UK: Funding boost for last-mile cargo e-bikes


The British government announces two million pounds to support the uptake of electric cargo bikes. Westminster hopes the zero emission wheelers will replace vans, particularly when making last-mile deliveries. Details are yet to follow.

The scheme is part of the British government trying to clean up their act. 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.”

Particular traffic caused by an increase in deliveries has driven up sales of diesel vehicles. Road traffic estimates indicate van traffic increased by 4.7% to 49.5 billion vehicle miles in 2016 alone.

The funding inititaive can build on successful trials and evidence. An early trials with electric cargo bikes funded by the Department for Transport had enabled the company e-cargo Bikes from London to set up their first Micro Hub in Islington from which grocery delivery trials with Sainsbury’s were conducted. The trials exceeded expectations and showed that 96.7% of orders could be fulfilled in a single e-cargo bike drop.

Another London borough, the City of London Corporation, has set up a similar initiative as part of their Low Emission Neighbourhood (LEN) scheme. They had rolled out a cargo bike fleet jointly with zero-emission delivery operator Zedify reportedly.

The announcement of the latest grant is also in response to the government’s last mile call for evidence, which closes tonight. Further detail about the distribution of this funding for cargo e-bikes will be outlined shortly after.

The British government has recently published their Road to Zero strategy to decarbonise the country. It affirms to ban all sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040 and specifies that by 2030, at least half of all newly registered cars and 40 percent of new vans must classify as “ultra low emission”.


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