The Department for Transport (DfT) has made £2 million funding available for the acquisition of e-cargo bikes, to support green last mile deliveries.
The eCargo Bike Grant Fund Information Pack includes an initial, but not comprehensive, list of suppliers and retailers whose e-cargo bikes are eligible for the funding.
According to DfT, this funding is available to limited companies, sole traders, partnerships, charities and not-for-profit organisations. Public, community or third sector organisations are also eligible providing they meet the eligibility criteria.
The E-Cargo Bike Grant funding covers up to 20% of the total cost of an e-cargo bike, up to a maximum of £1,000 per bike. To be eligible for funding, an e-cargo bike must have minimum 125 litre cargo volume capacity and minimum 130 kg weight capacity (combined rider and cargo weight).
The initiative was first announced last year as part of the international Zero Emission Vehicle Summit held in Birmingham last September. While the move has been welcomed, there is some incredulity that there is not yet any backing or incentives for private citizens looking to purchase an e-cargo bike rather than a polluting motor vehicle.
Green last mile deliveries seem to be on the government’s agenda as of late, as last month the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and TfL unveiled a new plan to transform how deliveries are made throughout the capital, reducing road danger and helping to clean up London’s toxic air. The plan included the introduction of micro-distribution centres in key locations to support sustainable last mile deliveries to neighbourhoods across the city, via bike and other green modes of transport.