Skip to main content
Case study

IanDecor’s ecargo bike

Find out how Ian Conway, a painter and decorator, switched out his diesel van for an ecargo bike to travel to and from sites with equipment.

Location notice

Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in England.


Ian Conway is a painter and decorator from North London, and he’s been running a sole proprietor business since 2008. He was using a small Peugeot diesel van to get to sites across London, but in 2019, he switched to an ecargo bike. 

He got help with covering the cost of the ecargo bike from the eCargo Bike Grant Fund

The eCargo Bike Grant Fund, delivered by Energy Saving Trust and funded by the Department for Transport, launched in 2019. The fund made grants available to support small businesses with the switch to sustainable transport.  


The most important part of Ian’s job is moving equipment to and from sites. His diesel van wasn’t a cost-effective solution, and he wanted to look at alternative, lower-cost options.  

After some research, he found that other businesses were using electric assisted cargo bikes for their everyday transport operations and last mile deliveries. This inspired him to do the same. Ian said: “I came across videos of people using ecargo bikes for work, especially tradespeople in New York. And this set me wondering if I could make the switch and make it work for me.” 

Ian also found the right model and size for his business needs, so he booked a test drive with his nearest dealer. Shortly afterwards, he ordered an ecargo bike.

Ian applied for funding from the eCargo Bike Grant Fund and got a grant to help with covering the cost of the bike. 


eCargo bike Ian Decor


The bike has made it easier for Ian to transport equipment and helped his business grow.  

On switching to an ecargo bike, Ian said: “I have never had such interest from people passing by. Barely a day goes by when I’m not asked to give a quote. I’ve never been so busy!”

Ian doesn’t get stuck in traffic like he did when he used a van to get to jobs. And according to Ian, having an ecargo bike has also saved costs. 

“Especially with the rise in diesel, it has really brought into focus the cost savings in replacing my diesel van with an ecargo bike,” he said. “I used to pay over £100 to fill up the tank every three weeks, in addition to the cost of insurance and servicing. With my ecargo bike, my only expenses are insurance and charging costs.” 

Ian generally works within a 15-mile radius of his home, which is well within the range of his ecargo bike. Even if he doesn’t get the opportunity to charge his battery on site, he has no issues with the bike’s range and plans ahead to make sure he can get to where he needs to.

“My advice to other tradespeople who are looking to make the switch is the importance of planning”, he said. “Plan your day ahead so that you don’t have to carry everything, and minimise how much space you use by only carrying what you need so that you get the best out of the battery.” 

Since Ian started using his ecargo bike for everyday transport operations in November 2019, he’s been able to:   

  • reduce transport costs and make savings from congestion and occasional ULEZ charges 
  • reduce his carbon footprint  
  • enhance the image of his business
  • avoid parking issues

Ian said: “I save about £2,400 a year over the cost of running my small van. Additionally, the ecargo bike has increased business, perhaps because it’s relatively novel in the suburbs. I no longer have parking issues nor worry about congestion and ULEZ charges.

“A challenge I have faced on the odd occasion is having to carry my biggest ladder on the bike for outdoor jobs, but I plan to build a trailer to carry oversized equipment.” 

eCargo bike

Last updated: 15 March 2024