A six month trial has compared the environmental impact of deliveries made by van to those made by an electric cargo bike for one London business.
Sustrans, in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, conducted the ‘demonstration project’ to show businesses the benefits of switching delivery transport to electric cargo bikes.
Using GPS tracking and current emissions data for the van, Sustrans were able to estimate the reduction of C02 emissions by switching to the eCargo.
In conclusion, charity report that: “When comparing like-for-like journeys, the eCargo bike regularly came out as the faster and more economical mode of transport, especially during peak rush hour.”
The eCargo was used for 95% of deliveries under 5Km (just over 3 miles), covering 200Km (124 miles) in total, while the van was still utilised for longer journeys.
Sustrans report that: “A single delivery by bike to a café in Blackheath Village emitted just 4g of CO2 compared to 614g by the van, a 99% decrease. In addition, the journey was over four minutes quicker and cost as little as £1.60, just over half the price of the same journey made by van.”
In reporting the overall benefits of the trial, including yearly fuel savings of £829, fitter staff and a more flexible form of delivery – the trial reported that the bike was unaffected by peak traffic hours which could also be ridden by staff without a driver’s licence – Sustrans are calling for similar projects to continue building the case for greener transport in line with ethical consumer trends.
Michael Jones, owner of Drings butchers participating in the trial, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Sustrans and Greenwich in changing the way we make our deliveries. Plus our customers like seeing the butchers on the bike too. The bike is also just as efficient at making shorter deliveries and I haven’t had to fill the van up in eight weeks, proving that making the switch from diesel to e-cargo bike makes both business and environmental sense.”