City dwellers can expect to see a lot more of these in the very near future.
Electric cargo bikes deliver about 60 percent faster than vans in city centres, according to a study. It found that bikes had a higher average speed and dropped off 10 parcels an hour, compared with six for vans.
The bikes also cut carbon emissions by 90 percent compared with diesel vans, and by a third compared with electric vans.
“Recent estimates from Europe suggest that up to 51 percent of all freight journeys in cities could be replaced by cargo bike,” said Ersilia Verlinghieri at the Active Travel Academy at the University of Westminster and lead author of the report. “So it’s remarkable to see that, if even just a portion of this shift were to happen in London, it would be accompanied by not only dramatic reduction of CO2 emissions, but also contribute to a considerable reduction of risks from air pollution and road traffic collisions, whilst ensuring an efficient, fast and reliable urban freight system.”
“These benefits are not just specific to London, with the 100,000 cargo bikes introduced in Europe between 2018 and 2020 estimated to be saving, each month, the same amount of CO2 needed to fly about 24,000 people from London to New York and back,” the report said.
Home deliveries have soared in recent years, spurred by online shopping and the coronavirus pandemic. Vans can travel along clear stretches of road at higher speeds than cargo bikes but are slowed by congestion and the search for parking. Cargo bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to the customers door.
A Berlin startup has developed a new electric delivery vehicle, called the ONO PAT, that can carry a carload of goods in a bicycle-sized package - for the last mile. It's expected to be particularly useful in Europe's wiggly, narrow streets. More...