A new move for business in EU cities

Publication date: 
July 2018

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Electric bikes proved to be very efficient in dense urban areas where most delivery rounds are short. In many ways they perform better than motorised vehicles, saving money and increasing efficiency.



Our cities are bustling with people – and merchandise. Moving goods smoothly and in an environmentally friendly way represents a major challenge. But a solution may be just around the corner, as new technologies, such as electric bicycles, are rapidly gaining ground.

Cycling helps reduce pollution, and it is also a completely different way to experience a city and its public spaces.

Based on these premises, Nantes, host city of the Velo-City Congress in 2015 and holder of the title of European Green Capital  in  2013,  has  developed  an  ambitious  and  comprehensive  cycling  policy.  Since  2010,  Nantes  Métropole  has subsidised the purchase of 4,000 e-bikes for use by individuals and businesses alike. Similar initiatives are underway in cities all over Europe.

This report sums up the European cities’ efforts to promote the use of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes for delivery and logistics purposes. These are true car alternatives: e-bikes are not only reliable but also cheap to operate. Furthermore, their use helps companies promote themselves as green enterprises.

For city authorities, the challenge of the day is to draw up strategies, policies and regulatory measures to encourage

modal shift to sustainable logistics. Cities with policies, strategies and plans that promote ‘cycle logistics’ are already

seeing the benefits.

This report also shows how cities can lead by using bikes to deliver municipal services. The positive examples presented herein can inspire and serve as models for other cities interested in learning about best practices.

The use of e-bikes is growing at the national level as well. For example, France’s national postal service La Poste already uses 20,000 e-bikes to deliver and collect mail and it plans to expand its fleet to 30,000 in the near future. Throughout Europe,  a  similar  trend  is  hard  to  miss:  an  increasing  number  of  companies  use bicycles, e-bikes or e-cargo bikes to deliver goods to their customers cost-effectively, quickly and reliably.