Electric Cargo Bikes Overcome Driver Shortages
More businesses are using electric cargo bikes for their deliveries as an alternative to lorries and vans due to shortages of drivers, and broader traffic problems in cities.
The speed, flexibility and environmental benefits of cargo bikes mean they're rising in popularity as an alternative to vans. Able to arrive at their destination quicker due to less traffic, no congestion fees and fewer parking issues, small businesses are swapping to them to keep businesses moving.
They've even become a direct competitor to electric vans, according to Philpotts from Sweco.
“It’s a direct competitor to electric vans,” Philpotts says. “You can stop where you like. You can service buildings more easily. You can take the bike into awkward locations — and you’ve not got the parking issues or the loading issues.”
Freddie's Flowers has been paving the way in this regard, able to fit 45 boxes onto their Cargo XL. Their bikes were more able to make deliveries at all times of day, when traditional vans weren't able to. They're now achieving 12,000 deliveries per week by bike alone.
The visibility offered of branded cycle jackets and box branding also raises awareness of the brand's ethical credentials as bikes move about the city, offering affordable advertising.
Cargo Bikes such as these are a key solution in reducing your carbon footprint and achieving Net Zero targets, significantly reducing your Scope 1 emissions from owned vehicles thanks to 0 emissions.
They're also treated as a normal electric bike would be, making them fully ULEZ compliant and not needing any additional paperwork.
The Urban Arrow range can carry up to 250KG, far beyond what many people expect. With ranges of up to 45 miles, they're capable of running a full day of deliveries with assisted power.
Assisted power has meant any employee can learn to ride them easily, and overcomes the barriers of wait times for driving licences with vans or lorries. This has been a huge help for businesses as they come out of the pandemic and struggle with staff shortages.
Overall, the businesses who have adopted electric cargo bikes have been surprised with the efficiency and positive benefits, both to delivery scheduling, but also to riders too who have been able to fit more easily around other business commitments.