Using e-bikes for your business cargo

With fuel costs rising, and a need to demonstrate accountability for business emissions, here's how businesses across the world are making the most of e-cargo bikes

Online shopping sales are rising by a huge 53% year on year - and we've all noticed the corresponding rise in delivery vans on our streets.

As fuel costs continue to climb, as well as the cost of congestion charges and the introduction of more clean air zones, businesses are understandably looking for more cost-effective and low-emission methods of transporting goods.

When it comes to city deliveries in particular, e-cargo bikes tick many boxes; they take up less road space than vans, which eases congestion and improves delivery times. They're cheap to run, and are specificially designed to maximise cargo-carrying capacity.

Here's how an e-cargo bike could work for your business...

Why are businesses switching to e-cargo bikes?

Cutting emissions is something that everyone - both businesses and individuals - needs to play their part in. Consumers now expect environmental responsibility from brands they buy from, and that includes transport options.

While electric vans are a great option if you’re looking to cut your emissions and fuel costs, e-cargo bikes bring a host of extra convenient benefits when it comes to deliveries. These nimble bikes are able to park quickly and easily right outside a customer’s location without blocking traffic, skipping the parking fees and boosting your efficiency. 

If you're wondering about capacity, e-bikes designed specifically for cargo hauling are able to safely carry multiple packages with ease, with some having weight capacities up to 180kg. 

The initial investment of around £8,000 is comparable to a second hand van - with business owners able to make additional savings on road tax, MOT, car insurance and congestion charges with an e-cargo bike, as well as far lower running costs and parking fees, it becomes an attractive and achieable option. 

What impact can e-cargo bikes have?

It's not just finances and efficiency that e-cargo bikes can have an impact on - by choosing electric bikes over diesel vans, you'll be creating less road congestion and air pollution too. 

The environmental benefits from switching to cargo e-bikes are undeniable, giving businesses an achievable way to cut your carbon footprint and demonstrate your green credentials.

A recent study by the University of Westminster found that e-cargo bikes in London were able to complete deliveries with 90% less CO2 emissions than diesel vans, and suggests that replacing just 10% of the delivery miles currently travelled by vans would save 133,300 tons of CO2 per year.

Many businesses are also now choosing to consilate their freight to reduce van use in urban areas, making deliveries even more efficient.

Which businesses can e-cargo bikes work for?

The recent Mintel Sustainability Barometer Report shows that 36% of consumers surveyed believe that companies are ultimately responsible for reducing vehicle emissions - and with the range of electric vehicles on offer growing every day, most businesses who use vehicles should be able to take control of their fuel costs and emissions by making the switch to electric. 

When it comes to e-bikes specifically, there are many practical ways to trade a larger vehicle for a two-wheeled alternative. For small businesses, or those who trade smaller products, it's straightforward switch; especially if many of your customers are located within a certain area. 

But e-cargo bikes aren' t just for small businesses - food delivery companies, construction firms, facilities management companies and hospital facilities firms are all feeling the benefits, too. In the Netherlands, DHL already makes 60% of inner-city deliveries on cargo bikes; the brand currently manages a fleet of nearly 17,000 cargo e-bikes and trikes, with an additional 5,000 on the way.

Cargo bikes are also 100% tax deductible, making them a great investment. Great news for businesses of all sizes!

Energy Saving Trust have created a helpful guide for businesses looking to electrify their delivery routes. The guide focuses on the 'last mile', which refers to the final delivery leg for packages, often undertaken by small diesel vans. Growth in online shopping and same-day deliveries has led to particularly high growth in this part of the supply chain, and the nature of shorter, local routes makes the 'last mile' ideal for e-cargo bikes.

If you're keen to see how an e-cargo bike could  help you save money and boost efficiency, we'd recommend speaking to other businesses in your sector about their experience with bikes, to get an idea of how it could work for you.

You can also book a test ride at your local supplier, and many even offer on-site trials to really put business on two wheels to the test. 

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If you'd like to find out more about going net zero at work, including reducing your workplace transport emissions, book your free net zero consultation online today.