In collaboration with DHL Express in Oslo and DB Schenker in Oslo and Bergen researchers at TØI have studied the delivery of goods by electric bicycle between January 2018 and June 2019.
Electric cargo bikes have the potential to take over a number of smaller volume-deliveries and within certain product segments - especially in urban areas with high density of receivers and limited accessibility for cars. The use of cargo bikes is also freiendlier to the environment than car.
In urban areas like the center of Oslo, cargo bikes generally have better accessibility than vans, they can more easily adapt to traffic changes and the cyclists can choose more optimal routes. Cyclists have the opportunity to cycle on sidewalks, pedestrian streets and in both directions in one-way streets. In addition, it is easier to park cargo bikes than vans close to receivers.
The electric cargo bike has limitations on load capacity, range and speed compared to vans. Consequently, electric cargo bikes can not replace trucks, but they can be an sufficient supplement. Good planning of product sorting, as well as access to center-close depots / micro depots are crucial factors. In some cases this will entail an extra sorting link.
The efficiency of the cargo bike decrease in the winter months, but so does the van.
Public authorities can contribute to more use of cargo bikes by ensuring affordable, centrally located areas for transhipment to cargo bikes, and to increased demand for cargo bike distribution by emphasizing climate and environmental considerations when cities select contractors. An increased limit for maximum motor assistance for load bikes is also a factor to look into.
English summary HERE