infrastructure Australia, 2015.
  6. 6. 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). • Purpose • 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.
  7. 7. Trial design
  8. 8. Operational aspects • 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.
  9. 9. Participant recruitment • 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.
  10. 10. Data collection & evaluation • Surveys • “Before” and “after” surveys capturing travel behaviours and perceptions. • Weekly travel diaries • Record of trips, experiences and issues encountered. • Flexibility to complete daily, every couple of days or once a week. • 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 lunch break”
  11. 11. Trial outcomes
  12. 12. Commuting behaviours Mode of travel for trips to and from work 56% 23% 26% 26% 23% 27% 31% 35% 34% 39% 36% 46% 5% 4% 0% 2% 3% 1% 4% 1% 1% 1% 2% 0% 11% 1% 1% 2% 1% 0% 2% 1% 1% 2% 2% 15% 55% 57% 57% 59% 65% 55% 56% 55% 50% 48% 26% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Before Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 After 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 Bicycle e-Bike Motorbike / scooter Walk all the way Taxi Other Average: Car = 32% eBike = 55%
  13. 13. Impacts on cycling and driving 8 10 14 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 11 8 8 4 1 Extremely likely Likely Somewhat Likely Neither likely nor unlikely 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.
  14. 14. Personal benefits of cycling • 24 out of 32 respondents made financial savings • Collectively saving over $1,600 per week. • 7 reported time savings associated with their commute • Collectively saving around seven hours per week. • 23 experienced a range of health / wellbeing and / or fitness benefits
  15. 15. 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) purchased bikes. “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.
  16. 16. Moving forward
  17. 17. 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.
  18. 18. Taking eBikes for a spin
  19. 19. Acknowledgements The RAC eBike Trial was supported by: Special thanks go to the Trial Coordinators from each organisation and, of course, the 40 participants!
  20. 20. Thank you! Any questions? Sarah Macaulay, Manager, Transport Planning RAC, Advocacy and Members sarah.macaulay@rac.com.au

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