Brighton & Hove eCargo Bike Accelerator Project

Known for its vibrant culture, and for being eco-conscious, Brighton is an exciting city. With a thriving independent business community and a base for a considerable number of larger companies, Brighton is home to 16,000 businesses covering a range of industries. Overall population has grown by around 13 per cent over the past decade and attracts almost 10 million tourists a year**.

With such a rapidly increasing population and as the city continues to become a hub for business, the need to manage the environmental impact from transport is becoming more apparent. Ready to tackle transport emissions and create a cleaner and healthier environment, Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), in partnership with MP Smarter Travel, introduced the eCargo Bike Accelerator Project.

The project

In early 2020, we worked with Brighton & Hove City Council on their application to the Energy Savings Trust and Department for Transport to gain funding for 12 cargo bikes and one trailer for the eCargo Bike Accelerator Project. The aim for this project was to help support local businesses and organisations to switch from using motor vehicles to eCargo bikes to deliver their goods and services. For those who wanted to take part in the scheme, the council provided eligible businesses £125 to help make the change.

After a successful application the 12 eCargo bikes and trailer were distributed to Council teams, Zedify, a local eCargo bike delivery service, and five small businesses ranging from tradespeople, distilleries and bulk food suppliers.

Our Goals

  • Engage 100 businesses across all industries
  • Register 12 businesses to take part
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How we did it

Step 1: Promotion and Engagement

With so many businesses in Brighton and Hove, the Council needed our support in structuring delivering widescale business engagement. We started by listing key businesses by type and which businesses would be highly likely to engage with a transition to eCargo bike deliveries. High priority businesses are independent and already complete deliveries by diesel/petrol vehicle and within the local area. We partnered with the local Council, business improvement district, Chamber of Commerce, business groups as well as undertook cold calling exercises to promote the initiative.

Step 2: Determine eligibility and requirements

In order to receive a subsidy, businesses needed to be based in Brighton & Hove City and their use of eCargo bikes needed to replace an existing diesel/petrol delivery. Subsidies were not given out retrospectively, so the switch to eCargo bikes needed to be new.

Step 3: Sign up

Once eligibility was confirmed, businesses were either guided to purchasing their own eCargo bike or paired with Zedify, an eCargo bike courier service. Once introduced to Zedify, businesses would take part in a one-month trial of the service, receiving their £125 subsidy as a rebate at the end of the trial in exchange for feedback on the experience.

Zedify were able to use a range of different-sized, two, three and four-wheeled cargo bikes to transport a wide range of goods, using the electric motor built into the bikes to tackle even the steepest hills in Brighton & Hove.

A number of businesses expressed an interest in acquiring their own eCargo bike as they were already making frequent deliveries. For these businesses we provided guidance and advice on the types of eCargo bikes available for their needs and where these could be purchased. With existing relationships with a number of retailers, we were able to introduce them to the ideal partner who was able to offer the optimum eCargo bike.

Result

  • We signed up 15 businesses ranging from clothing and homeware retailers, to florists and wine merchants, to use Zedify as a third-party cargo bike service, beating our target of 13.
  • Assisted two businesses to acquire their own cargo bike – making the switch to eCargo bikes permanent.

 

"Working with MP Smarter Travel on the BHCC eCargo Bike Accelerator Project was an absolute pleasure and delivery of this project was first-rate, even during a pandemic. Communication and set up of the project with Arun Khagram was clear and concise. Project delivery, done by Oli Ivens, was superb. I was thoroughly impressed with Oli’s knowledge of the eCargo bike sector and industry. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience working with Arun and Oli on this project.”

Daniel Bianco, Brighton & Hove City Council

 

References

* https://ww3.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/Brighton%20and%20Hove%20Economic%20Strategy%20-%20Full%20Evidence%20Base%20Report%20-%20FINAL.pdf

**https://www.visitbrighton.com/dbimgs/6546%20Brighton%20&%20Hove%20Visitor%20Economy%20Strategy%20FINAL.pdf