French National Plan on City Logistics and Electric Cargo Cycles

1135 days ago

3 minutes

Source: Ministry of Ecological Transition –  One year after the launch of the French cycling plan, the French Government is putting in place a national (electric) cargo cycle logistic plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport of goods in cities. In total, 12 million euros in energy saving certificates are dedicated to it.

Context and cycle logistics in cities

Accelerated by the health crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the increase of city logistics has heavily impacted air pollution. For example, the transport of goods represents only 15 to 20% of traffic while it generates 45% of the fine particles emitted in Paris. Due to the increase of traffic in several French cities, pollution levels regularly exceed the air pollution threshold limits.

To reduce emissions linked to the transport of goods, the modal share of polluting commercial vehicles must drop. Electric cargo cycle logistics are a cleaner, fast solution that requires little urban space and could be suitable for a large share of city delivery needs.

The objective of the French logistic plan is to promote the use of clean (electric) cargo cycles and improve city logistics with more suitable regulations and infrastructure. Part of the plan is to offer incentives to stakeholders in the sector and to deploy the required infrastructure necessary for the uptake of cargo cycle city logistics. This should result in an even sharper increase of (electric) cargo bikes sales.

The French cargo cycle logistic plan is part of a wider policy frame for developing clean mobility in urban areas. The plan is focused on 4 major guidelines.

The electric cargo cycle logistic plan for cities

Guideline 1: promote (electric) cycle delivery activities

With the recently voted bill on the conversion bonus, electric cargo cycles are now also available to buy if you scrap a vehicle that meets the requirements for scrappage. In the cours of this year, a new purchase incentive on (electric) cargo cycles will become available for professionals. This incentive becomes active after a favorable vote on the Climate & Resilience bill in the Senate, which is expected to be voted in June 2021.

Guideline 2: mobilize stakeholders

With this plan, the state and local communities want to be leading by example. Therefore, they facilitate the transition to (electric) cargo cycle delivery possibilities also by encouraging better insurance options for cycle logistics.  

Guideline 3: facilitate cycle logistics in cities with suitable infrastructure

There will also be a focus on improving the quality of infrastructure such as cycle paths and logistic hubs in cities. According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, they will guide the transition in France based on ‘’A Guide to Planning Cyclelogistics Hubs’’, which is a report of the European project City Changer Cargo Bike (CCCB).

Guideline 4: accelerate the development of urban innovation and open data sources

The cycle logistic plan focuses around the development of cycle logistics through innovative digital solutions. For example there is a call for projects (‘’4e Programme des investissements d’avenir, PIA4’’) which target the creation of applications that can be used to optimize cycle logistics.

For the complete plan, please go the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Annick Roetynck

Annick is the Manager of LEVA-EU, with decades of experience in two-wheeled and light electric mobility.

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