From early January onwards, people in Cambridge and Peterborough city centres will be able to publicly hire electric bikes as they are rolled out by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority in collaboration with Voi Technology, the U.K.’s leading micro-mobility operator.
From the 12th of January 2021, the public will be able to enjoy greener and healthier journeys on e-bikes, while remaining socially distanced, helping to bring down COVID-19 infection rates.
The bikes can travel between 50-100 miles on a single charge. To ensure the bikes always remain powered up, batteries will be swapped out by Voi overnight and taken back to a warehouse in Cambridge to be recharged as needed.
The new e-bikes dovetail with the 12-month rental e-scooter trial recently launched by Mayor James Palmer and provided by Voi Technology.
E-scooters have become a fun and eco-friendly alternative to travelling around Cambridge. Since the trial began in October, more than 4,400 unique, active users have taken over 13,400 rides. The average ride length is 17 minutes and riders have travelled a total of nearly 30,000 km in Cambridge, which is a distance just shy of the entire length of the U.K. coastline. The number of e-scooters has scaled from an initial 50 to 350, with more additions planned in the coming weeks and months.
As low-carbon modes of transport, e-scooters and e-bikes are good for the environment. Based on a forecasted 12–16% car replacement rate and standard utilisation rates, the Combined Authority expects to save 48–115 tonnes CO2 eq. in Cambridge over the course of the trial.
E-scooters and e-bikes also help to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. As well as providing a socially distanced way to travel, to keep riders safe, all Voi e-scooters are disinfected daily, and the handlebars of each scooter feature copper tape that inactivates coronavirus on contact. The Voi app provides COVID-19 information and advice, such as advising riders towear gloves if that makes them feel more comfortable.
More details about the electric bike scheme, including numbers of e-bikes, locations, and operational areas in Cambridge and Peterborough will be released in early January ahead of the launch.
Mayor James Palmer said:
“Cambridge is renowned for being a cycling city and electric bikes have the potential to revolutionise travel, helping more people to go further and at their convenience. We are launching this in Cambridge and Peterborough city centres, but we plan to introduce them across the region in due course, including in market towns such as St Ives.
“E-bikes make fast, clean, and inexpensive journeys possible, helping to ease congestion, reduce pollution and allow for social distancing.”
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi, said:
“We are delighted to work with the Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority to bring our shared e-bike scheme to these cities early next year. Similarly to our e-scooters, shared e-bikes offer a green and socially distanced mode of transport and a great alternative to car journeys, reducing congestion and carbon emissions.”