40 Electrically-assisted Cargo bikes are currently trialled by courier firms across Germany. This illustrates the diverse uses and benefits of electrically-assisted bikes. It would be great to see a similar project in Brighton – please contact us if you are interested.
The “I’m replacing a car” (“Ich Ersetze Ein Auto”) initiative is run by the Institute for Transport Research at DRL. The project aims to “allow couriers and express logistics services to reduce the use of combustion engine vehicles and therefore reduce GHG emissions.”
It’s a two-year project that started in 2012, and it aims to answer the following questions:
“How can electric cargo bikes contribute in reducing CO2 emissions and harmful traffic in cities? Which amount of car courier trips could be substituted by electric cargo bikes? What opportunities arise from the implementation of electric cargo bikes for urban courier services and their customers? What are the drivers and barriers for using electric cargo bikes from a courier‘s perspective?”
The bike used is called “iBullitt Pedelec Solar” made by Urban e; it can carry loads up to 100kg and has a 90km radius. In some urban areas 85% of all courier trips made by car could be replaced, and the fact that the running costs of cargo e-bikes are up to 85% lower could make it a cost-effective alternative for car couriers, according to the project website. The cargo e-bikes will be trialled in Berlin, Hamburg, München, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen and Mainz.
The German magazine “Der Spiegel” also has a feature on using e-bikes for cargo transportation and couriers, arguing that these bikes have a renaissance in Germany due to them now having electrical assistance.