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UK government backs electric bike deliveries with £2 million fund


The UK government is subsidising electric bike purchases for companies that are making last mile deliveries.
Organisations can apply online for the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) eCargo Bike Grant, which will cover up to 20% of the total cost of an ecargo vehicle up to a maximum of £1000 per bike.

The scheme is worth £2 million overall, with applications capped at 50 ecargo bikes or £50,000 per organisation.

The scheme is available for a range of vehicles, including trailers, tricycles and quadricycles. There are minimum size restrictions, although these may be waived if the vehicles are suitable for commercial use, as well as requirements for rider training.

Electric bikes combine pedal power with battery assistance. Provided they meet certain requirements they are classed as a normal pedal bike, allowing riders to use them on cycle paths.

A number of delivery companies are already using electric bikes. Royal Mail is set to trial using electronic tricycles for deliveries in a bid to cut CO2 emissions in urban areas.

DHL is using them alongside boats on the Amsterdam canals; overall the Netherlands is one of the leading markets for bike deliveries due to its flat terrain and green-friendly regulatory environment.

Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is delivering products for free via electric bikes as part of a partnership with a local smartphone app.

Image credit: Fotolia

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