Emerging from an existing bicycle rental and repair venture, Velo Times aims to promote and deliver sustainable travel solutions that reduce transport costs, lower carbon emissions and improve employee health, focusing initially on a range of electric bikes – commonly referred to as ‘e-bikes’.
As a newly established company, trying to promote this relatively unknown technology to the UK market and influence people and organisations to use more sustainable transport is an uphill task.
Getting off the ground
The company is now working closely with the Business Growth Hub’s specialist low carbon sector development team to boost its service offer and has already benefitted from a number of workshops to address skills gaps, as well as market data on companies with vehicle fleets in the Greater Manchester area.
“By substituting some of their vehicle fleet with electric bike alternatives, large businesses can make a real impact on transport costs and emissions”, said Sarah Bingham, operations manager.
“The Business Growth Hub has given us invaluable feedback on our new business proposal and model and is supporting us to raise our profile through the Low Carbon Network other initiatives, which is essential to help get the new business off the ground and raise momentum around sustainable travel.”
Making an impact
The company’s next step is to carry out a pilot study in the UK to gather insight on the financial, environmental and health benefits for non-cyclists transitioning to cycling on the road.
Tom Bardwell, low carbon sector advisor at the Hub, said: “Velo Times are a young but experienced and enthusiastic company. Sarah and Arek are both committed not just to making the business a success, but having an impact on improving the sustainability of transport in Greater Manchester.
“Working with them on the launch of a new electric bicycle range is both exciting and rewarding. I look forward to continuing to support them over the coming months and seeing them reap the rewards of their hard work.”