New Paper Charts Path to Sustainable Electric Cargo Bike Freight Solutions in U.S. Cities

October 18, 2023

BENTONVILLE, ARK. (October 18, 2023) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Biking the Goods, a new white paper produced through a collaborative effort between Urban Freight Lab researchers, bike industry brands, city stakeholders, and PeopleForBikes, shines light on the opportunities and challenges facing the adoption of electric cargo bikes (e-cargo) in urban areas and offers a roadmap for cities to embrace and promote the use of commercial e-cargo.

Announced at PeopleForBikes’ SHIFT‘23 conference and made available to the public on October 17, the research explores the potential of e-cargo to reduce congestion and emissions and improve quality of life and sustainability in urban areas. The paper also provides cities with clear and actionable recommendations to accelerate the construction of local bike infrastructure to further support the adoption of commercial e-cargo.

“We are at a pivotal time in determining the role of cargo e-bikes in future urban logistics systems,” said Giacomo Dalla Chiara, post-doctoral scholar for the Urban Freight Lab and lead author on the project. “Cargo e-bikes offer an opportunity for North American cities to reduce freight emissions and improve road safety, but economic, legal, and infrastructural barriers have slowed their adoption. As a collaborative cross-sector research hub, the Urban Freight Lab is pleased to partner with leading bicycle industry brands and public stakeholders to develop a roadmap for U.S. cities to overcome obstacles and pave the way for the widespread adoption of cargo e-bikes.”

Bicycle riders of all kinds, whether they are riding traditional bicycles, e-bikes, or commercial e-cargo bikes, need safe, connected, and protected infrastructure. Protected bike lanes increase road safety for all users, including people driving, and U.S. cities need more of them for the implementation of commercial e-cargo to be successful. The white paper contains recommendations tailored to ensure the safety of all road users while also promoting the adoption of e-cargo as an alternative mode for transporting goods and services.

“As the trade association for the U.S. bicycle industry, PeopleForBikes supports the concept and widespread implementation of commercial e-cargo for freight delivery because of the potential to grow the overall use of electric bicycles while also building local support for bike infrastructure improvements in cities across the country,” said Jenn Dice, president and CEO of PeopleForBikes. “With improved infrastructure positioned as a key part of transportation and safety solutions, we look forward to working with cities nationwide to implement the recommendations shared in this paper.”

The white paper is supported by multiple bike industry brands as well as freight logistics companies and municipalities. Supporters include: Bosch eBike Systems, Fleet Cycles, Gazelle USA, Michelin North America, Inc., Net Zero Logistics, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and Urban Arrow. You can access the white paper here: https://urbanfreightlab.com/publications/biking-the-goods/

About the Urban Freight Lab

The Urban Freight Lab is a structured work group of interconnected players in transportation and logistics — retailers, technology providers, manufacturers, real estate, shippers, and public agencies. We work across sectors and disciplines to identify and frame complex urban freight issues and to engineer and test innovative solutions that foster the sustainability, efficiency, and livability of urban spaces. Learn more at urbanfreightlab.com.

Contact: Katie Ward, krw2@uw.edu

About PeopleForBikes

PeopleForBikes is the U.S. bicycle industry’s trade association and a national advocacy nonprofit representing more than 325 bicycle industry supplier members and nearly 1.4 million individuals. Through our three areas of influence — infrastructure, policy, and participation — we accelerate the construction of safe, fun, and connected places to bike; advance pro-bike and pro-bike-business legislation; and reduce barriers to access and welcome more people to the joys of riding a bike. Our goal: Become the best place in the world to ride a bike. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.

About Michelin, Inc.
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is working with tires, around tires, and beyond tires to enable Motion for Life. Dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility and sustainability, Michelin designs and distributes the most suitable tires, services, and solutions for its customers’ needs. Michelin provides digital services, maps and guides to help enrich travel and make them unique experiences. Bringing its expertise to new markets, the company is investing in high-technology materials, 3D printing and hydrogen, to serve a wide variety of industries — from aerospace to biotech. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 175 countries, has 132,000 employees and operates 67 tire production facilities which together produced around 200 million tires in 2022. Learn more at michelin.com.

About Urban Arrow
Over the past decade, Urban Arrow has pioneered and propelled electric cargo bikes out of a niche category to a serious segment with more than 100,000 e-cargo bikes on the road already. Starting with a platform purpose-built to combine the efficiency of electric motors with the practicality of the bicycle, Urban Arrow has helped shape the face of micromobility in Europe and beyond. Learn more at urbanarrow.com.
Contact: m.danhof@gazellebikes.com

Additional Quotes:

– Mark Danhof, Urban Arrow North America:

“As the pioneering e-cargo bike manufacturer, we are thrilled to see this category grow and provide real, scalable microbility solutions for both families and businesses. This research will help normalize e-cargo bike use, reshape last-mile delivery, and bolster the rate of adoption in the US. We already see how these bikes are transforming European cities and we are excited to see this change and the implications for sustainability in American cities. Kudos to UW’s Urban Freight Lab on this important work.”

  • Mark Chiusano, Cornucopia Logistics:

“As a delivery company with more than 200 e-cargo bikes operating in NYC and Boston, we are extremely optimistic about what the future holds for urban logistics. We jumped right onboard when the opportunity was presented to support the teams at the Urban Freight Lab and People for Bikes with this white paper. These are two amazing groups working together to ensure a better future for us all.”

  • Michael Basarich, Co Founder & President, Fleet Cycles, Inc.:

“Fleet Cycles, a US manufacturer of commercial eCargo bikes, enthusiastically supports the work of the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab and their recommendations contained within the Bike the Goods research paper. We are cargo bike people, in business and in life, and believe in their ability to change communities, businesses, and our planet for the better. This requires more awareness and standardization, which will ultimately lead to greater adoption of eCargo bikes in North America. And we believe this research brings us closer to that reality.”

  • Chris Novak, Urban Mobility Business Segment Manager, Michelin North America, Inc.

“Michelin continually strives to bring new and innovative products to the market that will impact not only people’s lives, but the environment as well, in a meaningful and positive way,” said Chris Novak, Urban Mobility Business Segment Manager, Michelin North America, Inc. “Our continuing partnership with the Urban Freight Lab is an important collaboration to bring advancements to the last-mile delivery industry and continue to fulfill Michelin’s promise to lead the way in sustainable mobility.”

Photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1040ng_dFNfKIillpsFYNGrh7uXWpR2ab?usp=drive_link