Sharing the load: the potential of e-cargo bikes

Think tank: Green Alliance

Author(s): Johann Beckford

December 1, 2022

This report from UK think tank Green Alliance looks at how to get vans on the right road to net zero.

The number of vans on the road has almost doubled over the past two decades and their greenhouse gas emissions have increased 56 per cent since 1990. New policy is urgently needed to get vans on the right road to net zero. Although electrifying vans is an important step, it is not the only action needed for a decarbonised transport system. The strategy to reduce van emissions will be a combination of electrification and switching to other modes of transport. This report explains the potential of e-cargo bikes as a less polluting vehicle option. With the ability to carry up to 300 kg in weight and much lower carbon emissions, they can be an alternative to vans in certain contexts. Too often, however, tradespeople and fleet operators are not part of discussions about future mobility solutions. This research focuses on the attitudes of key van user groups that will need to be engaged and calls for the government to do more to support traders and businesses to switch.