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The Real Cost of Driving a Van in the City

Industry Insights
December 12, 2022
The Real Cost of Driving a Van in the City

Diesel vans are the preferred vehicle for deliveries in cities and rural towns. But is there a better option?

Recently, we have witnessed a shift towards smaller, sustainable delivery vehicles. Transitioning to green vehicles allows an opportunity to make an impact in reducing carbon emissions in cities. Councils across London are opting to replace their diesel vans with electric cargo bikes, supporting their mission to create a cleaner, greener, healthier future.

Big players are in it as well, just a few months after Ryde got their first eCargo bike, Amazon announced the expansion of their own eCargo bike fleet with the launch of three hubs across Manchester and London. With a glimmering (and effective) new delivery option, will diesel vans stick around?

Electric cargo bikes are a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient alternative to diesel vans, and they're becoming increasingly popular in London. These new bikes cut carbon emissions by 90% compared with diesel vans and a third compared with electric vans. They're also much cheaper to run, with fuel costs of just over 2p per mile compared to 12p per mile for vans.

eCargo bikes also reduce noise pollution because they are much quieter than vans, meaning they can deliver at night without disturbing residents. Their size also sets these vehicles apart, as eCargo bikes can navigate through narrow streets and tight spaces quicker and easier than vans. And, because they're pedal-powered, they can deliver to properties without a driveway or parking space.

While it may seem obvious that eCargo is the better option, there's a reason why vans remain the go-to vehicle: building an eCargo fleet takes time. These bikes are a significant investment, and you must consider the added costs of insurance, maintenance and storage. To operate an eCargo bike, the delivery rider must undergo proper training, and if one of your bikes needs servicing, you'll need an alternate vehicle or another eBike to act as a spare.

Unfortunately, it may be some time before these electric cargo bikes become a mainstream delivery method. But that’s where Ryde comes in! We make it easy for you to utilize our fleet of eCargo bikes, so you don't have to do the heavy lifting. We provide the bike, a trained rider and all the insurance, maintenance and storage to keep deliveries running smoothly. If you are interested in building a branded fleet we can help with that too!

We’ve done all this so you don’t to:

  • We have riders who are trained and ready to go
  • we take care of all the hub/insurance/additional costs
  • We can brand up our bikes for your brand

Duncan Mitchell
Duncan Mitchell

Duncan is Co-Founder at Ryde. His top speed is 12 mph.

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