Behavior Change: Paradigm shift towards e-bikes in Nairobi by Green Sun Cities
Assessing social behavior of Nairobi residents on adopting to green transport while piloting our e-bikes as alternative means of transport.
Green Sun Cities understands the adverse impact of climate change and effects of transport sector to urban air quality. Therefore, this research project aims at assessing social behaviour change of Nairobi residents towards switching to green transport with special emphasis on e-bikes as alternative means of transport to work or for leisure.
China leads the world in e-bike sales, followed by the Netherlands and Germany. In Kenya, to date, the use of e-bikes is unique to the evolution of transportation technology and, thus far would represent the transition from human-powered bicycles, buses, gasoline powered cars and gasoline-powered scooters to an all-electric vehicle/fuel technology system.
Research on e-bikes is still in its infancy worldwide (Fishmana and Cherry, 2015). Given the differences in the legislation, transport infrastructure, types of e-bikes and travel behaviour between Kenya and China, the transferability of the results is questionable. It is therefore imperative to have baseline research from Kenya and in order to provide the necessary data to inform policy-makers and industry.
To influence a shift in adoption of e-bikes, effective promotion campaigns need to be designed and pilot cycling commission within various streets. This requires detailed knowledge on user characteristics and motivations.
This research can provide important insights to policy makers in the various counties in Kenya on how regulatory policy can change the purchase choice of millions and create a new mode of transportation particularly as we seek more seek more sustainable forms of transportation. To summarize this research aims to study the feasibility and adoptability of e-bikes, to explore the advantages and disadvantages for their use. Furthermore, the study aims to investigate how respondents perceived using these e-bikes through climate change conscious questions.
It is expected that an Agreement of Cooperation will be signed between Green Sun Cities and Partners. Technical team set up. Design the pro-type e-bike with partners on board. It will include design of online platforms, mobile app to support use e-bikes, e-cards for e-bike users, solar powered parking lots, and routes for pilot and changing rooms. We have started discussions with Strathmore Energy Research Centre to develop detailed proposal and solicit funds.
What actions do you propose?
The e-bikes will be designed to reduce use of too much force when cycling uphill. It will be rechargeable bike using solar powered parking lots or when cycling. This will encourage users since most Nairobi residents walk to work. It will save them walking time and easy their means of work. Also ensure they keep fit.
We will set the pilot e-bikes on new roads of Kileleshwa and Thika road that have dedicated and unused bike lanes. It will be free subscription model with docking stations and access to the e-bikes via cards. Members will be enrolled using free e-cards. Mobile app will be set to assist members on locating nearest dock station and e-bikes available. Thereafter we will encourage corporate partners to join on board and sponsor this campaign through advertisement on bikes. It will generate revenue for us to expand to more routes and partner with various counties or cities authority to put in place more infrastructures. If advertisement picks fast we will not charge any members subscription fee. We target the majority walking population and upper class that prefer bikes for leisure. Thereafter will breakeven after one year and capture the mid-class that drives to work. Further to concerns of riders, we will include free safety gears, safety marshals, insurance and trainings through public forums.
Who will take these actions?
Green Sun Cities will spearhead the project through partnership with county governments, research institutions, and manufacturer of bikes and multi-lateral agencies to fund the process. The county government will rent the lanes to Green Sun Cities to pilot e-bikes. The rent amount will be used by county government to maintain the networks for cycling in the pilot area. The research institutions will work with us to assess behaviour change of users and compare health statistics on user’s of car vs cycling residents. The manufacturer is useful as we will work closely to transfer our draft pro-type e-bike from paper to reality as well as put in place charging slots at the docking stations. Collaboration with multi-lateral agencies shall be established to fund the pilot phase of this project and future expansion.
Where will these actions be taken?
The pilot phase of e-bikes will focus on Nairobi since our preliminary study on Green Transport Solutions for Developing Cities: A case study of Nairobi whose findings indicate that nearly 47% of urban population walks to work. On the other hand it will provide guidance on investing in green transport solutions such as e-bikes for majority walking population and gradual inculcate a cycling culture in Nairobi.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
The CO2 emissions per passanger are less than 20g compared using private car at 229g. Therefore, it will reduce emission by nearly 90% per passenger is Nairobi city and ensuring it is sustainable path of development.
What are other key benefits?
This project will create employment for youth as they will work as assistants, marshals and security officers besides the management. It will improve the physical health of users through fit cycling. In addition, it will reduce emissions from cars, encourage use of renewable technologies such as solar and reduce poor families transport burden to work.
What are the proposal’s costs?
It will cost nearly US$ 72,000 to have 30 e-bikes pilot running in Nairobi city. We foresee return of investment in three years with consistence marketing
0-3 Months – Development of Concept, Formulate Technical team and Develop proposal for funding.
4-7 Months – Pro-type e-bike being developed with selected manufacturer.
8-12 Months – Roll out of pilot e-bikes as well as survey on users.
1 year – Progressive review and improvements of pilot e-bikes
2 years – expand the project with more e-bikes.
None at the moment
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