Why should you look after your eCargo bike?
2020 has seen a whole host of businesses change their delivery patterns for the greater good. But as the rise of electric cargo bikes on the roads increases, so too does the need for better information regarding their care and maintenance. There still continues to be significant barriers to entry for the purchase of an eCargo bike, mainly the lack in confidence of the products and a lack of space, storage and support local to each business. Here is a video of Dan explaining the Urban Arrow Electric Cargo Bike Range below:
The Energy Saving Trust have put together a recent eCargo Engagement Webinar, which has been designed to bridge trust for businesses looking to move over to this innovative form of transport. Considering our wealth of knowledge in providing a dedicated service for all manners of business that need to maintain their fleet of bikes, Dan, Director and Electric Cargo Specialist at Fully Charged was best placed to answer why businesses should look after their eCargo bikes:
The first crucial point to raise prior to the purchase and subsequent maintenance of your product is that everyone in this industry is adopting an entirely new form of transportation. This stems right through the supply-chain, from the manufacturers, to the retailers and ultimately to the end-user. We are all disrupting the existing transport infrastructure by offering tangible mobility replacements to more traditional fossil-fuelled means of transport. Whilst eCargo bikes offer an increased productivity over vans and are more agile, more cost-efficient and more green, it is imperative to note that we are all still inventing a new normal for transportation in the UK - from businesses working out how to shoe-horn their use into their fleets, retailers selecting the correct products and offering specialist advice and service and manufacturers designing and building products that will meet the consumer’s need. There are occasionally challenges and obstacles to overcome through the supply chain, but acknowledging this and working together in partnership is the most constructive approach.
You need to first understand the exact requirements necessary for your deliveries and work with a specialist to identify your needs. It is important to make the right choice based on individual preference and understand the eCargo options put to you, whether that’s a bike with front or rear loading, a bicycle or a tricycle and ensuring that you’ve selected the right ‘drive system’ as well choosing a product with quality components that will go the distance.
It’s integral to make sure you test ride the vehicles before you purchase them. At Fully Charged we offer local daily and overnight test rides or you can rent a bike from our business range for up to a week long period.
You have to consider these purchases as an investment and where possible avoid cheap and unbranded drive systems and kits. One has to remember that these are VAT qualifying purchases and are also 100% tax-deductible. There are also grants to consider and financing and leasing options, all of which can help reduce the initial capital outlay.
From our experience it is the cheaper drive systems and poor quality components that will ultimately work out more expensive in the long-run. At Fully Charged, we’ve largely done the job for you and only stock quality proven products that are built for longevity.
Maintenance and Service
It’s important that your supplier has a good relationship with the manufacturer. Having good availability of spare parts and a quality of service to provide local or remote support when you most need it should be a prerequisite for a dedicated supplier.
When it comes to management of your fleet, make sure you assign responsibility to an individual within the business who can liaise directly with the supplier throughout the life-time purchase of the product. If you are managing a larger fleet, then we would consider appointing a dedicated fleet mechanic, who can effect regular maintenance checks and smaller repairs to the bikes,
The old adage of ‘keep up, don’t catch up’ applies to your eCargo as it would any other vehicle that you or your business might own. You need to have your bikes serviced AT LEAST once per year. Regular servicing is a must for your warranty, with Bosch offering a one year warranty on all commercial eBikes. We advise that you work with your service partner to set up a maintenance schedule, ensuring that your servicing is properly administered.
Regular Checks and Emergency Repairs
Aside from having services at least once a year, the following checks should be made on a weekly basis:
- Check tyres for wear and damage
- Check tyre pressure.
- Check wheel trueness.
- Check rims for wear and damage.
- Check hub axles for play.
- Check steering linkage for play.
- Check brake operation.
- Check gear operation.
It’s important to ask the question whether or not your supplier has got sufficient parts in place to effect fast repairs and with quick turnarounds. As a business you might consider maintaining a stock of frequently used spare parts on site, and work with your supplier to hold critical spares based on your application and usage.
If you’d like to hear from Dan and also from the eCargo fleet operator at “Ecofleet” and Colchester Council who give valuable insights into running fleets on a day to day basis, then follow the below link.
Here at Fully Charged we pride ourselves on keeping our business partners out on the roads, no matter the weather. Our top priority is to not only pair you with the perfect product for your individual needs, but to consistently provide a quality of service capable of your operations.
Feel free to come on down and book a free trial at our test centres here in London or in Silverstone and see what your business can do once it’s gone electric.