The 20 bikes will be divided between the station and the campus, based at Hillbrow, where battery-charging and parking facilities will be available.
Users will pay £50 for six months or £80 for 12 months to participate in the scheme and the income will be re-invested to make the scheme financially sustainable. Additionally, they will pay a refundable £25 deposit for a high security key that will unlock the bike cages and storage lockers.
Users will undergo safety training which will qualify them for insurance. The year-long trial will be launched later this year.
The EAPCs have battery-powered electric motors which work when the rider is pedalling and can last for up to 60 miles. The motors help the rider go further, climb hills easier and carry heavier loads.
Earlier research into and trials of electronically-assisted ‘e-bikes’ by the university in Brighton showed they encouraged more people to cycle. Dr Behrendt said: “Shared e-bike schemes such as this new one in Eastbourne can help get more people using this active and sustainable mode of transport.”
The Eastbourne scheme is one of 11 announced this week by the Department of Transport in a bid to “help tourists, residents and workers go further by bike”. The 11 were chosen by Carplus, the non-profit environmental transport non-governmental organisation, which is investigating whether electric bikes are the answer to congestion, transport and health problems.
Some 200 new electric bikes will be put into circulation at the 11 locations around the country to “boost riders’ pedal power”.
Carplus said one in 10 bicycles sold in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland are pedal-assisted e-bikes; and bike hire schemes in many cities like Madrid and Copenhagen now have electric fleets. It wants to support increasing interest in similar schemes in the UK.
The project will investigate the potential for sharing electric bikes to help more people make door-to-door journeys on shared and public transport, reducing congestion and pollution.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “Electric bikes are a great way to encourage new people to get into cycling and today’s announcement will provide an opportunity for thousands more to enjoy the advantages they offer.
“Cycling helps cut congestion and is a healthy, affordable transport option.
“We want to double the number of journeys made by bicycle. That is why we are also investing over the next five years in cycle training and infrastructure.”