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Grocery Delivery By E-Bike? An Electric Milk-Cycle?

Posted by Rasmus Mikkelsen on

    

E-bikes, in this environmentally-conscious time we are living in, are a perfect mode of transportation for businesses to utilize without harming the environment. With their non-reliance on gasoline, e-bikes release us from the bonds of carbon, allowing us to travel with a clean and clear conscience, as we arrive at our destinations pollution-free.  But did you know you could turn your joy of riding an e-bike into a business opportunity? It turns out delivering groceries by e-bike is a viable, helpful, environmentally-friendly way of contributing to the economy and your community.  Let’s take a 3-stop tour to see a few examples of e-bike grocery delivery businesses in action.

 

First Stop on our E-Bike Tour: Vienna, Austria

Billa, a large supermarket chain in Europe, has partnered with the Austrian start-up Gleam Technologies GmbH, to develop an e-cargo bike. Equipped with a refrigerated container and capable of carrying up to 220 pounds (100 kg) of groceries, this e-cargo bike turns grocery delivery into a green business.  The residents of Vienna, Austria, will be able to buy groceries on-line from Billa and have them delivered to their door, knowing the delivery will not pollute their city, thanks to this specially-designed e-cargo bike.

 This type of business, especially in the transportation industry, is just the kind of innovation the Austrian government has been encouraging. According to a 2011 report, 26% of Austria’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the transportation industry. Through governmental initiatives such as the Climate and Energy Fund, Austria has helped fund innovative ideas such as the Billa-Gleam Technologies GmbH partnership to encourage environmentally sustainable business practices. The e-cargo bike’s role is central to this sustainability, as it provides a way for groceries to be delivered without the emission of greenhouse gases.

 

Next stop: Amsterdam, Holland (aka The Netherlands)

Albert Heijn, a major Dutch grocery chain, has introduced (in June 2016) an e-bike onto the busy streets of Amsterdam. This custom-built e-bike can carry up to 30 crates of groceries, bringing a veritable store on wheels to the city’s residents, which inverts the traditional model of shopping: instead of people going to the store, the store is going to the people! If this initial foray into e-bike grocery delivery proves successful, the company plans on adding 10 more e-bikes to its fleet.

 

The impressive capacity of the Albert Heijn e-bike not only helps the environment, it also changes the concept of grocery shopping, not to mention shopping in general. If groceries and other products come to us, we won’t need to clutter the streets trying to acquire them. The result: fewer cars on the road, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Another victory for the environment and a high-five to e-bikes!

 

Last Stop: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

E-bike grocery delivery is not just a European phenomenon. A company located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has incorporated e-bikes into their grocery delivery business. SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) has teamed up with a local Vancouver grocery store, Be Fresh Local Market, to offer an environmentally friendly alternative for grocery delivery. Customers living within a 1.2 mile (2 kilometer) radius of the store can choose to have their groceries delivered by e-bike, as an alternative to the usual delivery van.

 

The use of e-bikes for grocery delivery aligns well with the philosophy behind companies like SPUD, who promote sustainable agricultural methods. It allows them to take their environmental awareness one step further, or should I say one pedal further, into the realm of sustainable transportation.

 

Concluding Remarks

Whether you are in Vienna, Amsterdam, Vancouver, or your own backyard, delivering groceries by e-bike is an innovative and environmentally responsible way for you to create your own job, and “deliver” a valuable service to your community. Good-bye milk truck. Hello electric milk-cycle!


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