Birmingham will this week launch an e-cargo bike trial, having received its first batch of bikes ahead of Christmas – in time to enable a charity to make food deliveries in the community ahead of Christmas.
The bikes, which are available in two and three-wheeled versions and were first unveiled by Raleigh back in July, will be used by The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) to collect donations and deliver food and clothing to vulnerable people across the city.
Birmingham became one of the first local authorities to get funding for an e-cargo bike pilot scheme in May, which helps pay for leasing and maintaining them, as well as training riders.
Initially, it is leasing 13 e-cargo bikes and seven e-cargo trikes, with the council retaining four of them for its own use to replace trips previously made by van.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar said: “I’m delighted that e-cargo bikes have arrived in Birmingham and in time to support the amazing work of the Active Wellbeing Society.
“This pilot scheme will help to improve air quality in our city and support organisations in their efforts to reduce emissions. It is another step towards achieving net zero carbon in Birmingham.
“We will be monitoring the impact of the pilot closely as we look to develop more sustainable freight initiatives in the future.”
Chair of TAWS and ward Councillor Lisa Trickett said: “The eCargo bike scheme will really help our staff and volunteers to get essential items to where they are needed over the Christmas period.
“Whether that is delivering food parcels and meals, clothing and toy donations or our ‘Christmas Treat Bags’ to the communities we are supporting. It is vitally important that we are able to work with our partner organisations to support individuals and families during such challenging times.
“The eCargo bikes will enable us to meet local need in a sustainable and efficient way."
The bikes, made by Raleigh, can carry a payload of 100 kilograms plus the rider, with a range of 40 miles on a single charge and zero emissions.
Ed Pegram, commercial partnerships manager at Raleigh, said: “Raleigh are very pleased to support the Birmingham eCargo bike share, it marks one of the first cargo share schemes in the UK supporting businesses become more sustainable and creating more liveable towns and cities with improved air quality and reduced congestion.”
A further batch of bikes will be delivered in the New Year and loaned to organisations partnering the council, partly to showcase how e-cargo bikes can work for day-to-day operations when delivering goods and services.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.