The Pedelec rental system at local car dealers should motivate car drivers to use Pedelecs or normal bikes in the City of Weiz. By testing new behaviour the shift towards non-motorised traffic should be accelerated.
Background & Objectives
A Pedelec is a bike equipped with an electric motor. In Austria these bikes are classified as normal bicycles. The prices for a Pedelec range from € 750 to € 3,000. The area of the City of Weiz is 5 km² which means that a bike can be used both for commuting to work and going shopping.
The Pedelec can also be driven by older people and is an ideal means of travel to promote changing modes of transport. The marketing campaigns to introduce Pedelecs are part of an overall strategy to motivate the citizens of Weiz to use non-motorised vehicles and to go for walks instead of using cars.
Since 2009 various marketing measures aimed at spreading the use of Pedelecs have been carried out in the Municipality of Weiz. The percentage of bike use in Weiz is approximately 6 % of all trips. By launching different campaigns promoting the use of Pedelecs this percentage should be increased. One of these campaigns was to install a rental-system for Pedelecs at local car dealers in Weiz. Car drivers who have their cars serviced – a car service usually takes up to two hours – are given the opportunity to rent a Pedelec and take a test drive in the city during the time their car is being serviced.
The key objectives of the project were as follows:
The project was carried out within the Active Travel Network project within URBACT.
- Car drivers who have their cars serviced are offered the use of a Pedelec instead of being offered a courtesy car.
- If the car drivers agree to use a Pedelec they get vouchers for different shops in Weiz as a reward for trying out this new mode of transport.>They can go for a ride into the City of Weiz and can cash their vouchers at cafes and various shops.
- The idea for this project was conceived by both the City Marketing and the Department for Enivronmental Affairs of the Municipality of Weiz.
After working out an action plan, all nine local car dealers were invited to an initial meeting. In this meeting the project idea was presented. Seven car dealers participated in the meeting and demonstrated a willingness to cooperate in the project.
Seven Pedelecs, costing € 1,500 each, were bought for the project. For public relation purposes the Pedelecs were equipped with a special design for the spokes showing the logos of the participating car dealers. The cost for this was € 1,500. Furthermore, roll-ups and leaflets giving information about the whole project were produced. The cost for these PR-measures was approximately € 2,500.
The project was successful in fulfilling the key objectives. The added value was in establishing contact with a new target group for Pedelces.
The project results were evaluated by interviewing the car dealers and their customers. According to these interviews it can be said that the car dealers and their employees take the project very seriously and promote it actively (80% of those intervewed took part in the action). Each week, three to four Pedelecs are rented. Expanding on these figures, it can be assumed that in a year approximately 150 Pedelec-rentals take place. The customers are satisfied with this new mode of transport and about 30% of them would consider buying a Pedelec for their daily trips in Weiz. Apart from some smaller problems with the bike chains the car dealers were happy with the project and are happy to continue with it.