Research on purchase of cargo bikes published by TU Munich

A cargo bike  can be an efficient, cheap, quick, environmentally friendly, and low-maintenance mode of transport to deliver goods in urban areas. Thus, it is a viable alternative to conventional cars, trucks or other vehicles used to deliver goods or parcel. But what parameters do companies use to determine the purchase of cargo bikes?

This question was assessed by our project partner ‘Technical University München’ (TUM) as part of the ‚Ich entlaste Städte‘ (I reduce the burden on cities) project, which was supported by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the German Ministry for Environment (BMU). In cooperation with other researchers, Santhanakrishnan Narayanan, Research Associate at TUM, has analysed the willingness of companies to purchase cargo bikes for commercial transport. Data concerning their opinion during the trial projects of cargo bikes and after their purchase was analysed.

The data, which was obtained through the German project ‘Ich entlaste Städte’, provided several conclusions. ‘The actual purchasing decision is significantly influenced by hard facts like the deteriorating conditions for conventional vehicles, while the purchase intention is not’, concluded Santhanakrishnan. Furthermore, purchase decisions were heavily influenced by factors during the trial period, such as the potential catchment area of the cargo bike in comparison to conventional vehicles. Besides that, the perception of operational and non-operational benefits was another significant factor. For example, whether the cargo bikes could substitute car trips.

In case you are interested to learn more about the factors that affect the purchase decision of cargo bikes by commercial users, we invite you to join our colleague Santhanakrishnan during the session ‘Tools and Techniques to Improve Home Deliveries and the Last Mile’ on Jan 29th, 10-11.30 AM ET, as part of the 2021 TRB Annual Meeting.