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e-Bikes racing toward last-mile delivery

e-Bikes racing toward last-mile delivery
e-Bikes racing toward last-mile delivery

Businesses are looking at e-bikes as a more cost-effective and low maintenance option for last-mile deliveries. In an era where the likes of Amazon is even speeding up same-day delivery, businesses are looking at alternative faster options in the competing market.

A 2021 study called The Promise of Low Carbon Freight concentrates on the benefits of cargo bikes in London. It found that e-bikes deliver cargo faster and are less disruptive to the environment. The study found that an e-bike can deliver 60% faster than a van in a busy city centre. e-Bikes had a higher average speed and dropped off 10 parcels an hour, compared to six with a van.

Top e-bike companies

Zoomo is one of the largest electronic bike retailers where companies can either hire or buy a fleet of e-bikes. They operate in parts of North America, Europe and Asia. Commercial strategy manager Nicholas Marquardt believes the quantity of parcels being delivered in our cities is exploding. “The speed of delivery is shortening and cities are trying to take cars and vans out of the city centre. It’s making it very difficult for the traditional logistics model.” Zoomo believes e-bikes are more efficient than cars and vans in urban centres.

“The future of urban delivery is light electric vehicles. The world is going electric and companies know that they need to change out their fleet,” said Zoomo’s co-founder Michael Johnson.

Leitner e-bikes are some of the most popular and best rated in Australia, especially the Libelle 20inch Step-Thru Folding e-bike. Leitner claims the tyres are puncture-resistance, which is ideal for the use of last-mile delivery. The Samsung lithium battery cells can last up to 20-50 km in one full charge.

Another popular brand among delivery drivers is Joco. It can go up to 20mph. It position itself as a favourite among delivery drivers in New York City due to it’s size and motor capacity.

Types of e-bikes

There are three types of e-bikes, which are called class 1, 2 & 3. According to Bicycling a class 1 e-bike has a 750 watt motor and can assist a rider while pedaling up to 20 mph. A class 3 on the other hand can assist a rider up to 28 mph. For both these models no license is needed. A class 2 e-bike has a throttle that can launch a bike up to 20 mph without needing continuous pedaling.

Benefits of using e-bikes for delivery

The University of Washington found that delivery trucks spent 28% of their delivery time idling, looking for a parking spot. e-Bikes also save thousands of dollars not needing to refuel large diesel tanks. e-Bikes are found to deliver cargo quicker in dense parts of cities, while reducing the congestion, noise and pollution.

It has many other benefits, like being more affordable for delivery drivers who can’t put down a deposit on a car or van. This results in high monthly installments and high insurance costs. The maintenance of an e-bike is also significantly lower and affordable.

On the flip side, there might be concerns about how long a fully charged battery fitted on an e-bike can last, given it has multiple deliveries lined up throughout the day. It all depends on the battery capacity. On average a standard e-bike delivering cargo can last up to 80 km with a single charge. Higher up models can deliver better results.

Safety concerns of e-bikes

There are concerns over the safety of the lithium-ion batteries used to power the e-bikes. It’s the same used in cellphones, laptops and other electric vehicles. There are now calls for stricter regulations and safety standards to reduce the risk of fires in these batteries.

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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