Outspoken Delivery is going electric thanks to a cash injection from the Department for Transport.
Outspoken Delivery – a firm using cargo bikes and electric vehicles to make deliveries fast, efficiently and with low impact on the environment – is to use the new funding to bring electric assist cargo bikes into its fleets in two of the three locations it operates in (Cambridge and Norwich – it also operates in Glasgow).
The cargo e-bikes will mean the firm can use bikes for more of its growing workload as well as hire them out to locals and businesses put off by the high costs of electrically assisted cargo bikes.
“Now we’ve got electric assisted cargo bikes we can make more deliveries by bike,” director Rob King told BikeBiz. “But we don’t use the bikes all the time, so we can also offer them out to hire to locals and businesses, giving them chance to try them.
“They’re expensive and large so not everyone has space to house them. Someone could hire them weekly to do their food shop.”
Outspoken also runs training courses and won a Landor Cycle Planning Award for ‘best behaviour change campaign’ for Bikeability Plus in Peterborough. It works with businesses too – and it plans to use those links for the hire service.
“There’s a real appetite for what we do. It’s our tenth anniversary and we’ve grown every year and expanded into Glasgow and Norwich. Business is strong but it took a while for companies to understand what we can offer them. Now our local businesses get it and we handle around 10,000 packages a month in Cambridge alone. This is likely to grow considerably with the new bikes.
“There’s huge potential. We’re talking to big logistics firms at the moment. There’s a lot of volume through online shopping and the last mile of delivery is a big headache for them.” Which is where Outspoken comes in: “We’re low impact and we drive down emissions.
“It’s really exciting. It’s a young industry. Some of these cargo e-bikes are like family cars.”
King isn’t kidding – one of the three models Outspoken is bringing in is the Radkutsche Musketier – a cargo trike that can carry up to 300kg (661pounds). “It’s so big you could do a student flat move in one go,” King explains, handy for student hot spots Norwich and Cambridge.
Outspoken is also bringing in Copenhagen’s Butchers & Bicycles cargo trike and the two-wheeled cargo bike Maderna Truck.