Innovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl (ELEVATE): reducing mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions

Project Details


The ELEVATE project aims to understand the role that light electric vehicles can play in reducing car travel. There are currently a number of barriers to using light electric vehicles. E-boards and e-scooters remain illegal for use in the UK except on private land or as part of a trial. E-bikes are expensive, making secure storage and locks a concern. Larger e-bikes such as cargo e-bikes, e-trikes and e-quadricycles offer alternatives to petrol-based delivery and transport but require curb-side space and charging points. In addition to these practical barriers there are concerns over safety and the use of new technologies.

For light electric vehicles to play a part in sustainability agendas, policies and interventions to overcome these barriers will be required. This project will provide findings and guidelines to support medium-sized cities and other localities evaluate and introduce policies to support the adoption of electric vehicles as alternatives to petrol or diesel-fuelled travel.

This project aims to explore how light electric vehicles for active and digital travel can play a key role in reducing mobility related energy demand and carbon emissions.

With a focus on the cities of Brighton, Oxford, Leeds and Eindhoven, ELEVATE's research objectives are to:

(1) Understand the supply side, i.e. the technology pathways of LEVATs (Light Electric Vehicles for Active Travel: e-bikes, cargo e-bikes, e-scooters, e-boards, e-trikes, e-quadricycles);
(2) Understand the demand side, i.e. the utilisation pathways, by analysing existing (early adopter) use through surveys,
interviews, online material, and evaluation of case studies;
(3) Understand non-use (barriers to mainstream uptake - demand side) through technology trials, surveys and public
demonstrators (Brighton, Leeds, Oxford), e.g. issues around unfamiliarity of technology, range anxiety, cost, safety,
storage, perceptions;
(4) Understand technology-utilisation (supply/demand) interactions, i.e. how vehicles are charged, the battery technology,
standards, re-charging cycles, integration with private public charging infrastructure;
(5) Understand how e-mobility and digital technologies work together around uptake of these novel modes (e.g. apps, GPS
tracking, smart energy meters, Mobility as a Service, tracking of cargo, self-monitoring);
(6) Develop transport energy environment systems model for calculating the life cycle energy use and carbon emission
savings of LEVATs and compare to the substituted modes of transport; and
(7) Evaluate the project impact activities to understand the uptake of project findings by industry, policy and end users.
Short titleInnovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl
Effective start/end date1/06/2131/05/25




  • Sustainability
  • Travel
  • Innovation
  • Smart City
  • Policy


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