Why buy an electric cargo bike?

Why buy an electric cargo bike?

Cargo bikes are the fastest growing market in the cycling industry. Climate change, air pollution, congestion and saving money are just a few of the reasons why more and more people are either making the switch from cars completely or replacing some of their car journeys with them.

Let’s dive in with Paul, our expert, and talk the about reasons why you might consider buying one.

Riding vs Driving vs Walking

If you live in an urban environment where amenities are within a walkable difference, for most, a car is not necessary and if you need to travel further there is usually public transport and car-share clubs to tap into. Cars are expensive to own. Fuel, VED, Insurance, Service & Maintenance and hidden costs like depreciation too. This can run into thousands of pounds a year and while we are going through a cost-of-living crisis, people are beginning to look at cheaper forms of travel but still with the capacity to transport people and their stuff. Step forward the electric cargo bike!

For some, going car-free is a life changing choice for the benefit of themselves and the environment but you don’t have to be too evangelical about it, just replacing some unnecessary journeys by bike or cargo bike is a start. Or even walking instead of driving for super-short journeys. 60% of car journeys are less than 2 miles. That is a nice 30-minute walk or a 10 minute cycle.

If you can’t walk because you live in a more remote area then an ecargo bike is still a solid option. They have good range and can carry upto 200kgs of cargo or people. Our best-selling cargo bikes are used by parents on the school-run and for errands like shopping. It’s just a nicer way to travel and the kids love it.

Paul says: We all have a part to play. As consumers we just need to find a more balanced approach between riding, driving and walking and prioritise motor vehicles less if we are going to tackle climate change, air pollution and congestion.


On the face of it, electric cargo bikes are expensive upfront but if you compare that to a car the upfront cost is relatively small to moderate. Then add up your car tax (VED), insurance, fuel, servicing costs and depreciation and an electric cargo bike is almost paid for.

Electric bike costs are quite straightforward. After the initial cost, which you could finance like a car, you have no tax, no insurance to pay and filling up (charging the battery) will cost you 5-10p max and will take you up to 100 miles. They hold their value too. Try and find a second-hand electric cargo bike. There are not many.

Electric bikes are a sound financial investment. They will save you money, they are cleaner, greener and more fun than driving a car.

Paul says: Price is a barrier for some, but finance is a great way to pay for one. The upfront cost is small in comparison to cars and the savings made by not using your car can offset or pay for the finance payments which makes them almost cost neutral. Contact us for a quote.


Ever trawled around a busy car park or street after street looking for a parking space? No such problem for cargo bikes. You can safely park them off the road almost anywhere as long as you don’t cause an obstruction. Pedestrianised high street? No problem, park directly outside the shops. Out of town shopping mall? Multi-storey car parks are a thing of the past, just park near the main doors and parking is FREE!

Paul says: When parked, always lock your bike up and secure it to something immobile like a bike stand or fence if you going to leave it unattended.


The weather is always a hot topic in the UK but the reality is, on the whole, we are not a very wet or cold country. Our rainfall is average and if it rains you put a coat on or use an umbrella. If it’s cold you wear gloves. It's no different on a cargo bike. Riders simply wear appropriate clothing for the weather just like you would do if you got out of your car anyway and some cargo bikes can be covered too.

What if it's snowing or icy? Well like a car or van, you would take a balanced view on safely driving in snow and ice so you would do the same riding a cargo bike too.

Paul says: The weather argument is used an excuse most of the time. Extreme weather is rare in the UK.

Further Reading

Watch Si Richardson from GCN discuss how he has found his electric cargo bike after owning it for a year. We think it is a well-balanced piece.


One of the most liberating parts of riding a bike is not getting stuck in traffic. Bikes have the edge over cars because they can be ridden on the road and offroad too on traffic-free routes. Imagine being able to take shortcuts up alleys, side streets and through parks? You can get to where you need to go more quickly and more directly.

If roads are busy you can easily scoot round the traffic by using side roads or use cycle paths. Sometimes a slightly longer route is more fun, and you’ll still get there quicker than being sat in your car stationary in traffic.

Paul says: I love using a mix of roads and traffic-free routes. My local The Electric Bike Shop store is a 25-30 min drive by motorway and A-roads or a 40 min bike ride because I can ride directly there along the canal. It makes no sense to drive.

Other things to think about

Electric Cargo bikes are an overwhelmingly positive choice to make but, in the interests of being open and honest about them, here are some things to consider.

Storage Space
Cargo bikes are not the size of a car but they still have a big footprint in comparison to normal bikes and they are heavy. If you are restricted for space, longtail style cargo bikes are a better option because they can be wheeled in and out of smaller areas akin to normal bikes. Box type electric cargo bikes need their own space.

Riding an electric cargo bike can take a bit of getting used to. They handle and feel different to normal bikes. They have much longer wheelbases, they are heavier, particularly with cargo onboard and if you go for a trike version, three wheels. This is not a reason not to own one, just a polite reminder to test ride one first and practice when you get one.

Paul says: The biggest consideration to make when choosing what type of cargo bike to go for is space. Storing it one thing, ease of access is key too.

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About the Author

Paul is our IT & Technical Operations Manager and has been cycling for over 35 years with over a decade of industry experience as well.

Paul started racing when he was 16 years old and has raced all over the UK on the road, track and offroad. In 2009 he opened his own cycle shop and ran that for six years until he took a brief break from the industry before returning in 2017.

He has hung his racing wheels up now preferring to ride socially with the odd event. Touring is a new passion. He likes to pack up his panniers and go on a short tour and write about it on his blog.

Paul lives in North Worcestershire and has worked for The Electric Bike Shop since 2020. He is one our most experienced cyclists and industry professionals.

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