Danish families borrow e-cargo bikes to test out greener mobility

Image: Fredensborg.dk

A small Danish municipality is lending out cargo bikes to families to introduce them to the ‘green’ benefits of getting around by bicycle.

The local authority in Fredensborg, just north of Copenhagen, is keen to see more families using bikes to meet what it calls their ‘mobility needs’.

As part of this, the council has several electrically-powered cargo bikes which families can borrow for periods of up to three months. The goal, ultimately, is to promote green transport habits and help cut harmful emissions.

All of the bikes have a large seating front basket – effectively a box – in which up to three small children can ride safely. The bikes will be available later this summer, says the council.

Lars Simonsen, who chairs the council’s planning, traffic and climate committee, is quoted as saying: “We believe that many more families can benefit from picking up and bringing their children with an electric cargo bike instead of with their car. But it can be a big decision, and that’s why we want to offer families with children to borrow a bike for a few months before they possibly invest in one themselves.”

The municipality says that families using the bikes will, in exchange for their participation, help with evaluating the scheme by giving feedback on their experiences.

Fredensborg already has experience of lending out electric bicycles, when nearly 400 residents signed up to a bike-borrowing scheme between 2019 and 2022. Feedback has shown that usage of electric bikes like these can radically change transport habits and expand the number of days participants cycle to work.

‘Daily transport in cars is the source of a very large part of our total CO2 emissions and for that alone (this) has value. But in addition, less and air pollution and more exercise and fresh air are definitely also gains that we should go after,” adds Simonsen.

Cargo bikes are also very popular in The Netherlands, and are a common sight in towns and cities across the country, particularly around the school drop-off and collection times.

Author: Simon Weedy

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