Thus far, projects promoting the use of e-bikes have primarily been targeting commuters and older cyclists. Now the approach is becoming more focused on specific target groups, like home care workers and students in secondary and higher education.
Twente Mobiel (an organisation in the region of Twente) has recently started to target home care workers. This group is used to taking the car, even if only short distances are involved. Now, 24 home care workers in the Hengelo North region have been given the use an electric bike for a period of two months.
These persons were invited get involved in setting up the pilot scheme. A considerable amount of publicity surrounded the launch. The care workers were allowed to use the e-bike for professional and private purposes. Analysis of the results shows that, when using the e-bike, they made less use of their car: about 25%. Travel expenses fell by roughly the same percentage.
The University of Groningen is trying to persuade students to switch to e-bikes. Students who live at least 6 kilometres from the university, and who usually come to class by bus or train, will be invited to test the e-bike for a couple of months. The purpose of the pilot is to find out how best to stimulate students to use the e-bike to go to classes, so as to relieve the rush-hour pressure on overcrowded busses and trains.
They are following the example of students at the Hanze Polytechnic in Groningen, where a similar pilot was started recently and all e-bikes have been booked, much sooner than expected.
Every month, twenty students may test the e-bike, at no cost to them. They are followed with a GPS-tracker and fill out a questionnaire. The pilot results can be used to assess the possibilities and opportunities of using the e-bike for transportation to and from the university, as well as to point out possible obstacles.