European Study Reveals Significant Potential for Bike Deliveries to Decarbonize Urban Transport

Photo by Damian Kamp

A study conducted in Europe back in 2015 has shed light on a remarkable finding: 51% of motorized trips in urban areas that involve transporting goods could be efficiently replaced by bicycle deliveries. The study’s definition of “bikeable” transport refers to trips that involve moving less than 200 kilograms of cargo over a distance of no more than 7 kilometers.

Since the study was conducted prior to the recent surge in restaurant and grocery deliveries and the emergence of companies promising lightning-fast delivery times as short as 10-15 minutes, the number of potential bike deliveries has undoubtedly increased. Additionally, the introduction of purpose-built, IoT-enabled, pedal-assist electric bikes, such as those offered by Keego, presents an opportunity to further decarbonize transportation with higher demand for speed and delivery distance. With the assistance of the electric motor, more individuals can comfortably handle delivery tasks, expanding the pool of potential couriers.

The United Kingdom, a country that has made significant strides in decarbonizing its power network through the installation of solar, wind, and wave power plants, has experienced a historic milestone. Recently, the UK reported instances where, for the first time in centuries, no coal was burned to generate power. However, despite the increasing adoption of electric vehicles, carbon emissions from the transportation sector have seen only marginal reductions over the past decade. Although sales of electric delivery vans are on the rise, these vehicles not only occupy a significant amount of space in cities but also tend to be oversized for the multitude of small, short-distance, and high-speed deliveries that have become commonplace for companies and consumers. Consequently, it becomes nonsensical to utilize a large van for the swift delivery of a meal, a few bags of groceries, or a box of office supplies. This is where e-bikes come to the rescue.

The integration of e-bikes as a primary mode of urban delivery holds promise for achieving sustainable and efficient transport solutions. By utilizing e-bikes, businesses and individuals can minimize their carbon footprint while adapting to the growing demand for rapid deliveries. E-bikes offer a compact and agile alternative, ensuring that deliveries can be made swiftly without compromising on efficiency. With the advancement of pedal-assist technology, riders can effortlessly navigate urban landscapes, making urban transport cleaner, greener, and more responsive to evolving consumer needs.

As cities strive to create environmentally friendly and sustainable urban environments, embracing the potential of e-bikes for last-mile deliveries is a logical step. By incorporating e-bikes into the delivery ecosystem, businesses and delivery services can significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and optimizing urban spaces.

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