Ditch your car and make the switch to cycling this World Car Free Day!

Today is World Car Free Day and we wanted to celebrate by welcoming our friends at FLIT to talk about not just a car free day… but how you can incorporate being car free into your every day!

We’ve worked with FLIT for a number of years now, and are delighted to continue being part of their journey.

“We’re so grateful for Allia’s support! From having our first office space in the Hatchery (where we designed, prototyped and launched the FLIT-16), to moving into our own office in the Future Business Centre, to recently taking part in the Climate Accelerator – we couldn’t have got to where we are now without your help! Thanks for putting up with us prototyping, riding our demo bikes outside the building, and being our first test riders too. 

We have since moved to a workshop just along the busway from the FBC as we needed a bit more space to build, service and test bikes… and develop new exciting ideas (which can be quite a noisy process!). We’re still registered tenants at the Future Business Centre so you may see us around with demo bikes in tow! Thanks again Allia for all of your support.” – Alex Murray, founder of FLIT 

Can you imagine a world where our streets are built for the community, instead of cars?

Well, this World Car Free Day, maybe you can. Today, around the world we are encouraged to ditch our cars, and use more sustainable ways of getting around instead.

Why should we ditch the car for World Car Free Day?

The modern world has become reliant on cars, but the fact is that our cities are becoming increasingly congested, polluted and unsafe because of them.

In 2021, London was crowned the most congested city in the world, with drivers spending on average 148 hours (6 days) sat in traffic. Cambridge (our hometown) was rated the second most congested city in the UK too!

Cars are also a big contributor of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, all of which are not only harmful to the environment, but are harmful to our health too. Shockingly, in 2015 a study carried out by Kings College in London found that these pollutants caused 9,400 premature deaths a year. Not to mention the number of deaths and serious injuries from car accidents, which was over two and a half times this number in 2020/21 across the whole of the UK.

With temperatures soaring to above 40 degrees in the UK this summer, and devastating floods across Pakistan directly linked to the effects of climate change – do we need much more of a wake up call to change how we get around?

How can we make the switch for World Car Free Day?

The good news: you can make a difference, as there are lots of alternatives to jumping in the car. Walking, cycling, public transport, or shared micromobility (e.g. scooters, ebikes, bikes) are all great ways of getting around without such harmful effects on our planet.

Cycling: saves you time, saves you money, and helps save the planet

At FLIT, we may be biased, but we think that cycling is simply the best way to get around the city! Bike and ebikes emit roughly 90% less carbon per kilometre travelled than a car – so you can imagine just how much carbon you could save by switching from car to bike. If you’re interested, you can calculate it here.

Bikes and ebikes emit 90% less carbon than cars per passenger kilometre travelled. This takes into account all lifecycle emissions.

Not only does switching to cycling reduce your carbon footprint, it also saves you time (you can whizz past traffic!), as well as money (no need to fill up with mega expensive petrol). Plus, you have much more of a chance to explore your city – seeing things that you might miss by car.

With recent improvements in cycling infrastructure, and with changes to the highway code to prioritise cyclists too, there has never been a better time to start.

The FLIT mission: turn car trips into FLITs

We founded FLIT in 2015 on a mission to get people out of their cars and onto bikes instead. We want to change how we get around our cities for good, and to do that we need faster, more flexible, and more enjoyable ways of getting from A to B.

Meet the FLIT Team, and our folding ebike, the FLIT-16! Taken at our workshop in North Cambridge. To give you a taste of the FLIT story… We came to Cambridge in 2015 with nothing but a few pencilled sketches and a big idea: to develop a folding electric bike that gives you the freedom to go absolutely anywhere. Why base ourselves in Cambridge? Because it’s the cycling capital of course – with over 50% of people regularly cycling! We are very lucky to have some of the best cycling infrastructure in the UK, and we are always inspired by the number of people that we see cycling the streets and trails. Since then, we have turned our initial sketches into a simple folding ebike, the FLIT-16. It folds to about the same size as hand luggage, and weighs about the same as a cocker spaniel – so is easy to store in city apartments, on the train luggage rack, and to carry upstairs. With the battery built into the frame, you can ride further, faster too – and there’s no need to worry about breaking a sweat.

Now, we have hundreds of riders across the world, who, with each journey that they FLIT instead of drive, are helping to reduce their carbon footprint and make our streets happier, healthier places to be.

Hear from our riders

“It has been a game changer for me in that I can now get to my allotment (5 miles up some very steep hills) without having to jump in the car, which makes me feel much greener.” – FLIT rider

“So excited to finally ride my Flit bike. It’s awesome, going to completely change how I commute. Short trips that I would have taken in the car will be resigned to the history books. The bike feels great and is an amazing bit of kit.” – FLIT rider

“It’s given me a real sense of freedom” – FLIT rider

Our challenge to you: ditch your car and make the switch this World Car Free Day

Feel inspired? Why not leave the car at home, and try a more sustainable way of getting around this World Car Free Day.

If you fancy seeing if a folding ebike could be a good alternative, you can book a free test ride on the FLIT-16 folding ebike here.

Written by Gemma Moses, Marketing Manager at FLIT