The DfT has issued a call for evidence on how to increase the use of electric cargo bikes and electric vans for delivery services in urban areas.
The DfT says e-cargo bikes have “huge potential” but asks if financial support is needed to make them commercially viable.
It asks if their widespread use requires changes to infrastructure, such as roads, parking, loading zones, and cycle lane design.
“What level of training should riders have?” the DfT adds. “Should riders be required to have e.g. additional training on efficient cycling and the safe use of bikes?”
Views are also sought on possible legal changes, such as licensing, parking and insurance for bikes and riders.
E-cargo bikes with power ratings below 250W require no licence, or safety equipment. Those over 250W require a licence, insurance and safety equipment.
A trial of e-cargo bikes was launched in May at Sainsbury’s Streatham Common store in south London as part of the DfT’s Innovation Challenge Fund. It involves e-Cargobikes.com, and uses five bikes with capacity for up to 480 litres and a payload of 125kg.
The DfT says one barrier to the uptake of electric vans is that the weight of the battery can tip an ultra-low emission van over 3.5 tonnes, meaning it cannot be driven with a standard driver’s licence. To remedy this, the DfT is preparing legislation to raise to 4.25 tonnes the weight at which an ultra-low emission van can be driven on a standard licence.
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