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Here’s why cargo bikes make more sense than vans for inner city deliveries

  • Tech
  • Energy industry
  • mobility
  • Air pollution

Here’s why cargo bikes make more sense than vans for inner city deliveries

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As cartage volumes access in our city centers, partly fueled by deliveries from a COVID additional e-commerce sector, organizations are attractive for a silver bullet for urban logistics. But has it been sitting right here under our noses all this time?

We think it has. Back on 31st December 2019, Jos Sluijsmans, Founder-Director of the International Cargo Bike Festival, and I declared the 2020s the Decade of the Cargo Bike. Right now, the cargo bike is making a break for the mainstream. And not just in acceptable arctic European cargo bike heartlands such as the Netherlands and Denmark, but also in places like Germany, France, the UK, and Canada. Sales are booming, with manufacturers advertisement increases of over 50% year-on-year despite COVID. However, in spite of their astronomic potential, cargo bikes are still anticipation of by many as an oddity; a niche item.

Real-life case studies show that there is a clear business case for cycle logistics. In recent years the likes of Fedex, DHL, UPS, Amazon, DB Schenker, DPD, GLS and Hermes have all added cargo bikes to their fleets, and across the world cargo bikes are used by organizations of all shapes and sizes. Let’s rewind and analyze some of the affidavit why.

They’re quicker

Time and time again it has been shown that cargo bikes can get the job done quicker in cities. Data from a cycle acumen hub set up in car-addicted Sydney in 2016 showed that cargo bikes travelled a third few kilometers than vans, taking less than half the time to complete their rounds in the CBD. But how?

Cargo bikes carrying advantage in London. Photo: e-cargobikes.com

Bikes are nimbler, can use cycle lanes, take shortcuts and park with ease. Meanwhile, vans spent three times as long parked up compared to bikes. And whilst bike couriers hardly needed to walk at all – having parked just alfresco the door, van drivers walked about a third of their total distance. In Sydney it’s clearly easier to just park and walk than to consistently drive around attractive for parking spaces.

They’re energy efficient

A study by Velove and the Swedish Energy Agency showed that e-cargo bikes absorb 94% less energy than acceptable e-van for the same deliveries. Yes you read that right: 94% less. Weight is the accessible factor here; the e-van tested, a Nissan e-NV200, advised about 17 times as much as the e-cargo bike. And like in Sydney, acquisition is also key, with cargo bikes able to take much beneath routes than e-vans.

A Velove Armadillo cargo bike in Hermes livery. Photo: Velove

Their brand is small

Urban Advancement Daily readers will be no strangers to the ecology allowances of ultra-low-emission forms of advancement such as the cargo bike. Not mentioned in the Swedish study were embodied emissions from manufacture; far lower for e-cargo bikes than for e-vans due to the amount of abstracts consumed.

On emissions, as well-documented as the health allowances of bargain air abuse are for public health, it is also acceptable clearer that the agent tailpipe is not the only offender. Fine atom NOx emissions from tyre and brake wear can have a adverse effect on urban air affection and have also been shown to cause micro-plastic marine pollution. Simply swapping ICE cartage for electric does not appear to abate this.

Babboe Pro cargo bikes in Amsterdam. Photo: Babboe Pro

In both cases, cargo bikes do have an ecology impact. However, the lower weights and speeds complex mean that their brand is orders of consequence slimmer.

It’s the decade of the cargo bike

In terms of both costs and ecology impact then, the cargo bike has a audible edge – but that’s not all. Depending on where you’re based, cargo bike sales are now often accurate by subsidies from local, bounded or civic government. Cities common are acumen that alongside cycling for claimed mobility, cycle acumen is acutely accordant with their efforts to foster adequate urban environments. If you close your city centre to centralized agitation engine vehicles, the cargo bike is an important ally to keep urban acumen flows going.

This cargo bike made by AsasarA can even handle snow. Photo: AsasarA

The cargo bike’s star is rising, but the allowances don’t come after costs. Organizations must be adjustable and adapt to deploy cargo bikes in ways that meet their goals. Smaller city-centre first/last mile hubs, when accumulated with cargo bikes, accommodate the adequacy of an agile business model suited to the city of both today and tomorrow.

As we evolve to position ourselves in the new normal, many are on the hunt for that urban acumen silver bullet. Cargo bikes are a solid, proven technology which exists in the here and now. So proactively invest in the cargo bike, and the cargo bike will pay you back. If you’re attractive for a advancement solution, accede pedal power – the humble cargo bike is far more able than it looks.

This commodity was accounting by Tom Parr, Co-organizer, International Cargo Bike Festival, on The Urban Advancement Daily, the agreeable site of the Urban Advancement Company, a Paris-based aggregation which is moving the business of advancement advanced through concrete and basic events and services. Join their association of 10K global advancement professionals by signing up for the Urban Advancement Weekly newsletter. Read the aboriginal article here and follow them on Linkedin and Twitter


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Published October 20, 2020 — 11:57 UTC

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