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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/S030700/1
Title Innovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl (ELEVATE): reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions
Status Started
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Transport) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Business and Management Studies) 20%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 10%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 20%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 20%;
Principal Investigator Dr I Philips
No email address given
Institute for Transport Studies
University of Leeds
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 June 2021
End Date 31 May 2025
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £1,392,602
Industrial Sectors Energy; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr I Philips , Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Dr C Brand , Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Prof JL (Jillian ) Anable , Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (0.001%)
Ms M Sourbati , Sch of Computing, Engineering & Maths, University of Brighton (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Leeds City Council (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sustrans (0.000%)
Project Contact , Oxfordshire County Council (0.000%)
Project Contact , East Sussex County Council (0.000%)
Project Contact , World Health Organisation (WHO) (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The UK transport sector lags behind all other sectors in its achievement of energy diversification and carbon emission reductions to date, with emissions from transport essentially unchanged since the benchmark year of 1990. The Committee on Climate Change have been very critical of this failure and identified electrically-assisted scooters and bikes as part of solutions that need to be urgently accelerated. Indeed, the UK lags behind other countries in the uptake of a range of innovative light vehicles for both passenger and freight applications. Examples include electrically-assisted: bicycles, cargo bicycles, push scooters, skateboards, trikes, quadricycles, hoverboards etc. These involve some electrical assistance, as well as some energy expenditure by the user. Hence, we class these vehicles as light electric vehicles for active travel (LEVATs). They enable people to cycle, scoot, skate or otherwise travel more easily or enjoyably than conventional walking or cycling. 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 - what ELEVAVTE refers to as 'digital' travel. Innovation at the interface of e-mobility and digital technologies plays a key role for the uptake of these novel modes, with energy, IT and transport industries as key players.Increased uptake of these vehicles has significant potential for reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions, especially when users switch from non-active modes such as cars or vans. The aim of this project is to better understand these opportunities - the technological and business options and specifications, where and who they might appeal to, what trips they could be used for, how far they could replace conventional motor vehicle trips - and some of the challenges that accompany them - such as overall energy usage, safety and regulatory issues, digital integration, physical environment design, battery standardisation and behavioural inertia. After developing typologies and technology assessments based on multiple criteria, the empirical end user research will consist of surveys (aiming for 1,200 responses), demonstration days (aiming to engage at least 300 people) and longer trials with at least 60 private individuals in 3 cities in England throughout 2020 and 2021. Quantitative surveys and in-depth interviews will be undertaken with participants before and after usage to understand changes in user perceptions and experience, triangulated with GPS tracking of the trial vehicles and contextual data (e.g. weather, hilliness). As part of the work, we will develop new safety training resources for each mode, drawing on, and adapting, existing UK initiatives and international experience and working towards certified schemes. Freight applications in the logistics industry will be analysed through expert interviews and case studies. A number of technology and demand scenarios will assess the whole lifecycle health and environmental impacts. This will include work with the World Health Organization expert group to extend the HEAT tool (which enables users without expertise in impact assessment to conduct economic assessments of the health impacts of walking or cycling) to include these types of vehicle.This project is supported by a range of partners - including the three local authorities, Sustrans and the World Health Organization - and will be guided by an advisory panel. We will also engage with a range of industry stakeholders, through the Transport Systems Catapult, Clean Growth UK and other means. We also envisage international engagement in the work, given the rapidly evolving and growing nature of the topic, and the lack of a substantial academic literature on the implications of these innovative light vehicles for energy demand, mobility and climate change.

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Added to Database 23/08/21