The benefits of cargobikes
Cargo bikes are not an invention of the 21st century, but they are currently experiencing a revival. This is not surprising, because cargo bikes offer many advantages in busy city traffic - especially for people who have to be mobile on a daily basis. Space-saving, environmentally friendly, healthy: the list of advantages could go on. We would like to go into more detail about some of the strengths in this blog post.
Cargo cycling can protect against diseases of civilisation
A cargo bike supports a healthy lifestyle and thus prevents diseases of civilisation that arise from the interaction of a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to avoid the risk of disease. Regular cycling can increase life expectancy by almost a year. Such benefits outweigh the risks of a shortened lifespan due to inhaling fine dust in road traffic or serious accidents, as the study "Do the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks?" proves.
What's more, cargo cycling also strengthens the psyche and brightens the cyclists' mood. The steady, cyclical movement has a calming effect, promotes the release of happiness hormones, improves body awareness and conveys emotional harmony. These are the findings of researchers at the University Hospital of Tübingen.
Renaturalising concreted areas with cargo bikes
"Whoever uses the cargo bike also protects the environment. This type of mobility emits no CO2, saves space and is quiet," says Managing Director Raik Vollmann, summarising further advantages. According to the Federal Environment Agency, car journeys with 143 grams of pollutant emissions per person-kilometre are the most polluting form of transport next to domestic flights. If, for example, you cover a daily commute of five kilometres and switch to a bicycle more often, you can help prevent several hundred kilograms of CO2 emissions per year. Using a cargo bike also helps to improve the air quality - especially in urban areas.
The ground could also benefit. After all, cars and trucks not only need sealed surfaces to be able to drive - stationary traffic is also a burden on urban soil. In order to park cars and trucks, parking areas have to be created and soils sealed, which then lose their natural function. In contrast, the amount of land used by bicycles is many times less: three to four cargo bikes could be parked on one car parking space. Parking spaces that would then no longer be necessary could be renaturalised into green spaces and thus increase the quality of life in cities.
Cost advantage for communes and private individuals
In addition to environmental benefits, one should also keep an eye on one's own benefit. The purchase and maintenance of a cargo bike is - compared to a car - cheap. A bike costs around ten cents per kilometre. The cost of using a car, on the other hand, is around 40 to 140 cents per kilometre. Some models even cost up to three euros per kilometre.
Cycling is also a cost-effective form of mobility for communes. The construction and maintenance of a cycling infrastructure is more space-saving and cheaper than laying concrete surfaces for motorised traffic. In addition, according to the German Federal Environment Agency, the construction costs for a car parking space are around 2,000 to 3,000 euros for a ground-level variant and around 15,000 to 25,000 euros for an underground parking space. Bicycle parking spaces, on the other hand, are comparatively cheap at around 500 euros per space.
The federal government provides an additional cost incentive. With a new guideline, it has been promoting the purchase of a cargo bike since March 2021: e-bikes and e-trailers for industry, commerce, trade, services and in the communal sector are promoted with a purchase premium of 25 percent and up to a maximum of 2,500 euros.
And there is something else that speaks in favour of switching to cycling - something very personal: if you manage your everyday life by cycling, you pay more attention to your surroundings and perhaps discover your familiar environment in a whole new way.
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