The home care staff is "buzzing" about new innovative e-bikes

The municipality of Nyköping is striving for a green transition. Part of the project is that the home care service can now get around on electric bicycles.

"It is good for both the environment and the staff," says Lise-Lotte Rådstam, unit manager for home care in Oppeby. The electric bicycles that the home care service in Nyköping started using a year ago are called Vässla Bike. The vehicle is described as a mixture of a bicycle, moped and kickbike.

"I think it is a very positive change. In addition to being good for the environment, the staff does not get tired in the same way as with a normal bicycle", says Marie Sjöström, one of the unit managers for the home care service in Nyköping municipality.

The municipality's goal is to reduce the number of cars used in the business. Therefore, e-bikes have been purchased for home care and child care services to get rid of the dependence on car travel.

"We started with them last autumn, so we have not had time to teach everyone yet. But today, about 50 percent of the staff here ride Vässla bikes", says Lise-Lotte Rådstam.

The electric bicycles have currently replaced 2 out of 5 cars in the home care service. However, replacing the cars completely is not possible.

"We also have users outside the city, where the staff must take a car", says Rådstam.

In addition to the electric bikes saving on both the environment and the staff's bodies, both Marie and Lise-Lotte see another positive aspect. When the staff chooses Vässla instead of a car, they also don’t have to look for a parking space.

"Parking can be difficult to find in the city, so it saves a lot of time", says Rådstam.

Sjöström also highlights the advantage of being able to recruit staff who haven’t got a driving licence. Also, to ride a Vässla bike, the staff must take a course in both practice and theory. At the home care service in Oppeby, it's Johanna Hedlund who was given the responsibility to train the staff.

"We have done a risk and impact analysis before. For example, it’s mandatory for the driver to wear a helmet and warning vest."

At the moment, there are no plans to buy more electric bicycles. Only because it’s too early to evaluate how it worked. But the future plan is to teach more staff members to ride Vässla bikes, now that the streets are being swept and the weather is better.

Buying a Vässla Bike costs around 20,000kr and is made as one piece. This means that it does not have as many loose parts as, for example, a regular bike, and therefore lasts longer. The electric bicycle seen in the picture has at the time ridden about 370 km.

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