Cargo Cyclists Aim To Replace Trucks In Europe

Cargo Cyclists Aim To Replace Trucks In Europe

The EU is funding a pilot project that would see bikes taking over from traditional freight transport to cut emissions, and reduce traffic congestion.

Kyana Gordon
  • 16 october 2012

Interested in exercising your legs while working?  Europe seems to be experiencing a growth opporunity for cargo cyclists, in a conscious move towards sustainable, free-flowing city traffic. The European Union funded pilot project, CycleLogistics, aims to reduce energy used in urban freight transport by replacing unnecessary motorized vehicles with cargo bicycles in several European cities. The project looks to expand the niche marketplace of cargo cycles, so they will be viewed as a competitive means of transport for goods in the city center. With modest electrical assistance, loads can carry up to as much as 550 lbs.

Research indicates that at least one quarter of all cargo traffic in European cities could potentially be handled by cyclists. And, by using special distribution hubs, larger vehicles and electric assistance, this proportion could become even larger. Cargo transport in cities is extremely inefficient. Currently, almost 100 percent of it is done by motorized vehicles – ranging from personal cars to commercial delivery vans and trucks and these heavy vehicles often transport very light goods (weight wise). The average payload transported in European cities weighs less than 100 kg (220 lbs).

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment has set up the “Ich ersetze ein Auto” project that began in July 2012. Unlike the EU-supported project its focus is exclusively on courier services by making use of electric assist cargo cycles. Forty vehicles will be used for two years in nine major German cities. The cargo bikes can carry a load of around 100 kg (220lbs).

The potential of the cargo bicycle is uncertain, as there is little research and evidence to support it. The possibilities of cargo cycles for mass adoption will depend on the city layout (it’s taken off mainly in flat cities) and works mainly in Europe due to large historical centers with narrow streets, while American city roadways are much wider.  It’ll be very interesting to see the results in years to come.



Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Travel Today

Delta Lets Flyers Track Their Luggage From The Airplane To The Airport

The airline's new app allows customers to see exactly where their baggage is throughout their journey

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals

Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Related Expert

Jeffrey Cruttenden

Investing, Security, Design

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

No search results found.