16 Feb 2021, 14:16
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germany funds switch to cargo e-bikes and micro depots to improve inner city transport

Clean Energy Wire

The German environment ministry (BMU) will start a funding programme for electric cargo bicycles and micro depots to encourage the adoption of sustainable transport options in inner cities, the ministry writes in a press release. The funding helps companies switch to more climate-friendly logistics and is aimed at, for example, large logistics companies, hardware stores, furniture stores and delivery services, the BMU writes. Micro-depots, which are used to temporarily store packages, and electric cargo bicycles can ensure emission-free delivery on “the last mile”, meaning the transport of goods from the last transfer point to the end costumer. The new funding conditions will go into force in March with the aim to “relieve inner-city traffic, improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions,” the ministry writes. The possible funding amount is up to 40 percent of the eligible expenditure, according to the BMU.

Delivery traffic in Germany is on the rise due to the boom in online retailing. Around three billion packages are delivered every year, with more than ten million items delivered each working day, the ministry writes. At the end of last year, German transport minister Andreas Scheuer called for “innovative and creative traffic concepts” to reduce the traffic jams caused by the increase in online retailing. Scheuer proposed using public transport for urban parcel deliveries, in combination with the pick-up of parcels in micro-hubs or delivery by cargo bikes. 

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