Assessing the potential market for cargo bikes and LEFVs

The number of light commercial vehicles in cities is growing, which puts increasing pressure on cities in terms of pollution, congestion, accessibility and loss of public space. One of the opportunities for improvement may be found in the use of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs), including cargo bikes. 

Freight data

The development of cargo bikes is generally associated with the increase in e-commerce parcel deliveries and the need for city hubs. But, their are more options for creating a profitable business… For which goods flows LEFVs or cargo bikes could be a profitable option? And, which volumes can be decoupled at a hubs closer to the city? The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUSA) has done freight traffic research to provide a better understanding of the variety of city logistics.

Traffic observations show that parcel deliveries are responsible for about 10% of the freight movements in the inner city of Amsterdam. Other important volumes go to HoReCa, retailers, construction sites, service logistics and offices (facility management).

The observations show that many deliveries also include an additional service (returns, installation, etc.) and show that many deliveries come from local suppliers. Hence, decoupling the delivery from its driver at the edge of the city is, for many freight movements, not as straightforward as we might think.

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Use of LEFVs

As part of the LEVV-LOGIC project AUAS also worked on the LEVV-NL survey, together with Loendersloot Group and Fietsdiensten.nl. A survey was distributed among Dutch producers, sellers and users of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs). It is a follow-up of the ECLF survey from 2016.

The results provide:
*       An overview of the sectors for which LEFV’s are used in the Netherlands.
*       Input to calculate the expected growth of LEFV’s in the Netherlands.
*       Challenges, barriers and opportunities for upscaling.

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During the the European CycleLogistics Conference in Vienna (March 2017), Susanne Balm (project leader of LEVV-LOGIC) presented the LEVV-NL results, the Amsterdam freight data and the potential market for LEFV’s cargo bikes. The presentation is available on Researchgate.

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