More and more businesses are opting for electric cargo bikes. But why?

The Technology

Traditional cargo bikes didn’t traditionally have an electric assist. That means to get up the hills, cycling required both leg power and sweat. Not ideal if you were making deliveries all day or if you were on your way to a meeting. Thankfully, those days are gone. The electric assist is there for a reason – start pedalling and the assist gives you a helping hand (or leg) to make long or hilly journeys significantly easier. The brakes are very reliable and pretty effortless. The bikes are also easy to manoeuvre and handle round winding roads and city junctions.

The Cost

In pretty much all urban areas of Scotland, parking is an issue. Whether it’s staff parking or parking vehicles when making deliveries or attending meetings, it costs a surprising amount just to have your vehicle remain stationery at the kerbside.

And that’s only one aspect you can save on if using an e-cargo bike. Our infographic (above) gives you a cost comparison, so you can see for yourself the savings on fuel, insurance and of course the initial outlay cost too (especially when you consider the benefits of an interest-free loan from Transport Scotland which is repayable over four years).

There are other savings that might not be quite as obvious. Multiple studies have found that on average, employees who exercise regularly take fewer sick days than their non-active colleagues. Using an electric-cargo bike provides staff an easy way to exercise without having to over-exert themselves (unless they want to of course).

The Environment

The current pandemic has inadvertently made us appreciate the advantages quieter roads can bring, and we all want safer and less polluted cities for ourselves, but especially for our children. Why shouldn’t your business be part of the solution and not the problem?

That’s all very good but is an electric cargo bike an actual alternative to a business vehicle?

It depends. If you’re in the business of delivering sofas, you can’t easily switch to an electric cargo bike – although Sustrans recently moved their entire London office using only pedal power so nothing is impossible! However, if you regularly carry loads of around 200kg (31 stone, 6 lbs) or less, switching to an electric cargo bike is definitely possible. And remember, the electric assist does give a substantial help so while you do need to keep pedalling, it’s a world away from the old sweat and tears of getting you to your destination. Plus, as no licence is required, any member of staff can ride it – an excellent way of adapting to unplanned staff absence, last minute meetings or deliveries.

If you’re not in the delivery business, electric cargo bikes can replace pool cars or even the need for employees to use their own vehicle when visiting clients. Laptop, projector, product samples? Easy with an electric cargo bike! Brand it up and you’re advertising your company wherever you ride.

Types of Electric Cargo Bikes

There are two main types of electric cargo bikes: bikes with load carrying ability at the front and bikes which can carry bigger loads on the back.

Looking more like traditional cargo bikes, the Riese & Muller (above, right) range carries its load on the front (but you can add panniers on the back for even more space). This front load space can be used in multiple ways including a fixed box or a platform to which you can attach your own carriers.

The Tern GSD S00 (above, left) carries most of its cargo at the back of the bike (although there is load capacity on the front too). It’s the same length as a regular bike and can be stored on its end or fit in a car. This makes it a very practical and versatile bike.

Come and see our range of electric cargo bikes at any of our stores. Our official Demo Hire Scheme has been paused due to the pandemic, but will be up and running again as soon as possible. Speak to us in store.

Edinburgh Bruntsfield:

8 Alvanley Terrace, EH9 1DU

Edinburgh Canonmills:

30 Rodney Street, EH7 4EA


458-464 George Street, AB25 3XH

0345 257 0808