18. September 2017
Project launch: 'Ich entlaste Städte' (I unload cities)

Qui­eter and green­er trans­port through the city cen­tres on e-car­go bikes

Pi­lot project ‘I un­load cities’
Image 1/5, Credit: CC-BY-NC.

Pilot project ‘I unload cities’

Com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tions all over Ger­many can test one of the 150 e-car­go bikes in a rough­ly three-month tri­al pe­ri­od as part of the pi­lot project ‘I un­load cities’.
Accompanying research during the test phase
Ac­com­pa­ny­ing re­search dur­ing the test phase
Image 2/5, Credit: CC-BY-NC .

Accompanying research during the test phase

Trans­porta­tion re­searchers will ac­com­pa­ny the pi­lot project dur­ing the first two years to anal­yse us­er ac­cep­tance and to es­ti­mate its im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and trans­port as a whole.
Var­i­ous car­go bike mod­els
Image 3/5, Credit: CC-BY-NC.

Various cargo bike models

From ag­ile couri­er bikes to heavy-du­ty trans­porters: with a ca­pac­i­ty of 2300 litres, this car­go bike can car­ry up to 300 kilo­grams (load in­clud­ing rid­er).
Al­ter­na­tive to cars
Image 4/5, Credit: CC-BY-NC.

Alternative to cars

The project pro­vides small com­pa­nies with an easy op­por­tu­ni­ty to test an e-car­go bike.
Test pilots needed
Test pi­lots need­ed
Image 5/5, Credit: CC-BY-NC.

Test pilots needed

A na­tion­wide re­cruit­ment drive is start­ing now and will last un­til mid-2019 to find test pi­lots who are keen to use a car­go bike mod­el that suits the trans­port needs in their or­gan­i­sa­tion.

  • The nationwide 'I unload cities' project makes 150 cargo bikes available.
  • 17 different models of cargo bike are provided to suit varying transport needs.
  • Focus: transportation, smart mobility, transport development, environment

Despite their large potential to reduce emissions and increase transport efficiency, cargo bikes have thus far not been used to any significant extent for business purposes. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is seeking to exploit this potential to the greatest possible extent in the new nationwide 'I unload cities' project. The project targets influencers and is intended to raise awareness for cargo bikes as a green alternative to the use of motorised vehicles. It is therefore seeking small to mid-sized companies from all sectors, as well as public institutions, trade firms or self-employed persons, who are interested in trying out the alternative transport vehicle for everyday business purposes. Scheduled to run for three years, the project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) as part of the National Climate Protection Initiative.

Research for sustainable and efficient, commercial transport in urban settings

"The provision of 150 cargo bikes puts 'I unload cities' on the list of very large-scale pilot projects in Germany, and even Europe-wide, which will create opportunities to test the commercial use of cargo bikes," says Barbara Lenz, Head of the DLR Institute of Transport Research. "The project aims to raise awareness about cargo bikes as a green and economically efficient means of transport for broad commercial use and hence to demonstrate methods of designing sustainable transportation systems to influencers in the business and public sector communities," explains Lenz.

'I unload cities' is coordinated by scientists at the DLR Institute of Transport Research and organised in collaboration with local government districts, chambers of industry and commerce, cargo bike manufacturers and other business partners. The close cooperation with regional partners from industry and public sector institutions ensures that the cargo bike idea will reach a broader audience across Germany, while also providing stakeholders with opportunities for vehicle tests and consultancy in the field.

Hop on and ride – test pilots are needed Germany-wide

Starting now and until mid-2019, a recruitment drive will be launched to find several hundred companies and institutions that are interested in trying a cargo bike as a commercial means of transport and who are willing to test its everyday suitability in a roughly three-month trial period. "This easy access to opportunities for testing an alternative vehicle type is particularly interesting to small companies, as they will not have to accept any financial risk," says Johannes Gruber, project manager at the Institute of Transport Research. "We offer a broad range of cargo bike models, for instance tricycles, single-track Long Johns (extended wheelbase and load bed in front of the handlebars) or heavy-duty transporters with a load capacity of up to 300 kilograms," Gruber continues. The choice of 17 different cargo bike models and the provision of extensive information material will allow even inexperienced users to get started immediately, while permitting a bespoke solution to reflect the transport needs of the individual companies. The 'I unload cities' project therefore gives interested parties the convenient and cost-efficient opportunity to test a cargo bike for their businesses.

  • Information for applications

    Applications online atwww.lastenradtest.de
    Who can apply?Small to mid-sized companies from all sectors, public sector institutions, trade firms and self-employed persons
    Test periodSeptember 2017 to mid-2019
    Lending periodRoughly 3 months
    Costs€1.00 per day and cargo bike. The fee includes transport, maintenance, repair and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Accompanying scientific research

The two-year test phase will be accompanied by scientific research to analyse user acceptance and to estimate impact on the environment and traffic. For this purpose, the transportation researchers will conduct ongoing surveys of test participants and will analyse vehicle movements, for instance using a proprietary project app. "What interests us as scientists is to find out how the cargo bikes are used in everyday business, what they are used for, what motivates the companies from various sectors to use them, and ultimately how the willingness to purchase a cargo bike develops over time," Gruber explains. "Moreover, this accompanying research will enable us to make sound statements on the environmental impact and the future role of cargo bikes within a sustainable and efficient system of urban commercial transport."

For additional press material, information on participation and an application form, please visit the project page at: www.las­ten­radtest.de

  • Dorothee Bürkle
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Me­dia Re­la­tions, En­er­gy and Trans­port Re­search
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3492
    Fax: +49 2203 601-3249

  • Dipl.-Geogr. Johannes Gruber
    Project man­ag­er 'Ich ent­laste Städte'
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    In­sti­tute of Trans­port Re­search
    Project man­ag­er 'Ich ent­laste Städte', DLR In­sti­tute of Trans­port Re­search
    Telephone: +49 30 67055-200
    Fax: +49 30 67055-283
    Rutherfordstraße 2
    12489 Berlin
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