Following the Department for Transport’s announcement that it will set up a £2 million fund for e-cargo bikes, the specifics are now emerging on how the cash will be available to businesses switching to e-cargo bikes for “last mile” delivery.
The DfT’s fund will contribute up to 20% of the purchase price, up to a threshold of £5,000 for companies looking to jump into e-cargo bikes.
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.
The Bicycle Association’s Technical Manager, Peter Eland, who led the development of the BA’s consultation response, said: “This is a welcome and timely announcement, providing substantial support to an increasingly important sector of the cycling industry. The Bicycle Association has been lobbying for some time for transport policy to fully embrace the clean, congestion-free and innovative transport possibilities of electric cargo bikes, and this is a very welcome step towards that goal. We’re looking forward to engaging further with Government as they develop the details of the scheme.”
Cycling UK’s Policy Director, Roger Geffen said: “The Government’s support for electric cargo bikes is welcome news. Switching to cargo bikes could take lot of white vans off our roads and streets, making them safer, cleaner and more efficient for everyone.
“Yet Cycling UK remains mystified about why the Government is wholly unwilling to support electric bikes for personal travel, while continuing to offer generous support for electric cars and scooters. Supporting e-bikes could be a much more efficient solution not only for reducing pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions, but for tackling congestion, road danger and physical inactivity too.”