With new Bike to Work incentives coming in January 2023, more and more people are considering getting a cargo bike for their day-to-day trips.
While not everyone can replace their car with a cargo bike, for those who can the savings and benefits could be substantial.
AA Ireland has previously compiled estimates for the cost of running a car in Ireland, including both the fixed costs such as tax and insurance, and the ongoing costs like fuel.
In the table below, we've compared the annual costs of running a car and a cargo bike, illustrating the significant savings that can be made.
While the environmental benefits of replacing an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car with a cargo bike are obvious to most people, a cargo bike can also be more sustainable than an electric car (EV).
One of the things which is often overlooked is the embodied energy of a vehicle, that is the energy that's used in the manufacturing of the vehicle, including the extraction of precious metal such as lithium for batteries.
As the tweet below outlines, you can manufacture far more batteries for cargo bikes than EV batteries using the same quantity of materials. This efficiency is made even more stark if the EV and the cargo bike are doing similar daily trips, such as the commute or the school run.
Transport minister Eamon Ryan recently announced a new €3,000 limit for cargo bikes in the Bike to Work scheme. This popular tax incentive allows people to use their pre-tax income to purchase a bicycle.
Cost has been one of the major barriers to cargo bike uptake in Ireland and the new Bike to Work incentive has been broadly welcomed.
To illustrate how the Bike to Work scheme applies to a specific cargo bike, we’ll use the Dolly Family Cargo Bike - an excellent two-wheeled e-cargobike which can seat up to three child passengers. Bleeper sells the Dolly Family in our ebike shop for €5,400.
Long Tails are an increasingly popular cargo bike option, with their narrower frame suiting people who don't have enough storage space for a 'box' cargo bike.
Another popular feature of the Long Tail cargo bike is that its geometry is very similar to a 'normal' bicycle, making it very easy to cycle - with or without cargo.
Long Tails can also be a more comfortable option for older children, who can start to outgrow the 'box' cargo bike around age 6 or 7.
Bleeper stocks a range of electric long tail cargo bikes from Yuba, including the Kombi E5 shown below.