And when you factor in a van’s price, the cost of fuel, insurance, and depreciation, plus parking fines and congestion charges, the cost-effectiveness calculation swings even further in cargo bikes’ favor—so there would also appear to be an economic incentive for companies to make the switch. This, though, is where it becomes tricky.
A traditional parcel depot sits on the city’s outskirts, and for a cargo bike, which has less capacity than a van, there’s a time penalty for traveling to and from these locations. To be competitive, the Paris study’s authors concluded, cargo bikes require shipments to be brought to a
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