The Welsh Government is to set up four e-bike hubs and two e-cargo bike libraries as it looks to encourage wider uptake.
The two e-cargo bike libraries, in Aberystwyth and Swansea, will offer free trials of e-cargo bikes as well as advice and training for local businesses and residents.
Similar schemes are already in place elsewhere in the UK. For example, the Edinburgh e-cargo bike library was instrumental in getting the Farr Out delivery service up and running during lockdown last year. (You can read their story here.)
The four e-bike hubs in Rhyl, Swansea, Aberystwyth (with links to Newtown) and Barry will offer low cost hire and long-term loan of e-bikes for local residents.
The schemes will run for two years and open to the public and businesses in the summer.
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters, said: “We want to give people more options of how to get around, and in particular we want to make greener forms of transport more convenient and accessible. Sustainable travel requires a culture change and the pilots are another step towards delivering our goal.
“There is a strong link between e-bikes and active travel as more people get used to being on bikes. There are also specific benefits in rural communities where longer distances are more common, with e-bikes making cycling viable for more people.
“These pilots will be used to gather evidence and inform policy, with a view to a wider rollout in the future.”
Christine Boston, the director of Sustrans Cymru, added: “Sustrans Cymru are thrilled to be delivering this pilot project in five locations across Wales. e-Bikes and e-Cargo bikes have the potential to transform the way people think about active travel.
“By working directly with communities, we will gather valuable data from participant feedback including journey patterns, barriers and network development needs. This will in turn help inform Welsh Government of the potential that e-bikes hold in decarbonising transport.
“The project will empower people who would not usually cycle to try a sustainable way of travelling. It will also provide an alternative travel option to those who may not own a car.”