It’s now possible to have almost anything delivered to our doorstep. This increasing demand results in more delivery vehicles on the road, worsening traffic congestion and, depending on the type of vehicle, negatively impacting air quality and noise pollution.
Bicycles, and in particular cargo and ecargo bikes, are a great alternative to petrol and diesel transportation, and one that is increasingly being used by both individuals and commercial organisations. A cargo bike is any bike that has been specifically designed to carry a load, and an ecargo bike is simply a cargo bike with the addition of an electric motor.
Most importantly, ecargo bikes have zero tail pipe emissions. This means when conventional petrol and diesel vehicles are replaced with bicycles, cargo and ecargo bikes, there is no negative contribution to air pollution.
When looking at cost, ecargo bikes can also make good financial sense. There is a significantly lower upfront cost compared to cars and vans, and as electricity is cheaper to buy than petrol and diesel, ecargo bikes have far lower running costs too. Insurance, maintenance and repair costs also all come up significantly cheaper.
Cargo and ecargo bikes also take up less road-space than conventional vans, which eases congestion while increasing their efficiency. They can take shorter, faster routes by using cycle and bus lanes, being wheeled through pedestrianised areas, or moving through standstill traffic. Additionally, their small size means that they can be parked closer to destinations so deliveries can be made more quickly.
Finally, the use of cargo and ecargo bikes can contribute to a healthier, happier workforce. The physical activity of using a bike is beneficial for rider health, with some companies even reporting that their ecargo bikes riders take less sick leave than other drivers.
Support for ecargo bikes in Scotland
eCargo bike engagement webinars
In our upcoming webinar, we will be discussing ways of engaging with communities and businesses to increase the uptake of ecargo bikes in your local area.
Register your place now:
- Thursday 21 January, 3pm: ‘Engaging with local businesses and communities’
Past webinars from the series are available to view on demand:
eCargo bike FAQs
Electrifying last mile deliveries
Ecargo bikes and electric vans have a vital role to play in distributing supplies and parcels sustainably to their final delivery addresses, referred to as the ‘last mile’.
Energy Saving Trust’s guide on Electrifying last mile deliveries offers advice for businesses on how they can adopt electric vans or ecargo bikes or electric vans or support sustainable deliveries by switching suppliers and managing their inbound deliveries.
Take a look at our Electrifying last mile deliveries guide for local authorities, which sets out the variety of approaches that local authorities can take to support the electrification of last mile deliveries and illustrates the approaches with an array of case studies.