Electric bikes to help staff get to work

Posted by ap507 at Jul 29, 2014 04:45 PM |
University's bike pool bolstered by Ebike Centres
Electric bikes to help staff get to work

From L to R: Michelle Munday from the University’s Estates and Facilities department, Liam Dunphy, managing director of Ebike Centres and Trevor Humphreys the Director of Estates at the University.

A new fleet of electric bikes is encouraging staff at the University to cycle between campuses.

Leicester electric bike specialists Ebike Centres have supplied two FreeGo electric cycles for the University’s new bike pool, which also includes conventional cycles and is available for all Brookfield-based staff to use with plans to roll the scheme out to other University staff in the future.

Dr Sandra Lee from the University's Environment Team, who set up the bike pool, says the new bikes are already helping to get more university staff to cycle instead of using cars.

She said: “One of the barriers to cycling to work that I hear regularly is people not wanting to turn up sweaty or having to get changed. These bikes allow you to pedal in your normal work clothes, even a skirt and heels, without breaking sweat. They allow staff to travel between sites effortlessly, faster than other travel modes, and won’t clog up precious car park spaces.”

The University also operates a Cycle to Work scheme that encourages staff to ditch their cars in favour of bikes, at least occasionally. The government-backed scheme allows employees to obtain a bike on interest-free credit and save around a third of the tax on the repayments. Electric bikes are also available through the cycle to work scheme, so this allows staff a chance to try them on a short business trip before they decide to buy their own.

The bikes use a motor powered by a small lithium-ion battery to provide pedal assistance. A cadence sensor monitors how quickly the rider is pedalling and applies power accordingly. The result is a smooth ride and speeds of beyond 15mph.