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New electric cargo bike loan scheme begins in Leeds

Leeds city council’s ‘try before you buy’ electric cargo bike loan scheme will be the first opportunity for many businesses in the city to try the new delivery method. E-cargo bikes can deliver financial savings of up to 90% compared to the cost of a running an equivalent commercial vehicle with no tax, MOT, fuel costs or parking costs. Leeds University is the first organisation to adopt the scheme, borrowing three e-cargo bikes, a trike and two long wheel bases, for quick, cheap, green deliveries.

The three month scheme, which includes a free bespoke training session allows organisations to experience how e-cargo bikes could provide a genuine, cost effective alternative to cars and vans for heavy, bulky local deliveries. Each bike allows for up to 40 miles (64 km) assisted cycling and has a load capacity of up to 100 kg or 900 litres. Businesses who participate in the scheme will be among the first in Leeds to show their support for sustainable delivery solutions.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds city council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: ‘The council is committed to reducing transport related pollution to improve the air quality in Leeds. We have declared a climate emergency, and one of the ways we can help the city achieve net zero carbon by 2030 is to offer businesses the opportunity to test local low carbon delivery solutions. This new, free scheme is one of the first in the country. ‘E-cargo bikes offer a cost effective, versatile and attractive alternative to cars and vans for local trips. We are confident that they will become the first choice for everyday deliveries for many more businesses in the future.’ The aim of the scheme is to reduce the pollution from heavy goods vehicles in Leeds, and Leeds University plan to use the e-cargo bikes to move large, heavy or bulky loads around its campuses.

Louise Ellis, director of sustainability services at Leeds University, said: ‘We are committed to driving forward sustainability, and an important part of this is looking at how we move around the campus and the city. Transforming our operational models to incorporate electric vehicles into our campus fleets reflects our ambitious travel and climate plan targets. We place active and sustainable modes of travel at the heart of these two strategies, and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impacts of these e-cargo bikes. This pilot helps us to improve and monitor the environmental and health benefits whilst finding alternative operational solutions.’

Local business in Leeds can register their interest to borrow one or more of the bikes to meet their delivery needs online or by e-mailing

The council funded scheme is part of a wider programme of initiatives being carried out to support greener, healthier travel in Leeds. Active travel schemes Leeds city council is implementing with partners include permanent protected bike lane provision installation on key routes, new cycle parking facilities, as well as cycle training.


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