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The cargo electric bicycle, also known as the freight or utility bike, is enjoying a renaissance and recognition as a cleaner, safer, and more efficient mode of urban freight delivery and passenger transport. As a human-powered and fuel-free vehicle, this form of active transport could bring even more benefits to our cities than other disruptive technologies.
Cargo bikes are proving to be versatile vehicles of change for urban business interests thanks to their economic viability. They also reduce the need for polluting and noisy delivery electric cargo trucks that contribute to urban gridlock. They make the streets cleaner and safer for pedestrians and commuting cyclists.
The bright electric future ahead, led by bikes
According to Germany Two-wheel Industry Association (ZIV), in the last year, electrically assisted cargo bikes have outsold electric cars in Germany with 39,000 sold versus 32,000 electric cars—an impressive when you consider that electric cars have benefited from substantial government subsidies, while e-bikes received only a small handout. Globally, Deloitte predicts that 300 million e-bikes will be out on the world's streets by 2023, representing a 50% increase over current numbers. These statistics seem to show that, despite all the attention around electric and autonomous vehicles, the future of e-mobility may actually be led by bikes. In the next five years, 40 million electric bikes will be sold worldwide, dwarfing the 12 million electric vehicles that will be hitting the roads over the same period.