Cargo bikes conquer the big cities. It's no wonder: first, they allow you to ride past traffic jams in the bike lane, and second, they make it easier to find parking spaces. Craftsmen are also increasingly using the new means of transport. What to look for when buying.
If the city center is clogged with cars again? Then a cargo bike may be the better mode of transport, increasingly so for tradesmen by the way. This is also related to the "Fleet Commerce" project, which has already been implemented in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart in 2022. 2023 Dusseldorf should be one of the participating cities. Thanks to the project, craftsmen can get a grant to buy a cargo bike for economic purposes. Because the more city dwellers switch to bicycles, the better it is for the climate and also for the urban population.
For which craftsmen is a cargo bike useful?
Tradesmen who do the majority of their work in a rather small radius may be more likely to use an e-load bike for this purpose than someone who has to travel very long distances on a daily basis. Even if you only have a few tools and materials with you, you are often better off with a cargo bike than with a car – and you also save the company gasoline. The e-bike alternative makes sense especially for the employees in the craft business who do not have and do not want a driving license. Especially in the big cities, the number of young people taking out a driver's license has been declining for years.
Financial advantages of the Cargo Bike
The cargo bike is also financially attractive to craft businesses:
- There is a promotion of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). Applications can still be submitted until February 2024.
- The purchase price is usually less than that of a car.
- A cargo bike can be leased. The installments are tax deductible. The Munich Chamber of Industry and Commerce has put more information on this topic on the Internet.
- If the bicycle is used more than 50 percent for business purposes, it is part of the business assets. The purchase price can then be written off against tax over seven years. Maintenance and repair costs are business expenses.
- Insurance and maintenance of a cargo bike cost less than for a car.
What to look for when buying a cargo bike?
Tradespeople interested in a cargo bike have a few decisions to make. This includes, for example, the question of whether a bike with a fixed box is better or rather one with a flatbed. Which is more appropriate depends on the tools you need to have with you. The battery also plays an important role: will it last for a whole day?
The bike should be easy to adjust in case different employees of different sizes want to ride it. You should also provide for bad weather: a cover for the transported load is useful in case of rain, employees should get rain jacket and pants.
It is also helpful to check whether there are bicycle repair shops in the vicinity of the business that repair e-bikes and are familiar with the brand that you want to purchase. If you put on sturdy tires, you prevent frequent visits to the repair shop and are less likely to have a flat tire.
A cargo bike should be well insured, a very good lock is also useful. In some circumstances, a breakdown service is also helpful. Such a service is offered, for example, by the ADFC or the ADAC.