Businesses in Leeds are being offered free e-cargo bike loans to support sustainable deliveries and cut down on diesel commercial vehicle usage.
Leeds City Council’s new ‘try-before-you-buy’ electric-cargo bike loan scheme allows organisations to experience how e-cargo bikes could provide a genuine, cost-effective alternative to cars and vans for heavy, bulky local deliveries.
Each bike allows for up to 40 miles assisted cycling and has a load capacity of up to 100kg or 900 litres, and the three-month scheme also includes a free bespoke training session.
Research suggests e-cargo bikes can deliver financial savings of up to 90% compared to the cost of a running an equivalent commercial vehicle – with no tax, MOT, fuel costs or parking costs.
The council-funded scheme is part of a wider programme of initiatives being carried out to support greener, healthier travel in Leeds.
It could also help support growing demand for greener deliveries from eco-conscious shoppers. Recent research by EV charge point technology company EO has found 73% of consumers say they would prefer to buy from companies that deliver items in an environmentally friendly manner and 72% would be likely to use a green delivery option if one was available on the online shopping websites they use. Half (51%) would even be willing to pay an additional charge for a delivery that was environmentally friendly.
Leeds University is the first organisation to adopt the scheme, borrowing three e-cargo bikes, a trike and two long-wheelbases.
Louise Ellis, director of sustainability services at Leeds University, said: “Transforming our operational models to incorporate electric vehicles into our campus fleets reflects our ambitious travel and climate plan targets. We place active and sustainable modes of travel at the heart of these two strategies, and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of these e-cargo bikes. This pilot helps us to improve and monitor the environmental and health benefits whilst finding alternative operational solutions.”