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CityBike: A comfortable, safe, and adaptable electric-bike for everyone

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CityBike (CityBike: A comfortable, safe, and adaptable electric-bike for everyone)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2017-11-30

Policy reforms promoting healthy lifestyles and environmentally friendly transport have led the rising use of bicycles and electric bicycles as a form of daily transport in EU countries. Unfortunately, existing bicycle designs are based on competition bicycles which are uncomfortable and perceived to be dangerous. This means that they fail to cater for riders concerned about safety, older citizens - particularly those with musculoskeletal problems, and tourists in search for a more leisurely biking experience. These cyclists make of approximately 10% of potential customers. Increasing the cyclist population will help the EU meet its goals of saving €5.5 trillion in energy use by 2030, reducing GHG emissions by 60% by 2050, increasing bicycle use as a part of transport modal share system, and reducing the health cost of cycling accidents and the aging society. Kjarnar has addressed this gap in the market by designing an e-bike with such a high level of adaptability that it can be used by anyone and everyone, including older citizens, physically impaired cyclists, daily commuters, university or business campus members, and tourist users of bike sharing schemes.
With the help of €71.429 in phase 1 investment, the CityBike prototype has reached Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and a specific commercial approach to clients and business model. We have also conducted focus group tests on 5 potential CityBike users, culminating in the development of prototype no. 2 and a report summarised in the Feasibility Study. Prototype no. 2 considers more detailed user needs in terms of flexibility and safety.
Existing models of e-bikes primarily have gears, brake levers, speed controls and chains, that may be difficult to control especially for physically impaired users, and inconvenient to use/ maintain for leisurely cyclists or daily commuters. Furthermore, these models have uncomfortable seat to handle bar configurations because they are based on competition bicycle models. Our progress beyond the state-of-art includes a safer and more comfortable e-bike with lower maintenance effort and cost, able to fully address the gap in the market. CityBike has the potential to increase the bicycle market by at least 12% through sales to impaired and risk averse final-users, and by an additional 8% through sales to tourism and/or leisure cyclists.