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December 08, 2020 4 min read

The climate crisis demands immediate action, especially in the field of transportation where carbon emissions continue to soar.

Enter e-cargo bikes: a solution as innovative as it is sustainable. Their adoption in logistics sectors and by environmentally concerned individuals is growing at an unprecedented rate.

This blog dives deep into why e-cargo bikes are an unparalleled solution and how smart fleet solutions like See.Sense SUMMIT can augment their effectiveness.


The Case for E-Cargo Bikes in Transport Decarbonisation

Shockingly, vans are the only major domestic mode of transport in the UK where fleet-wide emissions have seen an increase over the past 30 years. E-cargo bikes present an efficient, eco-friendly alternative that's catching on quickly.

Companies like Amazon are leading by example, increasingly using e-cargo bikes for logistical operations. The result? Lower costs, reduced emissions, and a step closer to a greener planet.

More and more individuals are also converting from cars to e-cargo bikes, fueled by environmental conscientiousness. The D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) market for e-cargo bikes is booming, demonstrating that personal responsibility and sustainable choices go hand in hand.


How Local Authorities Can Enable E-Cargo Bike Success

Local governments play a critical role in the large-scale adoption of e-cargo bikes. Here are some things they can do to support:

  • Try Before You Buy/Loan Schemes: Various initiatives, like longer-term leasing schemes and business grants, offer a low-risk opportunity for companies and individuals to adopt e-cargo bikes.
  • Improve Planning & Infrastructure: Cities must reconsider how they allocate kerbside space, establish logistics hubs, and provide suitable cycle parking to accommodate e-cargo bikes efficiently.
  • Digitisation in Urban Planning: Advanced strategies like preferential access to Clean Air Zones (CAZs) and 'green wave' traffic lights facilitate e-cargo bike integration into the urban fabric.
  • The Importance of Data Capture: Quality data is essential for monitoring the effectiveness of e-cargo bike initiatives. Data helps in refining project delivery, understanding infrastructure demand, and making a case for future funding.


Planning For Cargo Bikes

Cargo bikes have specific needs, and specific attention should be paid to the following infrastructure elements: 

  • Connectivity and Gradient: Ideal cycle routes should maintain a gradient below 2.5% to facilitate ease of e-cargo bike use.
  • Stopping and Starting: Constant stopping and starting require additional effort. Routes should be designed to allow for steady speeds and minimal stops.
  • Surface Quality: Smooth surfaces are crucial for comfortable cycling. Routes should be well-maintained to encourage e-cargo bike use.
  • Width Requirements: Cycle tracks should ideally be 2 meters wide in each direction, or 3 to 4 meters for bidirectional tracks, to accommodate e-cargo bikes properly.
  • Barriers and Access Control: Chicane barriers and dismount signs should be avoided as they deter e-cargo bike usage.
  • Parking: Parking solutions should accommodate the length and width of e-cargo bikes, facilitating easy storage and access.


Introducing See.Sense SUMMIT: The Smart Fleet Solution

See.Sense SUMMIT utilises patented AI and Sensor technology, tailored specifically for e-cargo bikes and other forms of micromobility. It provides a standardized data set that focuses on safety metrics such as swerving, braking, and collisions that is ideal for planning and maintaining cycling infrastructure.


Case Study: See.Sense Data Insights from E-Cargo Bikes in Scotland

Our data showed popular routes were influenced by factors like road condition and width. We could also see journey timings in relation to cars and vans, and even compared to other privately used bikes.  Additionally, the data showed areas of longer dwell times, highlighting areas of congestion, and origin-destination data which shows ideal location for mobility hubs. Learn more by reading our EST-Scotland Case Study


Collaboration with Transport for London

See.Sense data aided TfL’s Vision Zero initiative by identifying riskier event locations and enhancing their risk models. Learn more with our Transport For London Case Study.


Benefits for Fleet Operators

From predictive maintenance to theft prevention and optimizing routes based on data like load weight and safety, See.Sense can also provide actionable insights for fleet operators.

  • Predictive Maintenance: See.Sense doesn't just monitor your vehicles; it predicts when maintenance is needed. By analysing data from various sensors and monitoring critical components in real-time, it can identify potential issues before they become major problems. This proactive approach minimises downtime and reduces maintenance costs, ensuring that your fleet operates smoothly and efficiently.

  • Theft Prevention: The theft of valuable assets is a constant concern for fleet operators. See.Sense's advanced tracking and geofencing capabilities can help deter theft and improve the chances of asset recovery. In the event of unauthorised movement or tampering, the system can instantly alert you, allowing you to take swift action to protect your assets.

  • Route Optimisation: Maximising efficiency is crucial for fleet operators. See.Sense utilises data on load weight, road conditions, traffic patterns, and historical route data to optimise the routes your vehicles take. This not only reduces fuel consumption but also minimises wear and tear on your vehicles, ultimately leading to cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint.

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: See.Sense generates a wealth of data that can be harnessed to make informed decisions. By analysing this data, fleet operators can identify trends, optimise operations, and uncover new opportunities for growth and efficiency.

  • Environmental Impact Reduction: With an increasing focus on sustainability, fleet operators can use See.Sense data to reduce their environmental footprint. By optimising routes, reducing fuel consumption, and calculating CO2 savings, you can contribute to a greener future while also benefiting from potential cost savings.

Incorporating See.Sense technology into your fleet operations isn't just about embracing innovation; it's about empowering your fleet to perform at its best while ensuring safety, compliance, and efficiency. The comprehensive suite of features and data-driven insights provided by See.Sense can help fleet operators navigate the challenges of modern transportation with confidence and success.



E-cargo bikes are not just a fad; they are the future of sustainable transportation. Paired with smart fleet solutions like See.Sense SUMMIT, their potential is limitless. As citizens, businesses, and local authorities, it's time we pedal our way towards a greener future.

Harness the power of e-cargo bikes and data today. Because the future waits for no one, but it can be shaped by each one of us.