Leeds City Council has launched a trial allowing businesses in the city to borrow electric cargo bikes for deliveries.
Under its try-before-you-buy scheme, the council is offering organisations the opportunity to use e-cargo bikes to see if they could replace heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the city, reducing pollution.
The council says e-cargo bikes can deliver financial savings of up to 90% compared to the cost of running an equivalent commercial vehicle as they have no tax, MOT, fuel, or parking costs.
Each bike allows for up to 40 miles assisted cycling and has a load capacity of up 100kg or 900 litres.
Helen Hayden, executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development at Leeds City Council, said: “The council is committed to reducing transport-related pollution to improve the air quality in Leeds.
“We have declared a climate emergency, and one of the ways we can help the city achieve net-zero carbon by 2030 is to offer businesses the opportunity to test local low-carbon delivery solutions.
“This new, free scheme is one of the first in the country.
“E-cargo bikes offer a cost-effective, versatile and attractive alternative to cars and vans for local trips.
“We are confident they will become the first choice for everyday deliveries for many more businesses in the future.”
Leeds University was the first organisation to take part in the three-month scheme, which includes a free training session, and is borrowing three e-cargo bikes: a trike and two long-wheelbase models.
Louise Ellis, director of sustainability services at Leeds University, said: “We are committed to driving forward sustainability, and an important part of this is looking at how we move around the campus and the city.
“Transforming our operational models to incorporate electric vehicles into our campus fleets reflects our ambitious travel and climate plan targets.
“This pilot helps us to improve and monitor the environmental and health benefits while finding alternative operational solutions.”