Cargo bikes: 21st century SUVs
This past weekend, 250 people descended on the Dutch city of Nijmegen to discuss cargo bikes. This was not simple a group of oddball enthusiasts, but business people and entrepreneurs from around the world who are seriously experimenting with the potential of the cargo bike as a utility vehicle.
Mobycon has been working on the business application for cargo bikes in logistics, courier and home delivery through the European Commission project PRO-E-BIKE, which was also one of the sponsors of the event. Ronald Jorna discussed PRO-E-BIKE, trends related to e-cargo bikes, lessons learned from pilot projects and policies for promoting e-cargo bikes in his presentation Saturday. Below is a summary of the findings Ronald presented.
This project focuses on the use of e-bikes for delivery services by building understanding, increasing confidence in technology, encouraging behaviour change, increasing market update and developing pro e-bike policies at the local level.
The manufacturers of e-bicycles will continue to increase the utility of these vehicles. Often these types of vehicles are best used for first and last mile delivery but the following advancements may well extend usefulness beyond.
In The Netherlands, seven pilot projects have been started in partnership with delivery services, public administration and private citizens. Initial findings have uncovered a number of benefits, including the following.
Communities wishing to encourage e-bikes in the realm of delivery should consider the following policy ideas.
More information about the PRO-E-BIKE project is available on the website, visit www.pro-e-bike.org or by contacting Ronald Jorna directly. Ronald is an economist with more than 20 years of experience working on European Commission research projects.