The Welsh Government has announced plans to fund pilot schemes to accelerate the uptake of electric bikes and electric cargo bikes across Wales.
Four e-bike ‘hubs’ will be established in Rhyl, Swansea, Aberystwyth (with links to Newton) and Barry, offering low cost hire and long term loan of e-bikes for local residents.
Two e-cargo bike ‘libraries’ will also be established in Aberystwyth and Swansea, which will offer free trials of e-cargo bikes as well as advice and training for local businesses and residents.
The schemes are expected to run over two years and will be open to the public and businesses in the summer.
Sustrans Cymru will work with local social enterprises to deliver these pilots, engaging with participants and using monitors fitted to the e-bikes and e-cargo bikes to develop an evidence base.
Numerous studies indicate e-bikes support increases in active travel and therefore help to combat climate change, air pollution and congestion, while delivering significant health and wellbeing benefits for communities.
E-cargo bikes also offer the potential to address the rise in van traffic, which has increased by around a quarter in Wales since 2008.
Their use can replace vans for short journeys, for example in last mile deliveries and therefore will also help to reduce emissions, air pollution and congestion in towns and cities.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport said: “We want to give people more options of how to get around and in particular we want to make greener forms of transport more convenient and accessible. Sustainable travel requires a culture change and the pilots are another step towards delivering our goal.
“There is a strong link between e-bikes and active travel as more people get used to being on bikes. There are also specific benefits in rural communities where longer distances are more common, with e-bikes making cycling viable for more people.
“These pilots will be used to gather evidence and inform policy, with a view to a wider rollout in the future.”