The Government has pledged £2m in funding for e-cargo bikes grants to help provide a zero-emission alternative to traditional last-mile delivery vehicles.
Full details of how the funding will work have not been released yet but the funding pot is intended to augment current work to drive electric van take-up – last week saw 16 of the UK’s largest van fleet operators commit to adopting electric vans by 2020 under a new government-backed scheme intended to drive air quality improvements.
The e-cargo bike scheme has been announced as part of this week’s Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham and follows the launch this summer of the last mile call for evidence, which closes today (10 September 2018) and asks for views on how electrically powered e-vans, micro vehicles and e-cargo bikes can provide better service to customers for cargo in comparison to light commercial vehicles.
It also builds on previous government-funded UK trials for e-cargo bikes in spring 2017. The Department for Transport’s Innovation Challenge Fundgrant enabled London-based e-cargo Bikes to set up their first Micro Hub on an industrial estate in Islington from which grocery delivery trials with Sainsbury’s were conducted. The trials showed that 96.7% of orders could be fulfilled in a single e-cargo bike drop.
Commenting on the latest funding, Jesse Norman, Minister for Low Emission Vehicles, said: “Encouraging electric delivery bikes on to our city streets will cut traffic and improve air quality, and will show how these vehicles have the potential to play an important role in the zero-emission future of this country.”
Further details on the distribution of this funding will be outlined shortly along with the Government’s full response to the call for evidence.