The University of Limerick has started a research project to determine the effects of ebikes on health, the environment, and transport behaviors.
This project is known as the ISCycle project which was started at the Castleroy campus. Basically, each one of the participants of this project was loaned ebikes for a period of four to twelve weeks. Their usage of various transportation was then thoroughly measured.
The team was led by a member of the UL Health Research Institute, Dr. James Green. The research team studied exactly how ebikes affected the usage of private automobiles. In Ireland, private cars make up 75% of the preferred mode of transport.
In Limerick City, ISCycle will continue to be implemented in workplaces. The first study site was the University of Limerick. This study will be ongoing in 2023 as well as 2024. The first findings will be made available in the first few months of the next year.
Professor Kerstin Mey who is University of Limerick’s President, indicated that ebikes may potentially replace cars in the future. However, this needs to be thoroughly researched to determine the possibilities for Ireland.
She goes on to say that it is a great initiative and this project will make use of the Smarter Travel investment. It is also in line with the university’s sustainability framework for 2030.
Dr. James Green who is the project leader also indicated that the people taking part in the study should spend more time using their ebikes as opposed to driving their personal vehicles.
He also went on to elaborate that the point of the project is to determine the possible implications of widespread ebike usage within Ireland. This includes the environmental impact, circular economy effects as well as how electrical waste recycling systems would be affected.
Another aim of the ISCycle project is to determine the health benefits gained through more physical activity with ebikes. With that said, ebikes have an electric motor that helps persons who need to travel longer distances. These bikes also allow you to travel on hilly roads, hold cargo, and even transport passengers.
In the project, ISCycle will provide the participants with different types of ebikes. For example, cargo ebikes allow you to have passengers or even transport goods such as groceries. They also include folding ebikes which make storage a lot easier and you can store them in your home or even take them on public transportation as needed.
Each of the participants will also be given necessary accessories such as trailers, rain gear, and even special child seats if they have kids. Proper cycling skills will also be taught to each one of the study’s participants.