Photo credit: NYC DOT
New York authorities approve trial of extra large e-cargo bikes for cleaner last mile delivery.
The four wheeled, four-foot-wide bikes look like small delivery vans.
Current restrictions there only allow cargo bikes with a maximum width of 36 inches and three wheels. However, the rising trend in online delivery brought forward by COVID has put pressure on last-mile delivery services.
Cargo e-bikes offer a space-efficient, low emission, safe alternative to heavy goods vehicles. One traditional delivery truck can be replaced by just two large cargo e-bikes. NYC DOT (New York City Department of Transportation) said that this can reduce CO2 emissions by 14 tons per year – equivalent to 30,872 passenger car miles travelled.
However, the decision has split opinions. Scooters, e-bikes and mechanical bikes are already competing for space in city bike lanes which are typically six feet wide. Critics cite worries that extra-wide cargo e-bikes will clog the lanes making it difficult to pass, thereby causing more tension on city streets.
On the other hand, cargo e-bikes have been proven to be effective at reducing emissions in the city in the past. New York launched its Commercial Cargo Bike pilot programme in 2019. In 2022, cargo bikes made more than 130,000 trips, delivering over five million packages. NYC DOT found that this removed more than 650,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
“This is the right move for New York, happening at a good time,” Adam Barmby, Founder and CEO of e-cargo brand EAV Solutions, told Zag Daily.
“EAV has been present in New York for the last two years, following existing regulations with the awesome team at NPD Logistics.
“We know from our partners the advantages our e-cargo bikes have in the city and those are now being recognised at a legislative level. It’s a city clearly thinking of the right solutions, and we are excited to act upon next steps.”
The company will be accepting feedback from the public during the month. The 30-day trial began on August 14 and ends on September 13 when there will be a public hearing to discuss the continuation.