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Council invests in new eBike kit developed in Filwood for its cycle loan scheme

Main image courtesy of Bristol City Council

Bristol City Council has announced an expansion of its bike loan scheme to include an extra 20 bikes converted to electric – which have been designed and made by a Knowle West-based business.

The news coincided with the annual Cycle to Work Day today (August 4) – the UK’s biggest cycle commuting event which is celebrating its first decade.

The Revos eBike Conversion Kits have been developed by Revolutionworks based at Filwood Green Business Park – which provides space for small and medium sized business with an environmental ethos.

The company which featured in The Knowledge in 2019 came up with the idea of the kits as an affordable and efficient way to convert existing bikes to electric – which were launched after a Kickstarter Funding Appeal in 2018.

They say the kits can be fitted in around half an hour and weigh so little that you can happily ride without them being powered up. 

The council will be offering residents the chance to try out the Revos eBikes in a one-month free trial, enabling them to replace trips which may otherwise have been taken by car.

The Revos kit on a bike. Picture Lewis Campbell.

Since 2016, the council says its loan bike scheme has helped over 1,500 people to borrow one of its bikes. As well as the Revos eBikes, it now has 60 regular bikes, 22 eBikes and 11 folding bikes available to loan. The scheme is available for anyone aged over 18 years and just needs a deposit on collection.

Director of Revolutionworks, Mark Palmer, said: “We were delighted when Bristol City Council decided to add our Revos eBike Conversion Kits to 20 of their loan scheme bikes. Bristol is a hilly city and the Revos eBikes are ideal to help people up them. As we say, with Revos – hills are history!

“We design and make Revos eBikes in the city, so it would be great if more Bristol cyclists used them as a green way to get about and keep healthy. The conversion kits are easy to fit, but we’d be happy to help anyone who brings their bike to us in our Bristol workshop.”

Mark Palmer (centre) with father Hugo and brother Leo at the Revolutionworks unit in Filwood Green Business Park in 2019 when the kit had just been launched. Picture Lewis Campbell, KWMC.

Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The aim of this scheme is to introduce more people to eBike conversion kits and let them experience the benefits first-hand.

“We’re offering an opportunity to try out a new technology that is better for the environment, helping us to work towards cleaner air, and less congestion and pollution, while being an affordable option. By being able to test the Revos eBikes, it will hopefully help residents to decide whether this might be a suitable long-term transport option for them and encourage them to purchase a kit for themselves”.

The cycle expansion is part of plans by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to increase the number of eBikes on roads up and down the region – after winning £248,000 from the Government last year.

WECA Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “The £12,300 cash injection from WECA means more Bristolians will be able to reap the benefits of pedal power. If we want more people to leave their cars at home, the alternatives need to be convenient, safe and affordable…”

Some South Bristol residents have already embraced the new Revos eBikes, including Edana from Totterdown who trialled one for four weeks.

She said: “I borrowed a bike to see if I could find a healthy way to exercise and get around the city, including commuting to work. I opted for a Revos eBike to make it easier on my lower body when I had to tackle Bristol’s hills.

“The trial has made me want to change the way that I get to work or travel for small errands, and I am thinking about purchasing one of the Revos eBike Conversion Kits to put on my own bike at home…”

To try out a Revos eBike for free visit: www.betterbybike.info/loanbike