London plumber Shane Topley was inspired to test out an e-cargo bike after seeing the benefits of reduced motor traffic during the first lockdown last year. “I expected to do something between 50 and 60 per cent of my business by bicycle,” he says. “But I’ve actually discovered it’s closer to 95 per cent.”
It’s safe to say he’s a convert, describing an e-cargo bike as an “invigorating” way to get around.
“Every time I get on it, I’m blown away,” he says. “It’s amazing.”
Topley first got in touch with East London organisation CarryMe Bikes, which sells and rents out cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes. They spoke to him at length about what sort of a bike would suit his needs.
He doesn’t appear to have looked back and says that since getting his first e-cargo bike, he’s only used his van twice.
“Both times I’ve been seriously disappointed because one time it took me 40 minutes to find somewhere to park. Another time it was just wall-to-wall traffic.
“So I feel rather smug, I have to say, as I cruise down past all the cars that are nose to tail.”
Topley concedes that reduced cargo capacity means he has to plan his day a little more carefully, but argues that this isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
He now tries to consolidate his work, scheduling multiple boiler services on the same day, for example.
“It does mean a little more running back and forth. But actually that’s quite nice because it brings me home for lunch, which is really lovely.”
Reflecting on his e-bike switch, he concludes: “Everybody should be doing it.”
Have you or your business made the switch to an electric vehicle or vehicles of some kind? Maybe you’ve sold your car and you’re taking the kids to school on an e-bike these days. Maybe your firm has started doing all its deliveries by e-cargo bike. Whatever your story, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at info at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how it’s gone.