With urban car traffic and congestion at an all-time high, more and more people are turning to alternate methods of transportation. But while hopping on a bus or train might work well for commuters, public transportation isn't an option for business owners who have to haul heavy loads around. So what's the solution?
If your city-based business has a delivery, hauling, or towing component, an electric cargo bike could change your life. You'll be blown away by the time you'll save by zipping along in bike lanes instead of waiting in traffic, not to mention the money you'll save on gas. Keep reading for a full-run down of the benefits of using an e-cargo bike for your business, as well as some real-world examples of businesses using electric cargo bikes around the world.
Benefits of Using a Cargo E-Bike
As regular traffic continues to worsen in cities across the world, driving a cargo van or truck in the city is becoming less convenient than ever. You spend most of your day stuck in traffic, and then when you reach your destination you risk racking up expensive tickets from parking in the wrong place to unload your goods. The other alternative is that you circle around until you find a parking space that meets stringent guidelines for parking commercial vehicles, in which case you'll likely be a long distance from your destination and have to haul your goods on foot.
On an e-cargo bike, you and your goods will be able to fly past traffic in the bike lane. Cargo e-bikes are demonstrably faster as urban delivery vehicles than trucks and vans, since they can take shortcuts and even go through parks when necessary.
In addition to being faster, a cargo e-bike costs much less to operate than a van or truck. You'll save a ton of money on gas by switching your fleet over to electric bicycles. You'll also find that an electric cargo bike won't rack up as many maintenance bills as a truck or van.
Finally, the e-cargo bike is much more environmentally friendly than a car or a van, with ultra-low emissions and an extremely high rate of energy efficiency. In fact, many governments around the world have started to give subsidies to businesses who switch over to the cargo e-bike lifestyle, meaning you could actually end up making money by making the switch yourself.
Ways to Use an Electric Cargo Bike
Now that you're familiar with some of the benefits of switching from your old delivery van to an electric cargo bike, you might be wondering how an e-cargo bike performs as an urban delivery or hauling vehicle. What are some ways to use a cargo e-bike for business?
E-cargo bike deliveries are rising in popularity across the country, especially in the days since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York City, electric cargo bike deliveries rose by a staggering 109% between May 2020 and January 2021, and that number will likely continue to rise into 2022. If you need to transport goods in an urban environment, there's reason to argue that a cargo e-bike may be the most efficient method of doing so.
If you're thinking an electric cargo bike is probably only useful for small, less valuable loads, think again. There are scores of models out there, and every e-cargo bike is designed for a different purpose. There are some bikes designed to carry loads as heavy as 400 pounds, while others are designed to be super-secure to keep whatever you're carrying safe.
What Types of Businesses Use Electric Cargo Bikes?
While many of the cargo e-bike programs in this country are just starting to take off, there are several examples both at home and abroad of businesses successfully utilizing cargo bikes to supplement or even replace their van and truck fleets.
In Frankfurt, for instance, international delivery company DHL has implemented a program in which trucks transport their cargo to a central hub in the city, where each parcel is picked up by an electric cargo bike to be delivered to its final destination. DHL has plans to build more hubs, each of which can replace two conventional delivery vehicles and save more than 16 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Here in the United States, similar programs have been introduced to both reduce harmful emissions and cut down on congestion in urban centers caused by idling and parked delivery vehicles. The Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub in Washington uses a cargo e-bike fleet to deliver goods within city limits, allowing trucks and vans to remain outside the city and avoid clogging up Seattle's streets.
New York City's electric cargo bike initiative has seen participation from a number of the country's most popular delivery services, including Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. These companies' fleets of cargo bikes have demonstrably increased each business's efficiency while also reducing toxic emissions. The benefits are clear for everyone: streets aren't as crowded, delivery drivers can complete their routes more efficiently, and citizens are able to breathe easier.
The Bottom Line
In the post-COVID era, the demand for home-delivered goods has continued to increase, leaving businesses scrambling to meet the need without incurring hefty emissions fines or paying an inordinate amount to keep their fleets gassed up. Fortunately, for businesses based in urban centers, there's a beacon of hope on the horizon; a cost-effective way to get your goods to the people who need them quickly and efficiently while also doing right by the environment. That beacon is the cargo e-bike.
If you're interested in learning more about what a fleet of cargo e-bikes could do to revolutionize your business's delivery and hauling services, there are dozens of resources at your disposal. Check to see if your city has an e-cargo bike pilot program or offers subsidies to businesses for replacing some or all of their conventional delivery vehicles with an electric cargo bike fleet. Don't get left in the dust, or in traffic; revolutionize your business model today by switching to the cargo e-bike lifestyle!