50 e-cargo bikes for University of Limerick research study
This week the president of University of Limerick Professor Kerstin Mey invited me to the launch of the ISCycle, an innovative new research project examining how e-bikes can change transport behaviours to improve health and protect the environment.
ISCycle stands for Inclusive e-bike uptake and Sustainable use and it’s led by Dr James Green from the School of Allied Health and Physical Activity for Health Research Centre in UL. UL campus will be the first study site for ISCycle project with participants to be loaned different types of e-bikes. ISCycle will then be rolled out in phases across workplace settings in Limerick City
Electric bikes are becoming a primary mode of transport in cities across the world. They make journeys in the 5-10 km range cycleable and attractive, and have the potential to displace car journeys and bus journeys in this range.
We intuitively know that e-bikes will be a big part of the solution to our transport-climate challenge. However, data and research in the Irish context is limited. This Department of Transport and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) supported study with University of Limerick is going to change that.
I very much agree with Professor Mey who sees the promising potential for e-bikes to replace private car trips but needs to be examined in the Irish context.
System change in transport means making our society much less car-oriented than it currently is. In Ireland we drive a lot of short journeys, and these account for about 40% of transport emissions. Many of these short journeys - to school, work, the shops, sports clubs - whether in rural or urban Ireland - could be done by walking, cycling or electric bike (where it is safe to do so).