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November 25, 2022

Black Friday today: Choose a home delivery service that keeps your city nice

Black Friday and Christmas shopping is the peak season of online shopping and an increasing share of the population choose convenient home delivery in the checkout. This leads to increased delivery traffic in residential areas -but this does not have to mean that the streets will be filled with delivery vans! Today you can choose a home delivery method that is nicer for the city and that also uses less resources and energy.

Using e-cargobikes in last mile delivery is a significantly better fit for cities than vans. Many leading European cities have now realised that filling the city with highway capable vehicles is not making it nice. 

Cars and vans take up too much space, create barriers for cyclists and pedestrians, have big collision forces in accidents and spread unhealthy pm10 particles from road, tyre and brake pad wear. If you use a vehicle with a combustion engine, with renewable or fossil fuel, you also get pm2.5 and NOx emissions. Even noise partly remains a problem with electric vehicles, as tyre noise dominates over engine noise in speeds above 30-50 km/h.

Leading European cities are actively trying to minimise the use of motor vehicles in favour of active mobility options, like cycling and walking, for a more pleasant experience for the people living in the city.

We have developed our e-cargobike to be as city friendly as possible, while still offering big enough cargo capacity for many delivery applications. It is only 86 cm wide, which is less wide than popular three wheeled family cargo bikes -so it fits on bike lanes. We also made it low to preserve the traffic overview for other cyclists. 

Our rider Abhishek out delivering in a snowy Stockholm night

As the rider isn’t locked into a glass and metal cage, you can have eye contact and even talk to her/him. Being able to have eye contact is just a nice thing in itself, but it also means that traffic feels less of a threat.

Minimal resource and energy use too

In the e-commerce delivery industry, “fossil free delivery” and “zero emission vehicles” have been a mainstream rhetoric the last few years. This is misleading as there is no such thing as fossil free delivery or zero emission vehicles, at least not in the coming years or unfortunately more likely, decades. By not pretending everything to already be solved, we can start taking real action to mitigate CO₂ emissions.

If we start with the vehicles needed to execute a home delivery, the general opinion seems to be that they are produced without any CO₂ emission. The electric car manufacturer Polestar was indeed a polestar when they said that this is simply not true, and disclosed the massive production emissions of their Polestar 2 electric car: 24-26 tons of CO₂ (1).

Another area where there is some wishful thinking going on is when it comes to renewable fuels and electricity. While it is great to step away from petrol and diesel, renewable fuels and electricity does not mean fossil free or zero CO₂ emissions. 

Using renewable fuels reduces CO₂ emissions by some 70-90 % (2), but not 100, and there are limited resources to produce renewable fuels from. 

When it comes to electricity, the Nordic electricity mix, including export and export, is at 90 g CO₂/kWh. Not even renewable or nuclear energy is zero emission. It is lower than fossil generated electricity, yes of course. But not zero, and not without other negative side effects. 

So as you can see, home delivery is unfortunately not fossil free or zero emission. Not even when using e-cargobikes! We also need to produce the bikes and charge them with electricity, which both emits CO₂.

But the difference is that we are drastically more resource and energy efficient, resulting in the lowest possible CO₂ emissions from your home delivery. Our e-cargobikes weighs just a tenth of a van, and uses just a 15:th of the electricity a small electric van uses. 

Weight comparison Velove Armadillo e-cargobike and Nissan e-NV200 e-van

Energy consumption comparison Velove Armadillo e-cargobike and Nissan e-NV200 e-van (real life consumption) (3)

Reducing traffic to and from the city as well

Our delivery system even makes the transport TO the city more efficient, as we replace many vans with a few, well utilised trucks dropping off the goods at our city hubs.

Van based home delivery system

Truck + e-cargobike based home delivery system

So, when you are in the webshop checkout buying something and want to avoid being one of those that adds vans to the city centre, choose a delivery that uses e-cargobikes in urban last mile delivery! If you are not sure which delivery company that uses e-cargobikes, go to their website and see what kind of vehicles they use. 

And hey, don’t forget there are great online second hand options today!

  1. https://www.polestar.com/dato-assets/11286/1630409045-polestarlcarapportprintkorr11210831.pdf
  2. https://www.neste.se/neste-my-fornybar-diesel/hvo?utm_campaign=leads_sem_rrt_neste-my_neste-my-renewable-diesel_always-on-advertising-(always-on)_sweden_b2b_new-customers_decision-makers-(dm)_2022&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search_paid&utm_content=sitelink&gclid=CjwKCAiA68ebBhB-EiwALVC-NoxwGlfsNwiKdbARUS8LEggy_Sfpu_1HuRw4jgKhlfgk4mbVSRD_fxoC69QQAvD_BwE
  3. https://www.velove.se/news/armadillo-cargo-bike-use-6-electricity-small-electric-van

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