Department for Transport publishes Electrifying Last Mile guidance paper for biz

The UK’s Department for Transport, in tandem with the Energy Savings Trust, have published a guidance paper for businesses assessing improving their last mile delivery processes.

The contents page gives strong indication of the strands the report goes down, with topics including “How can businesses use eCargo bikes” aligned with numerous case studies on the subject.

As it stands, transport is now the UK’s largest sector for emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases at 27%, of which the road accounts for 90%.

The UK Government is currently assessing whether a plan to bring a 2035 deadline for the phase out of new petrol and diesel cars makes sense. The annual impact of motoring via cars and vans weighs a £5.9 billion burden on the economy. British drivers are said to have lost £7.9 billion in 2018 due to congestion alone.

Within the report’s introduction we learn that 50% of motorised trips transporting goods could be shifted to cargo or electric cargo bikes in the UK, while 33% of last mile urban deliveries could be handled this way. Alluding to the ever-increasing problems caused by congestion and pollution, the Department for Transport’s assessment is weighted heavily on light electric vehicles, with electric vans given less column inches.

It is the agility and surprising load carrying capacity that are flagged in a number of educational assessments of the differing types of cargo haulers. The report, citing the Cycle Logistics Study of 2019, offers that most journeys could shave between 25 and 50% off their time due to greater agility and a more reliable schedule of deliveries.

The differences between 2 wheeled, 3 and 4 wheeled and trailers are outlined in a concise pros and cons segment that will help a logistics manager decide which option best suits their last mile needs.

Perhaps most striking of all is the annual cost analysis, best demonstrated in the graph below:

ev cost last mile

Businesses with eco-friendly messages have grown in favour with consumers, who have been shown to be willing to pay a premium for product backed by a business that shows sustainability credentials. The trend is noticeable higher in the youth.

Previous studies have also demonstrated the efficiency and money saving possibilities attached to switching to electric cargo bikes, stating that “in most cases” businesses can make an improvement.