We wouldn’t have thought that plumbers on e-cargo bikes would prove a mainstay of this feature, but there you go. Following on from London plumber Shane Topley, we bring you Derby plumber Martin Broer.
Broer told the BBC that he never liked the stigma attached to being a ‘white van man’ – “being aggressive and fat, smelly and wearing a vest.”
Recognising that using an e-cargo bike would also be a lot more eco-friendly, he took advantage of a Derby City Council scheme where you could apply for a grant or loan of an e-bike.
After first borrowing one in June, Broer swiftly concluded it was a viable way of working and has now invested in an Urban Arrow.
“Peak times – obviously rush hour, school run time – I can get through a lot quicker,” he says.
He also enjoys the experience, riding on cycle paths away from motor traffic whenever he can. “It really helps with your mental health,” he believes.
“But also being physically active is super good for you and with the electric motor on these bikes, you can do as much or as little effort as you want.”
The only real drawback seems to be a tendency for people to ask him if he sells ice cream.
Parking is another big advantage.
“There’s so many parking restrictions and permit areas around here in the inner city and I can basically park wherever I want as long as I’m not blocking the path. It’s perfect.”
Topley estimated he was doing around 95 per cent of his business on his e-cargo bike and Broer too has retained his van for occasional larger jobs – “carrying boilers around and radiators and such.” However he still reckons he has halved his fuel costs.
Broer now hopes that by being seen out and about, he will inspire others to follow suit.
“If they see me doing my jobs on a big bike like this and go, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s impractical.’ And then they can look at themselves and go, ‘Well what’s my excuse?’”
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.