THE drive to get people out of their cars for short journeys has seen Solihull Council partner with Shirley-based electric motorcycle retailer Silence UK.
Together they held a taster session at the new ZF Group office and technical centre complex at Blythe Valley Business Park – and there are plans to roll the sessions out across the borough.
The aim was to show just how effective the e-motorcycles could be in not only cutting emissions but also saving residents time and money.
Expert instructors from Birmingham Advanced Motorcyclists (BAM), based at the National Motorcycle Museum, were on site to give some basic bike-handling tips as participants took the e-motos on a 20-minute trial run.
This initial taster session was open to eligible residents who live along the Stratford Road who regularly travel by car.
Participants can also opt-in to an extended, free-of-charge trial period, lasting between two and four weeks.
Councillor Ken Hawkins, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, and a former police motorcycle patrol officer, said: “Electric mopeds offer a clean, practical and affordable means of personal transport, and crucially an alternative to many shorter car journeys.
“This project is all about giving people the opportunity to try something different and to see if they can be encouraged to leave the car at home. e-motos have the potential to cut congestion and improve air quality.
“It was great to see so many participants sign up for the extended trial – and I hope some may even end up investing in their own electric moped!”
Silence UK founding partner Mike Rose said: “Silence e-motos offer an environmentally friendly transport solution that is also cheaper to run, and it was really encouraging to see so many residents recognise their potential.
“We can’t wait to see more e-motos on the road.”
If this initial extended trial scheme proves successful, the council hopes to roll out similar initiatives across the borough.
The Silence UK e-moto range goes from £2,795 for a 50cc equivalent machine with a range of 35 miles rising to £5,000 for a 125cc equivalent with a range of 85 miles.
The machines have removable batteries which can be recharged through a standard three pin plug.
Costs work out at 1p per mile.