Tag Archive: ecargo

  1. Prague’s cargo bike boom – a case study for urban last-mile deliveries

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    Source: Autonomy Network

    Prague remains a key location for cargo bike urban integration, having opened two city center depots. After operating for a sustained period, the success of the scheme can now be evaluated.

    Prague’s two cargo bike depots opened in 2020 and 2021 respectively, being recognized by the 2021 Eurocities Awards as a low-carbon alternative to last-mile van delivery. The principal is simple, a van drops off packages at the central depot, which are then delivered across the city via cargo bike. In Prague, hilly terrain leads to a preference for e-cargo bikes, allowing riders to tackle tougher terrain with ease. Thus far, each depot has delivered approximately 7,000 orders per month, with each location housing up to eight companies.

    Successful collaboration between public and private sectors

    Operating companies pay a small fee to cover depot running costs, and hence, the city administration does not have to contribute a stake in the project outside of the initial construction cost. For a relatively low price, the depot helps to achieve Prague’s long-term vision to promote cycling and change its citizens’ attitudes to this means of transport. The depot also contributes to the city’s pledge to lower its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

    The project is a good example of cooperation between different actors. The pilot project was approved by the city council based on a study by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development. It took only three months to execute the proposal. Ekolo, the company setting up and running the depot, attributes this success to intense cooperation between the logistics firm and city-run companies.

    Domestic firm (Dámejídlo, Zásilkovna, Rohlík or WEDO) and international firms (DHL, Dascher, GLS) both profit from the innovation. Twelve enterprises use the two depots at present, but Adam Scheinherr, mayor’s deputy for transportation, is in talks with companies that could not be accommodated in the first depots. A representative of Ekolo started helping with similar cargo bike projects in London, Copenhagen, and Lille.

    Potential to inspire future action and lessons learned

    As the largest depots of their kind, Prague’s cargo bike scheme offers both a point of inspiration and a case study from which to learn. Of course, it is commonly accepted that electric cargo bikes are an optimal delivery vehicle; speedy, quiet, low polluting, cheaper, accessible, etc. however, new insight can now be utilized to further improve customer and driver experience.

    The key lessons learned for future projects were:

    • More depots are required: This will minimize driver distance and reduce delivery times.
    • Unsustainable trends must still be recognized: Overconsumption and the negative impact of deliveries and packaging are still prominent issues for the majority of parcel lifetimes. More localized production is required.
    • Worker experience must be improved: One recent example concerns an online grocery store, Rohlik.cz, one of the companies using the depot. The firm reduced the couriers’ wages (despite having almost doubled its profit last year), sparking public concern. Other difficulties of this job came to light, namely long working hours, lack of social security, and uncertain wages.
  2. Subsidies for Italian businesses purchasing cargo bikes

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    Source:  Carla GiaumeEltis

    Any Italian company or business activity that invested in the purchase of a cargo bike for its daily activities in 2021 will now be able to receive up to 30% of the total expense. According to a decree published in the Italian Official Gazette, the incentive will be “in the form of a tax credit” and is up to a maximum of €2,000.

    The Italian government has allocated €2million to the scheme, which applies to the purchase of cargo bikes and power-assisted bikes. An online registration is soon to be created with a deadline for submissions to obtain the credit set at 20th June 2022. 

    Cargo bikes are being championed by manufacturers around Europe and their numbers are set to expand. Companies are using cargo bikes for first- and last-kilometres deliveries, while families are encouraged to replace their second cars with cargo bikes and similar modes of transport. The subsidies do only apply to businesses and not personal use, however. 

    Elisa Gallo, the president of the FIAB Torino Bike Pride – the Italian Association of Cycling Friends (which recently organised a cargo bike day), and newly elected national councillor of the Italian Environment and Bicycle Federation, commented on the news to RivistaBC: “It is certainly useful to invest in cargo bikes. Italians are beginning to be interested in cargo bikes, however, much more needs to be done. Delivery companies are also more sensitive to their environmental impact. It is certainly desirable for the incentive to be renewed also for 2022.”

    The National Association for Cycle and Motorcycle Accessories (ANCMA) remarked that the incentive is still far away from contributing to reach the environmental objectives or the ecological transition and that more are needed to encourage cycling. However, considering the current energy crisis, this could potentially favour a radical change in the way people and goods move, particularly in urban areas.

    For more information check the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTE) Gazzetta Ufficiale

  3. e-Cargo investment of £920,000 for hospital scheme in Bristol, UK

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, Simon Fox

    A 12-month trial sees vans servicing Bristol Royal Infirmary replaced by cargo bikes for urban journeys

    Run by West of England Combined Authority, the trial will take place for a full year, beginning June 2022. E-cargo bikes will be used as direct replacements for vans previously utilized by the Bristol Royal Infirmary, with GPS tracking measuring how this change impacts delivery performance.

    The £920,000 of funding from central government seeks to deliver substantial change to the way in which UK transport systems operate. As outlined by the Future Transport Zone, “The zones will provide real-world testing for experts, allowing them to work with a range of local bodies such as councils, hospitals, airports and universities to test innovative ways to transport people and goods.”

    A comparable study by Pedal and Post, an Oxford-based cargo bike provider, found medical delivery times to be halved when using cargo bikes in comparison to vans in urban areas. The results for Bristol will become clear in a year’s time.

  4. German cargo-bike market continues to bulk-up with 100,000 sales in 2020

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    Source: Forbes

    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.

  5. Fulpra wins 4th place in Chamber of Commerce Innovation Top 100 2021

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    Source: KVK

    The Chamber of Commerce’s annual Innovation Top 100 celebrates SME companies across the Netherlands, awarding LEVA-EU member Fulpra 4th place for 2021. Fulpra develops and sells eCargo bikes for last-mile delivery services. These products reduce emissions in urban areas, reduce congestion, and facilitate a smoother delivery chain.

    The Fulpra L1 can carry four times the weight of comparable eCargo vehicles, this is thanks to a high-power electric pedal drive crafted with reliable engineering. Fulpra’s electric cargo bike is the only product in the Netherlands to have passed the strict RDW inspection and received European approval in the L1e-a category.

  6. Citkar named one of Europe’s top 50 clean mobility startups for 2022

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    Source: European Startup Prize for Mobility

    After the European Startup Prize for Mobility received 563 applications from 38 European countries, LEVA-EU member Citkar was announced as a top 50 sustainable mobility startup. Independent evaluators ranked competitors against a rigid methodology with clearly defined criteria; 2022 was said to have both the largest quantity and highest quality of overall entrants in the prize’s history. Citkar’s elevator pitch read:

    “Citkar is improving urban environments with CO2-free sustainable urban e-mobility solutions. Our product is a clever combination of bicycle and automotive tech: stable, reliable, and intuitive to ride.”

    Following the win, Citkar continues its commitment to green mobility, delivering eCargo vehicles across Europe.

  7. Transport Policy Journal – ‘Electric cargo cycles: A comprehensive review’

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    Published in Transport Policy Journal (Volume 116), Narayanan and Antoniou’s research aims to comprehensively review the studies on E-cargo cycles, for various facets of their application, including but not limited to typology, penetration, impacts and policies required.

    This recent analysis of past research offers insight related to various facets of E-Cargo cycle deployment, focusing primarily on application within commercial transport and the various systems required to achieve this.

    A particularly exciting finding is the positive impacts associated with E-Cargo uptake outside of the primary focus of environmental benefits. With the correct application, the paper suggests that further benefits to the economy, society, traffic, and safety can be achieved. Additionally, a number of research gaps are highlighted in the study. Despite the rapidly growing wider literature, further analysis is required to fully conceptualize an E-Cargo-driven future, particularly regarding the private use of E-Cargo and country-specific restrictions due to vehicle size.

    ‘Electric cargo cycles: A comprehensive review’ is a strong step towards identifying and exploiting the full potential of E-Cargo bikes, from which a properly developed system of use can be implemented. The full paper can be accessed here.

  8. Sustainable mobility sweeps through Vienna’s chimney industry

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    With the financial backing of the city, hundreds of chimney sweeps in Vienna will be provided with electric cargo bikes to aid in their profession.

    Source: The Mayor

    Chimney sweeps in Vienna play a critical role in maintaining the city’s heating/energy efficiency/air quality paradigm. The sweeps secure the safety of close to 12,000 Viennese households that run fireplaces as their heating source. This service prevents fires and dangerous levels of carbon monoxide; additionally, well-maintained systems use 10% less fuel.

    The wide range of transport and parking options associated with e-cargo bikes, alongside adequate storage for the necessary industry tools, places the bikes as a cost-effective alternative to a car for chimney sweeps working within the city centre.

    Cash from the Vienna Green Electricity Fund is being used to support chimney sweeping companies as they switch to e-cargo bikes, having already financed 300 bikes across 260 companies. A further 180 companies are pending approval for e-cargo funding, pushing a total of 440 chimney-sweeping companies towards a greener, and cheaper, method of operation.

  9. Eskuta awarded a further £500,000 in funding for the development of e-cargo bikes and scooters

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    As reported in TheBusinessDesk, LEVA-EU member Eskuta has been awarded £500,000 in funding by the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). The MEIF has now provided a total of £1 million in support for the company, with the aim to support Eskuta’s ambitious plans for growth and further development in their manufacturing of electrically assisted pedal cycles and e-scooters,

    Funding was allocated in particular due to the potential of Eskuta’s products to aid in the delivery of a net-zero economy. The company’s low-carbon e-cargo bike options have already been officially adopted by large fast-food outlets including JustEat, Dominos, and Pizza Hut; with this further MEIF funding, Eskuta can continue its growth into the retail market, both within the UK and internationally.

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