cargo ebike ready for business

Can I Replace My Van with a Cargo Ebike?

If you are in a business that serves a local area, whether you are a florist, or a plumber, or a delivery driver, or a variety of other trades, there are many reasons why replacing your van with a cargo ebike would be highly beneficial and profitable for your business.

What is a Cargo Ebike?

Cargo Ebikes are electric bicycles that are designed to carry loads. They come in a variety of versions and you can, with a little bit of research, find a type of cargo ebike that would serve your particular business best. They are cheap to run and easy to operate, and could save your business a substantial amount of money if you replaced your van with a cargo ebike.

A typical example of range and load of a cargo ebike would be the Raleigh Pro Mid Motor electric cargo bike, which has a stated range of 59km (36 miles) and a hold limit of 80kg (176 pounds). Cargo Ebikes vary greatly in capability and type though, and are available in two- and three-wheel models. If the weight they can carry and the range they have is a deciding factor. A little research and you should find the ideal model for your business.

There are many two wheel and three wheel cargo ebikes available.
There are many two wheel and three wheel cargo ebikes available.

The Costs of a Van and the Costs of a Cargo Ebike

The Typical Costs of a Van

The initial outlay cost of buying a van (or a pickup or large car) for a business is expensive. If you lease instead of buying, then you have monthly costs to meet.

You have to pay taxes on the purchase of the van.

You require insurance for the van.

You have to maintain the van.

You may want to customize the van with your business name and contact details.

And you have to pay for fuel to operate the van.

You will have regular expenses for wearable parts, like tires, and brake pads, and exhaust systems.

If you are not driving the van yourself, then you need to employ a driver for the van.

You now have employee wages to find to pay the driver.

As well as the expense, you have to keep up to date with all the paperwork; lease agreements, documents, insurance details, maintenance receipts; all your accountant will need. This will eat into your time to run your business.

You can buy a small van or a large van, a cheap van or an expensive van, but the combined costs of all of the above will be substantial. If you are in a business that is highly profitable, then it may not be much of a hit, but if your business is struggling, or just keeping your head above the water, then cutting all of the costs above could mean turning a struggling business into a more profitable venture.

The Typical Costs of a Cargo Ebike

The initial outlay cost of buying a cargo ebike may be expensive, though compared to a van will be peanuts.

You will have to pay taxes on the purchase.

Insurance may not be compulsory, but it is probably wise to have.

You will have to charge the cargo ebike battery.

You will have to maintain the cargo ebike.

You may want to customize the ebike with your business name and contact details.

If you are not operating the cargo ebike yourself, then you may have to employ someone to do so for you.

No matter what type of cargo ebike you opt for, and there are many different types available in the market, it will always be less expensive than the cost of a van.

Therefore, tax payment on the initial outlay will be less.

Insurance will be cheaper.

It will cost pennies to recharge the battery when required.

Maintenance costs will be less.

Customizing the cargo ebike will be less.

As you do not require a driving licence to operate a cargo ebike, employee wages will be less.

In fact, every outlay you require to make to operate a cargo ebike instead of a van will be less expensive, and there are costs that you will never have to make again like, for example, petrol or diesel fuel, or replacement parts. Therefore, every penny you save will mean your business is more profitable.

Whatever your needs are, there will be a model of cargo ebike to suit.
Whatever your needs are, there will be a model of cargo ebike to suit.

Is Your Business Suited to Swapping a Van for a Cargo Ebike?

Obviously not all businesses can exchange their van or pickup truck for a cargo ebike. Many a business can though, so it would be useful to investigate if the business you run may benefit from operating a cargo ebike rather than a van.

A business that delivers light to medium weight goods to local premises or addresses may benefit. Tradesmen/Tradeswomen who do not have too much weight, in the way of tools and essential machinery to transport, may benefit.

Anyone who normally visits local clients on personal visits may benefit; a normal ebike may benefit them more than a cargo ebike in these circumstances. People like photographers, realtors, salesmen/saleswomen, using an ebike instead of a car or van could save them a great deal.

See also: Carrying Cargo on an Ebike

And: Packing Your Gear On an Ebike

You Know Your Business Best

If you have a business and have already read this far, then you may be seriously considering replacing your van with a cargo ebike. If you are not sure, why not take a bit of time out and get some figures together, put them on a piece of paper and compare both options side by side. Perhaps discuss it with your accountant.

Seek further advice. Find some local ebike shops that sell or can order the type of cargo ebike that would be a good fit for your business. Grill them for up-to-date accurate information on the pros and cons of a cargo ebike.

Change is a big thing, and a big change in your business practices rightly deserves a great deal of investigation and consideration.

Having a Van and a Cargo Ebike?

Depending on your business circumstances, you may want to keep your van for a while, but have the cargo ebike as an option, to use alongside, to see how it goes down with staff and customers. Perhaps you can restrict the van use to one or two days a week and employ a part-time driver, rather than full-time. If you gradually over a period, find you are using the van less and the cargo ebike more, then sooner or later, you will reach a decision to finally let the van go.

Environmental Benefits of a Cargo Ebike

If you do make the switch from a van to a cargo ebike, then don’t forget to promote how much consideration your business takes when it comes to the environment and climate change. If you are no longer using fossil fuels in your business and the carbon footprint of the business is less as a result, then shout about it. Promote your new green business credentials to the hilt. People care about the environment, so customers will care, and they may be willing to do more business with a company that takes climate change seriously than one that doesn’t seem to consider it at all.

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