Montréal, May 3, 2023 - For its second season of operation, the Vélovolt project, run by Équiterre with help from the Association des Centres de gestion des déplacements du Québec, is pleased to announce that even more organizations will be participating and helping to make Electrically Assisted Bikes (EABs) available to their employees in the coming months.
As national bycicle month begins, no less than 24 organizations in 10 regions of Quebec (see the complete list) will participate in the second phase of the project. Among these are organizations are thousands of potential EAB users, such as Ubisoft Montreal, Bombardier and the École nationale de police du Québec.
This will allow employees of these organizations to have the use of an EV for their daily commute and to re-imagine how they get around. These trials began in April and will continue through to December.
“Spots were taken up quickly. There was a tremendous amount of interest. Unfortunately, we had to turn away several organizations, but this shows that there is tremendous growth potential in electrically assisted bikes and that there is as much enthusiasm as curiosity about them."
- Marilène Bergeron, Assistant Director, Educational Programs at Équiterre
Up to $8,000 less per year in expenses
Additionally, Équiterre has calculated that by replacing a compact car with an EAB (including four months of public transportation during the winter), a household could potentially save between $7,000 and $8,000 annually.
Équiterre also calculates that an EAB produces 780 times fewer GHG emissions than a gasoline-powered car and 25 times fewer than an electric car.
"With the rising cost of living, rethinking the way you get around is perhaps one of the most effective ways to save money. The individual car is a huge expense, and the EAB offers additional health and environmental benefits. There are no losers in this equation, except perhaps the automobile industry," explains Marilène Bergeron.
Education, data and recommendations
As a reminder, with the Vélovolt project, Équiterre is hoping to understand how the EAB can replace the car for utilitarian travel and promote the establishment of environments that encourage its use.
78% of Quebecers use their car to travel back and forth to work, even though one third live less than five kilometres from where they work.
In order to better understand the role that EAB could play and to analyze the successful conditions for its effective and sustainable deployment in Quebec, Équiterre has also partnered with the Mobility Chair of Polytechnique Montréal to produce a report containing a series of recommendations, and these should be ready for release early in the new year (2024).
"We will have data, testimonials and recommendations for decision makers, transportation planners and organizations interested in coming up with sustainable transportation alternatives for their employees. We feel that the EAB has the potential to be the cornerstone in moving active transportation into high gear all across Quebec," adds Marilène Bergeron.
Some statistics from Phase 1 of Vélovolt (2022 season):
358 people took part in the Vélovolt EAB trials
Participants covered a total of close to 30,000 kilometres
Nearly 8 tonnes of greenhouse gases were avoided, using the EABs (compared to travel by car)
This campaign is being run jointly by Équiterre and the Association des Centres de gestion des déplacements du Québec (ACGDQ). Vélovolt receives financial assistance from the Government of Quebec under the Action-Climat Québec program and is meeting targets set out in the Plan for a Green Economy 2030.
The campaign also receives support from Hydro-Québec and other partners such as the Mobility Chair at Polytechnique Montréal and the firm Quantum, as well as various Quebec cities and organizations.
Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »