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BSR-ELECTRIC Newsletter Nr. 2

Dear readers,

we are happy to send you our second BSR electric newsletter and inform you about our latest project activities and news from the BSR electric project.

This project aims at enhancing the utilization of e-mobility in urban transport systems around the Baltic Sea Region by demonstrating potential applications of various types of urban e-mobility such as electric city logistics, e-bikes, e-buses, e-scooters and e-ferries. Transnational pilot activities will outline how different e-mobility applications can be implemented in practice and will guide public authorities, companies, planners and transport providers in the process of integrating these into urban transport strategies.
We have successfully finished the first year of project implementation, with our 7 use cases all having started their assessments and our third partner meeting held in Hoeje-Taastrup end of October.  This was accompanied by a very interesting capacity building seminar on e-logistics. You can find out more about it here:

We set the focus of this newsletter on e-bikes to introduce this type of e-vehicle that is part of our use cases 2, 4 and 5. Also, our Polish partner Gdansk held three webinars on the topic (one in English and two in Polish; the recordings and info will follow on our website under news soon). With this focus, we would like to provide you with accompanying project activities on e-bikes and the state-of-the-art information from our mapping activity in work package 2, created by Lindholmen Science Park.. 

We hope you enjoy reading it!

ABOUT BSR-electric

The common challenge of all partner countries are the EU’s ambitious targets for the reduction of transport sector emissions and the aim to phase out conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban transport by 2050. E-vehicles produce significantly less CO2 and noise emissions and are therefore the ideal means of transport in an urban context given the relatively short distances. While national promotion strategies for e-mobility have primarily focused on individual car use, other potential applications have received less attention. These include:
  • Electric delivery vans and trucks that could greatly reduce the CO2 and noise emissions of the urban logistics sector
  • Urban companies and public authorities operating large fleets of cars, e.g. for maintenance workers, that could be replaced by e-vehicles
  • E-bikes (rented/owned) that can be used by commuters to travel the last mile to their workplace or for business trips in inner cities
  • E-buses to make public transport even more environmentally friendly if routes, charging infrastructure and operational routines are planned and designed effectively
  • E-scooters to increase the accessibility of public places such as cemeteries and hospitals for people with impaired mobility, thereby strengthening social inclusion
  • Electric ferries and water taxis to complement public transport systems in the many coastal cities of the Baltic Sea Region.

FOCUS: E-bikes

One activity in our Work Package 2 (Scoping: Gathering stakeholder information on theme-specific e-mobility solutions) was the mapping of the state-of-the-art on e-mobility carried out by Lindholmen Science Park. E-bikes are part of three use cases, which highlights the importance this type of vehicle also has in our project.

E-bikes are an old invention, but they have increased in importance over the past twenty years. They are the most common electric vehicle in the world. L
egally speaking, to call it a bike depends on the kind of speed that are regulated by law. In the EU, it is often 25 km/h, which is the upper limit. It is possible to buy e-bikes that have more power and can be faster. E-bikes that can go up to 50 km/h often require driving licenses, which is supported by some studies that show these faster e-bikes more often replace car trips.

The advantage of e-bikes is that the battery is small, and it is often possible to remove it and charge it at home. The technology is therefore not as dependent on sizeable public charging infrastructure.
E-bikes can
also be used on bicycle roads. In many cities, it is an advantage not to share the road with cars, which often go faster. However, there is a discussion about how well the combination of e-bikes and bicycles work together from a road safety point of view.

E-bikes are attributed to have a health impact. Some believe that only regular bicycle trips are replaced and then it is doubtful whether e-bicycles provide any effect. They are often used for longer journeys or for work trips up to 5-10 km. This effect can also have an environmental impact as e-bike trips replace car trips. Another health effect is that senior citizens continue to cycle if they have an electric bike.
A strong trend all around the world are sharing systems ranging from free-floating systems, where bikes can be left anywhere in the city, to fixed points, where bikes need to be returned to a particular station. However, the requirement for charging increases, therefore it is necessary to build higher capacity charging systems.
E-bikes are often large in countries that already have relatively much cycling. Market share in relation is large in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden. In Germany, 700.000 e-bikes were sold 2017- compared to the total amount of 3.8 million bicycles. Belgium has a unique state support system, which has increased sales to the fact that e-bikes have a market share of up to 45-50%.

A special niche of e-bikes are cargo bicycles. They can be used as taxis, lorries or for individuals who replace their car. There are also many craftsmen who need a vehicle to carry their tools. A cargo bicycle can often be parked more efficiently, and with the help of bicycle access, they usually have an average speed that can resemble a motor vehicle. It is a growing market, which has many start-up companies producing cargo bikes. Some believe that electric cargo bicycles are the next growth market for e-bikes, which can also be used for last-mile delivery.

E-bikes: A cool launch for the Turku use case

BSR electric's Finnish project partner Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) has leased two e-bikes for Arkea Ltd - a Turku city-owned company providing a wide range of maintenance, food, cleaning, and security services in the city area.

One of the bikes is an electrified city bike, used for work-related travel by the office employees stationed at Arkea headquarters. The other vehicle is a sturdier electrified 3-wheeler with some storage space for utilities.

The cargo bike is used by Arkea's maintenance workers for practical on-the-job tasks, ranging from garden work to regular real estate maintenance. Both e-bikes are equipped with studded tires making them suitable for the unpredictable winter conditions of southwestern Finland.
The use case launch took place in November 2018 in sunny and crispy weather conditions. Overall, about 15 open-minded employees joined the e-bike launch, and the comments and experiences gathered from this first contact were very positive and encouraging.
The participants were surprised that the e-bikes were easy to use and comfortable to ride, and many contemplated on taking them for a longer ride. Even the cargo bike was deemed as simple to maneuver if the rider remembers to consider the wider turning radius. As the leasing contract between TUAS and the leasing provider Järvi Leasing Ltd is valid until the beginning of June 2019, many more employees should take the e-bikes for a longer spin.

The use case will provide the project with valuable information on the suitability of e-bikes for various purposes and travel types. The long leasing period also allows the project to gather information on how e-bikes behave under extreme climatic conditions ranging from snow, slush, ice and sleet to regular spring and summer weather.

E-bike promotion campaign in Gdansk

The city of Gdansk carried out an e-bike promotion campaign, which included e-bike demonstration actions for everyday - single and multimodal - trips in the city.
The campaign, titled OGR - Kręć Kilometry dla Gdańska (Register Kilometers for Gdansk), lasted two months, from 1st September to 31st October 2018.

The OGR was designed as a “bike to work” campaign aimed at encouraging people to commute by bicycles, classic or electrically assisted ones.
With the use of a smartphone app participants registered their trips and distances travelled and competed against each other, either individually or in teams from public and private companies, firms and other organizations.
Merging normal bike and e-bike campaigns gained a far wider attention than a stand-alone e-bike campaign would ever attain.
To suit tastes of as many people as possible six various types of e-bikes were leased with different drive units and frame sizes.
The event was promoted by radio and social media, posters, webpages and through leaflet distribution as well as by 15.000 reflective bands, which had been distributed as on-street giveaways.

Additionally six e-bicycle tours of Gdansk were organized. During a certain period (mostly a few days), free e-bicycles could be tested and it was possible to question experts.
The testing activities and tours were published on the municipal webpage, via social media and by the local radio station.
Similar campaigns had been organized in other cities of northern Poland, enabling a mild competition among cities.
The campaign turned out to be a huge success. In Gdansk 3.543 participants joined the campaign, who together registered 1.644.594 kilometers by bicycles. The best performing users and companies were awarded with gifts funded by the city.
E-bike motivation campaign by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY)
In spring 2018, the Finnish project partner HSY was looking for families, interested in testing e-bikes and substituting their second car with a bike for a month. In June, four families were selected (out of over 900 registrations) to join the social media content on their e-bike experiment.
Four short films about the families’ test month accompanied the project. The videos were marketed with social media advertising. The films are available also in English text versions and clean versions without any text. Here is one example of the English text version: https://youtu.be/bnbslyd-Y18
An e-bike testing campaign at Korkeasaari zoo from May 21st to June 3rd offered families the possibility to go by e-bike from the parking slot to the gate of the zoo or vice versa (around 400 meters).

Thereby the parents had the opportunity to try e-biking while the children traveled with an e-bike taxi. Around hundred families participated in the campaign, which resulted in a very positive feedback of the participants.

Three videos about the testing campaign at Korkeasaari were produced. The English version of one Korkeasaari video is available here:


Another part of the HSY use case are pilots and case studies in suburbs. Ten e-bike testing events in the suburbs and also in the city center were conducted. The project also organized two e-bike tours to the Parliament of Finland. The feedback of the participants of these happenings was very positive.

More News from E-bikes in the Baltic Sea region

Mevo – e-bike sharing scheme in Gdansk Metro Region to start in a few weeks. 
Gdansk Metropolitan Region is about to start a public e-bike-sharing scheme called Mevo, which will be introduced also introduced in 13 other nearby municipalities and communes.

About 4.080 public GPS-enabled e-bicycles will be available at 368 dedicated parking facilities in the region; 2.226 alone in the city center. The e-bicycles can be returned to dedicated bike parks at no additional charge or at a small charge anywhere else in the city. If there are no charging docks available, technical teams swap the vehicles and the batteries.

The system will run on affordable short or long-term contracts or a pay-as-you-go tariff. It is expected that the e-bike sharing system will boost the number of bike trips and be an effective link of multimodal green trips in Gdansk and its metro region.
Since most of the terrain covered by the system is hilly, it should appeal also to those who do not use their own bicycles due to the extra effort of riding uphill.  The system is scheduled to start beginning of December, with 30% of the fleet available for the wintertime.
This fully electric public bike system is one of the largest in Europe, probably in the world. The Mevo project is co-financed by ERDF funds from the European Union.


We have a lot planned for 2019, but there is still one highlight in December: a webinar on e-buses (from a different perspective!).
It will be held already TODAY (December 13th) at 15:30 (UTC+1) and is organised from our Swedish partners Lindholmen Science Park. The webinar is publicly accessible, and you can find all information needed at our website:

Our next newsletter is planned for April 2019, after we have held our partner meeting in Oslo. We are already looking forward to experience the innovative Norwegian e-mobility concepts. 

Lastly, we would like to end this newsletter by wishing you and your families and friends a relaxed holiday season and a merry Christmas!

Contact Lead Partner

Prof. Dr. (mult.) Dr. h.c. (mult.) Walter Leal
Dr. Mareike Fellmer
Jennifer Pohlmann
Dr. Claudia Schultz

Research and Transfer Centre „Sustainability and Climate Change Management“
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
Ulmenliet 20
21033 Hamburg, Germany
T +49.40.428 75-6075
F +49.40.428 75-6079

If you don't want to receive any more messages (to: Jenniferlouise.pohlmann@haw-hamburg.de) any longer, you can unsubscribe free of charge at any time.

HAW Hamburg
Claudia Schultz
Ulmenliet 20
21033 Hamburg