Leeds city council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Bradford council have secured funding for 32 new e-cargo bikes for businesses in the area to trial.
The money comes from the Department for Transport and Energy Saving Trust’s grant fund, which was launched last year.
Leeds city council and Bradford council adopted the e-cargo bike loan scheme in March 2021 and has since provided many local businesses the opportunity to trial the new delivery method.
Leeds University were the first organisation to adopt the scheme in Leeds and were loaned three e-cargo bikes, a trike and two long wheelbase vehicles.
The trial scheme allows organisations to experience how e-cargo bikes could provide a cost-effective alternative to cars and vans for heavy, bulky local deliveries. Each bike allows for up to 40 miles assisted cycling and has a load capacity of up to 100Kg or 900 litres.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: “This offer to businesses to trial e-cargo bikes for local delivery solutions could be revolutionary. In March I was fortunate enough to try riding a e-cargo trike. I found it to be easy to do in everyday clothes and, despite a heavy load in the bike box, a really easy ride. The additional 32 e-cargo bikes funded by the grant scheme will allow more businesses in West Yorkshire to ‘try-before-you-buy’.
“With so many employees continuing to work from home following the pandemic, investing in a e-cargo bike could be far more cost-effective for businesses who operate in and around the city centre without needing to pay for vehicle related costs and benefit from very little maintenance costs.
“It’s projects like this that will help us achieve our ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2030 as well as our vision of Leeds being a city where you don’t need a car.”
A new £400,000 funding round for the e-cargo Bike Grant Fund, to help and support small businesses invest in electric cargo bikes, was announced by the Energy Saving Trust and the Department for Transport (DfT) on August 4.
The e-cargo Bike Grant Fund aims to give businesses the opportunity to introduce e-cargo bikes into their fleet operations by covering up to 40% of the total cost, with a maximum of £2,500 for two-wheel models and £4,500 for three-wheel models.
Tracy Brabin, mayor of West Yorkshire, added: "In my manifesto, I committed to tackling the climate emergency.
"I am delighted that businesses in West Yorkshire will benefit from the opportunity to be even more sustainable through innovative technology such as e-cargo bikes and be part of our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038."