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24 Nov, 16 tweets, 5 min read
The potential of cargo bikes for large scale logistics is still mostly misunderstood. To break it down, we looked at the data from the Pedal Me fleet in London in September. Read our report on the future of urban mobility. Summary thread below 🧵⬇⬇⬇…
We analysed ~19,000 km of GPS data from our cargo bikes. Our average moving speed in central london was 15kmh. That's 3.5kmh faster than traffic speeds in 2018. Note that congestion this year was up 153% compared to last year so likely even faster..
Beyond competitive moving speeds, e-cargo bikes don't have to waste time looking for parking space. Parking is a huge burden for delivery vans (studies say between 9-15 minutes), usually with additional walking to the final delivery, frequent fines and regular traffic blocks.
Cargo bikes benefit from shorter routes. Looking at 2000+ jobs, we found bike trips were on avg. 6% shorter than car trips. For trips <5km, 25% of trips were at least 10% shorter. A study in Sydney with actual van data showed cargo bikes travelled a third less in the city. 4/🧵
The limited capacity of e-cargo bikes is a deceiving aspect of their efficiency for large scale last mile delivery operations. Because of the nature of last mile logistics, vans are limited by the number of drops they can do in a day and are mostly used at sub-capacity. 5/🧵
The smaller capacity of cargo bikes (in terms of weight and volume) mean deliveries are distributed between more vehicles. This can result in globally more efficient routes and often require fewer hours overall to be completed (e.g. 2 bikes x 4h < 1 van x 9h). 6/🧵
During the first lockdown in the Spring of 2020, Pedal Me demonstrated the potential of e-cargo bikes for large scale logistics by delivering over 10,000 packages in collaboration with Lambeth Council to the individuals and families most in need. 7/🧵…
9. For cargo bikes to replace vans, they *need* to be used at full capacity. An e-cargo bike can carry up to 150kg, with trailers adding in an additional 150kg. Since the beginning of the company, Pedal Me has led an important R&D program to train riders to do just this.

Studies point at a very wide estimate (10-90%) of van journeys being replaceable by cargo bikes in urban areas. We believe these studies to be usually pessimistic, underestimating the carrying capacity of e-cargo bikes. 10/🧵
The benefits of cargo bikes go much deeper than more efficient logistics. First, they're a key tool to decongest the city. In 2018, congestion was estimated to have cost the UK economy £7.9bn. In London this corresponded up to £1.6k for the average road user.
E-cargo bikes are incredibly energy efficient, using 6% of the electricity of a small e-van. Looking at life cycles, e-bikes emit <85% less than an EV. Because of embedded CO2, an e-cargo bike will have ridden >>100,000 miles before an electric car is even out of the factory
Air pollution has severe effects on people's health. Each car in London costs the NHS & society an average of £8k because of pollution. In London, 9.5k people die every year due to it. Removing vans and cars is THE most efficient way to reduce pollution in cities.
Trucks and vans pose a disproportionate risk for pedestrians and cyclists. In 2018, there were 1,220 people killed or seriously injured between July and September due to road casualties. 99% of pedestrian collision deaths involve a motorised vehicle. 14/🧵
Cars are v inefficient use of space in cities. London has 6.8mio parking spaces- the average car is parked 92% of the time. This space is starting to be re-claimed for pockets parks, social space etc. TFL showed bike lanes are 5x more efficient at moving people than car lanes
there are too many cars in London driving short distances: 50% of journeys are <3km. taking cars&vans off the road with cargo bikes means safer streets for all, encouraging more cyclists. ppl who commute by bike have a 52% lower risk of death from heart disease, 40% from cancer
Instead of using cargo bikes, we could ofc invest in advanced tech to address all these problems separately (last mile logistics, urban mobility, congestion, CO2 emissions, road fatalities, air pollution, mental health) .. but one may wonder, why re-invent the wheel? 🙈

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