May the Best Bike Win!
- Local Schools challenge themselves
on who can build the best e-bike
UK based e-bike manufacturer Cyclotricity were recently contacted by a Rider Training Business - Bike Smart who ordered one of their electric kits (e-kits) for a push bike conversion. They were so pleased with the installation and performance of the e-kit that they decided to use them for a local school project initiative taking place in West Sussex.
The project has attracted local media attention as well as support from the town mayor, local businesses and also the help of a high street bank. It's being referred to as the STEM challenge, the objective being to spark a life-time interest in STEM subjects - science technology, engineering and mathematics. Three schools will be provided with an ordinary bicycle and a brief to build an electric bicycle using CycloTricity e-kits. With the help of Lloyds Bank, the students will prepare a Business and Marketing Plan, when completed, the winning electric bike will be available for sale – having been fully tested for EU compliance and legal road use.
"Personally I think the initiative is brilliant and I feel a real sense of job satisfaction that our product(s) are making a positive difference and inspiring young people to get more involved within the UK manufacturing & engineering sectors. This is a great way to give back something as a company”.
- Rami Akily, CycloTricity Managing Director
Year 9 students from Warden Park Secondary Academy, Othall Communtiy College and St Paul's Catholic College will be provided with an ordinary bicycle and a brief to build an electric bicycle using a Cyclotricity e-kit.Peter Karmios and Jeff Pullen from Bike Smart presented an assembled electric bike at the launch and said it was clear they were ‘a way of the future’. The students will receive support from various qualified professionals from engineering and medical sectors – Companies involved include Flowserve, PSM Marine Engineering, Nuffield Hospital and Bike Smart. They have joined forces with schools and colleges, together with Tomorrow’s Engineers and STEM Sussex, to pilot the challenge which, if successful, could be rolled out across West Sussex.
“Seeing everyone in this room today it is going to bigger than I thought.”
- Ben Carter, science teacher at Warden Park Secondary Academy
Martin Strutt, South East director of the EEF (Engineering Employer Federation), officially opened the launch and said he was ‘delighted’ to be there.
He said: “Manufacturing is a really important part of the economy, it is important we get a lot of fresh blood. We are delighted to see young people take such an interest and we hope this encourages them. My very best of luck to all three teams.”
Some background on Cyclotricity - e-bike manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, they run their operations out of Southampton, Hampshire. 'Built in Britain' being the company's slogan.
The company have been operating since 2008 and are growing in terms of business every year due to e-bike products now moving from niche to more mainstream markets. They currently have more than 70 plus bike stores and cycle dealers on their books as well as operations set up in Sweden and further plans in entering the U.S market shortly.
“We receive loads of feedback from our customer's on how our products are giving them a new lease of life. However this tops it! Chuffed to be a contributor towards the STEM initiative”.
- Ian Byrne, Operations Manager at Cyclotricity
Chairman of Haywards Heath Town Team, Ruth de Mierre, thanked everyone for coming along: “May I thank you all, students and teachers (Pete, Ben and Harriet) alike, for coming today and being part of something special,” she said. “As you know, we’re hoping this will also be the beginning of a project which will roll out across the district, the county, the South East and then, of course tomorrow, the world! The finished products and business plans will be judged in March 2018 at a presentation and award ceremony.