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A Bicycle Built for Transporting Cargo Takes Off

Of particular importance is urban last mile delivery, the most expensive, least efficient and most impactful part of the supply chain.

“At the moment there are too many large vehicles empty. In the US empty trucks drive 20 billion miles a year and in the UK 30 per cent of truck journeys are empty,” said Ms Adriazola-Steil. “If we don’t succeed, it will overwhelm our urban areas.”

Kevin Mayne, chief executive of Cycling Industries Europe, a trade association, said strict regulations and initiatives, such as reducing access to city centers and instituting controls on polluting vehicles, have encouraged the use of cargo bikes in many European cities.

In the European Union, he said, sales are growing at about 60 percent a year. “That gives industry in Europe confidence that the sector could grow from sales of around 100,000 bicycles per year in 2019 to a staggering two million by 2030,” he said. In Copenhagen, 24 percent of families have cargo bikes.

Cargo bikes for personal and family use usually start at about $1,500 to $2,500 (slightly more in dollars) for non-motorized models and $2,000 to $6,000 for electrically assisted bicycles. Electric models for commercial use go for around $4,000 to $15,000, according to the industry association.

An increasing number of European cities are offering cargo bike sharing and leasing programs, says Jos Sluijsmans, a bicycle lawyer, consultant and founder of the International Cargo Bike Festivalwhich attracts enthusiasts from more than 40 countries.

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