A shot from the waist down of two commuters travelling on electric scooters.

ELEVATE (Innovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl)

The Project team

 Dr Ian Philips (PI), Prof Jillian Anable, [University of Leeds]

Assoc. Prof Christian Brand, Dr Labib Azzouz, [University of Oxford]

 Dr Mary Darking, Dr Sally Cairns, [University of Brighton]

 Prof Eva Heinen, [TU Dortmund]

Assoc Prof Frauke Behrendt, Clara Glachant [TU Eindhoven]

Further information contact: i.philips@leeds.ac.uk

What is the aim of the project?

The project aim is to understand the potential of existing and new forms of e-micromobility, including identifying the people, places and circumstances where they will be most useful, in order to reduce mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions while improving people's health. 

What are we doing?

For ongoing information about how our project is progressing please click here

An overview of some of our activities are as follows:

  • We are designing surveys and research trials to run in Leeds, Brighton and Oxford in 2023 and 2024.  These will be the main empirical focus of the project.  We will gather both quantitative and qualitative data to build an understanding of the potential for households who have access to e-micromobility vehicles to reduce their transport carbon emissions, given the context of their neighbourhood and other available modes of transport. 

Members of the team have produced the following papers early in the project:

This is part of our work on understanding the context and concepts of e-micromobility and, exploring the supply side, such as the technology used in light electric vehicles and the governance issues relating to parking, storage and other infrastructure.

  • We have undertaken interviews with people who own and use their own scooters in the UK, which is currently illegal but increasingly commonplace.  This forms part of our work to understand the demand side of e-micromobility, i.e. the utilisation pathways, barriers to adoption, expectations and experiences of existing (early adopter) users, through surveys, interviews, analysis of online material, and evaluation of case studies. 
  • We will develop a transport energy environment systems model for calculating the life cycle energy use and carbon emissions of light electric vehicles for active travel, and assess the potential for emission and energy savings when these substitute for other modes of transport.
  • We will help to expand the World Health Organisation’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) to include e-bikes and other forms of e-micromobility.

Why are we doing this?

The UK transport sector lags behind other sectors in its achievement of carbon emission reductions to date.  The Committee on Climate Change has been critical of this failure, and sees an important part of the solution as rapidly increasing rates of walking and cycling, and identifying an appropriate role for vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters.

There are a wide range of emerging innovative light electric vehicle technologies for active travel, including e-bikes, e-scooters, e-cargo bikes, e-skateboards, e-trikes, e-quadricycles, e-hoverboards etc.  These usually involve both electrical assistance and some energy expenditure by the user.  Their power source provides the opportunity to link to a variety of digital technologies - from unlocking shared vehicles, to 'track-and-trace' systems for delivery companies, to map systems or health feedback tools for users. 

Compared to other countries, the UK is not advanced in its uptake of a range of innovative light vehicles and related digital technologies for both passenger and freight applications.  Theoretically, if these vehicles are used to switch from car and van use, there is significant potential for reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions, and many might also generate health benefits for users.  However, there is uncertainty about how people in different types of places would actually use these modes and how these modes would affect overall travel behaviour, physical activity and energy demand in practice. 

This £1.7 million project is part of the CREDS research community and funded by UK Research and Innovation (Grant reference: UKRI EP/S030700/1)

Follow ELEVATE on social media

Our Leeds facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/ELEVATELeeds 
Our twitter handle is @_Micromobility_    https://twitter.com/_Micromobility_
Our Instagram page is: elevatemicromobility