• WeBike Project
    The eProdigy Whistler used for our deployment

    Overview presentation

    Why e-bikes?

    Electric Vehicles are in the news: with 100,000 sold in the US alone in 2012, the use of EVs is growing rapidly. However, EVs are expensive. Instead, we have deployed a fleet of  31 sensor-equipped electric bicycles or e-bikes to UW faculty, staff, and students.

    We use this fleet to pursue three lines of research:

    1. To study electric cars at a much lower price point (~$2000 vs. ~$30,000).

    2. To study e-bikes in their own right. This is important because e-bikes are the world’s fastest growing mode of low-carbon urban transportation (China has over 240 million e-bikes already). Insights gained from this work will be transformative in understanding the scope and impact of e-bikes on transportation infrastructure in the Canadian context, for example, when used to move people to and from an LRT line.

    3. When charged by a solar panel, e-bikes are a cost-effective completely off-grid transportation solution. Moreover, e-bike batteries can be used to power low-cost refrigerators and lighting in developing countries.

    Project timeline

    This study consists of two main phases, a survey of attitudes towards eBikes, and a field trial.

    1. A survey on e-bikes was widely disseminated to UW faculty, staff, and students in the units of Computer Science, ECE, Environment, and Psychology. The survey helped select our participants.
    2. e-bikes were purchased from our partner, e-Prodigy, and instrumented with sensors. Participants were given e-bikes and appropriate training by our partner, Cycle Electric. Over 100 GB of usage data (GPS location, accelerometer readings and battery state) has already been collected and continues to be collected since September 2014. Anonymized data is stored in our data center on a secure server and this data will be used as the basis for our research. Participants are asked to fill out user surveys periodically, every three-to-six months.

    The three-year field trial ended in August 2017.




    This project is a collaboration between: