Tools and different types of knowledge products on low-carbon urban logistics, cycle logistics, light electric vehicles (LEV), charging infrastructure, batteries and e-buses were incorporated in the SOLUTIONSplus online toolbox and shared with the city, addressing the knowledge gaps identified in the course of the project.
Demonstration City: Quito
A total of four modules were conducted in the Regional Training Programs of 2021 and 2022, addressing the gaps identified in the Technical Needs Assessment carried out in 2020. i.e., 1) low-carbon urban logistics, 2) LEV regulations, 3) charging infrastructure, and 4) e-buses. Quito not only benefited from the content presented, but was able to share initiatives that public and private actors are pushing forward in the city (e.g.: Zero Emissions Zone and locally manufactured e-bus).
Between July 18th and August 3rd, 2022, a SOLUTIONSplus delegation (WI, FIER and UEMI) joined the local team and held a series of meetings and workshops, where topics such as e-buses, charging infrastructure, MaaS, LEV and urban logistics were discussed with members of national and local entities, as well as with private stakeholders.
Additionally, Quito benefited from its participation in other SOLUTIONSplus CB instances, such as virtual and on-site P2P exchanges, site visits, expert advisory boards and international conferences related to e-bike sharing systems, low-carbon urban logistics, last-mile connectivity, e-buses, e-BRT and trolleybuses.
In Quito, the start-ups ECargoBikeUIO (10 e-cargo bikes), Sidertech (10 e-quadricycles) and Grupo Miral (4 e-vans) received seed funding for the local design and assembly of different types of LEV, mainly for logistics, but also for passenger transport. Sidertech will receive 10 Valeo drivetrains in a kit to be easily integrated in the e-quadricycles. In addition, PEM Motion, one of the companies selected in the 1st Innovators Call supported ECargoBikeUIO and Sidertech in vehicle design and battery sizing. Further support on vehicle design for Sidertech and Miviltech is expected under the 2nd EU Innovators Call. Finally, SOLUTIONSplus supported the city with the elaboration of a pre-feasibility study for the electrification of 1 BRT corridor.
Component 1: Multimodal e-mobility hub in the Historic Center of Quito (HCQ)
On August 18th, 2022,, the LEV prototypes, locally manufactured with the seed funding provided by SOLUTIONSplus, were launched with the local authorities of Quito in the National Polytechnic School (EPN). The activity allowed potential users to test the vehicles and provide suggestions to the design to suit their needs for the design.
The manufacturing process of 10 e-cargo bikes was finalised building on the suggestions provided in the launch by the 20 companies that expressed their interest in testing the different types of SOLUTIONSplus vehicles in their operations. Moreover, the local team counted on the support of two local universities, the National Polytechnic School (EPN) and the San Francisco University (USFQ), for the vehicle technical evaluation and the pilot design, as well as the inputs provided by the ZLC. In this context, the first pilot phase of the multimodal e-mobility hub in the HCQ started on November 7th, 2022 and ended on January 6th, 2023. During this period, the pilot worked with 4 operating schemes and 7 users, i.e., 2 food distributors, 1 restaurant, 2 couriers and 2 recycling associations, which were selected on the basis of the ex-ante data collection process carried out in 2021 and the subsequent planning and preparation phase. A private parking lot was rented as a collaborative cross-docking platform, that was used by 3 of the users. In order to extract sound data from the pilot, several tools, such as GPS tracking, surveys and interviews were applied. In the 2 months of the pilot, the e-cargo bikes travelled a total of 1,071 km, carried 16 tons of cargo, made 229 deliveries, collected recyclables from 134 points and achieved an estimated reduction in emissions of 491.74 kg CO2e. The significant efficiency gains experienced in all operating schemes reveal a high scale-up and replication potential.
The phases 2 and 3 of this pilot component, i.e., the 10 e-quadricycles and the 4 e-vans, are planned to start in mid-2023.
Component 2: Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app
The MaaS app was developed during 2020 and 2021 by Pluservice in permanent exchange with the Mobility Secretariat, the Municipal PTO and the Subway operator in order to ensure that the app is aligned to the local needs of the PT system. In October 2022, with the approval of the Municipal PTO, the pilot design and implementation started. A group of 37 students of the National Polytechnic School (EPN) used the app to plan their journeys, top up their e-wallets, and buy and validate PT tickets between November 21st and December 16th (4 weeks) in the University Station of the BRT System.
A total of 216 tickets were issued and 164 tickets validated via app (75% of the issued tickets) for a value of USD 57.40. 88% of the students stated that they will use the App 3 times/week to everyday if the application was publicly available. Moreover, 80% of students agreed that the application should include other PT options and sustainable modes.
The SOLUTIONSplus team supported the Municipality of Quito in the review and adjustment of the Draft Ordinance of Micromobility, in which SOLUTIONSplus recommended broadening the scope to include not only personal micro-vehicles, but the full spectrum of LEV. The Municipality adopted the changes, and the draft is about to go to first debate in the City Council. Moreover, the team has been in permanent contact with funding and international cooperation agencies working in the country, such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, AfD, GIZ, etc., in order to identify potential synergies and funding for the scale-up of the project. In this context, the GEF7 e-mobility project in Ecuador (USD 1,3M) will build on the knowledge and experience generated by SOLUTIONSplus and the ACCESS project (€2,4M) funded by IKI will add a digital layer to the components implemented under SOLUTIONSplus to consolidate their scale-up and replication.
Interview of our Demonstration City: Quito
It is very important to test innovations in mobility, because it helps us to develop scale-up projects in order to design bottom-up policies.
Therefore, innovation projects on a pilot scheme allow us to understand the stakeholders’s behaviour toward a specific project.
Thus, it helps us to make data based decision making by using information developed on the pilot project.
As I was saying it is relevant to start from micro to macro.
I mean, to understand the components that make up a whole in order to use comprehensive data that lead us to an adequate decision-making process.
Performing pilots and demonstration actions in an urban living lab setting is important, because it is useful to get an idea of how a project works according to a city context, because it is useful to get an idea of how a project works according to a city context.
This means that it helps to make a baseline and forecast possible outcomes of an specific measure applied in the city
Urban living labs need to include all the important stakeholders that can be public actors at different levels: national and subnational.
Other involved institutions and the citizens in general.
Academia has an important role as well by working with the academia we can assure accurate information and obtaining consolidated data that improve the project’s results.
Generally, we use public calls.
Through this, we request the participation of all the entities involved for a certain topic.
Then, we receive intention letters to participate in the lab from the interested stakeholders in order to formalize cooperation
The driver of these activities are international organizations that use a type of financing to support cities with pilots, demonstration actions, and consultancies.
They are the ones who motivate the public sector and the public entities make the call for this type of laboratories.
The funding for this type of activities comes from the same international organizations that drive the process.
These organizations seek intent from the different stakeholders to finance the development of urban labs and pilot projects
The key factor for success is a proper governance which means that these projects will only work through adequate management of the information generated in the project and this should be supported by a governance plan in order to implement the projects