Light Electric Vehicles for Active Travel: the potential for reducing energy demand and carbon emissions EPSRC DTP)


Contact Dr Eva Heinen ( to discuss this project further informally. Other supervisor will be Professor Jillian Anable.

Project description

A massive reduction in energy consumption is required to reach the set target on CO2 emissions. Transport is a main cause of air pollution in cities producing almost 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Coupled with major concerns over lack of physical activity and declining levels of walking, there is a critical need to accelerate initiatives that shift people away from dependence on the private car.

Looking ahead, there is the potential for a more integrated and connected future mobility system, which will allow for much greater use of different forms of transport. Light Electric Vehicles for Active Travel (LEVATs) (cargo e-bikes, e-scooters, e-boards, e-trikes, e-quadricycles) are novel modes of transport that have the potential to reduce energy demand, to reduce carbon emission and to increase physical activity. However, given their novelty they are not yet widely adopted. To overcome this challenge, the barriers for purchase and use need to be identified and overcome.

This project aims to understand the potential for the reduction in energy demand and carbon emissions as a result of the uptake LEVATs. The various forms of LEVATs vary in the demand for energy and the levels of carbon emissions. These may be further dependent on the characteristics of a journey, e.g. some LEVATs may be more energy efficient for short distances, whereas others may be for larger distances. Moreover, LEVATs may differ in their potential for usage.

Some LEVATs may be particularly useful for freight transport, while other LEVATs may be more suitable for individual travel. This project will explore the energy demand profiles of each LEVAT looking at the potential users and the potential usage. This understanding will contribute to inform design and improvement of LEVATs. This project fits in the Energy theme of EPSRC as well as the strategic university and school theme of Energy.

Entry requirements

You must have achieved a bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent, or a good performance in a Masters level course preferably in a quantitative discipline. We also recognise relevant industrial and academic experience.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website.

If you require any further information, please contact the Graduate School Office e:, or t: +44 (0)113 343 35326.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.