A ‘pandemic bike boom’ has catapulted the German and wider European cargo-bike market towards an estimated growth of 40-50% in 2021
As European cities continue to grow in size and density, road space has become increasingly scarce. In tandem, online shopping has become the new norm, so it is unsurprising that in locations such as the UK, van traffic has seen a 71% increase over the last 20 years; for comparison, car traffic saw a 13% growth in the same period. More vans equate to more congestion, more pollution, and slower delivery times. In Germany, the cargo-bike is powering onto the scene with such ferocity that leading magazine Bike Europe stated that the bikes have quickly “[changed] the look of streets” in many cities.
Six years ago, in 2016, annual German cargo-bike sales stood at 15,000, in 2020 sales reached 100,000; today, the pandemic induced ‘bike boom’ has led to manufacturers estimating they experienced growth of 40-50% in 2021. When discussing modern city planning Walther Ploos van Amstel, a professor of city logistics at Amsterdam University, argues that “trucks… need to become smarter, cleaner, quieter, smaller and safer.” to remain viable – electric cargo-bikes already fulfill all of these criteria.
This spike in interest correlates to businesses begining to identify the range of benefits that electric cargo-bikes may bring to their operations in urban areas. In many cities, trips made by cargo-bikes are often more efficient during both travel and delivery procedure (parking, unloading, etc.). Consequently, policymakers are further accelerating the electric cargo-bike trend on a local and national scale, offering subsidies, trial schemes, and rebates. Cargo-bikes make up a crucial step in the marathon that is transforming European cities into climate-neutral locations.