AWARD-WINNING independent retailer Mitchells of Inverurie has begun piloting the use of a purpose-built electric cargo bike to carry out local deliveries.
Owned by Aberdeenshire Council and funded as part of the Government’s ‘Smarter Choices Smarter Places’ programme, the bike is being used to encourage local businesses to consider the cost savings and environmental benefits to be gained by carrying out more local deliveries by bike.
Equipped with a small motor and high-capacity battery pack, the bike has a potential payload of 100 kilos.
When the council approached Inverurie Business Association to speak to members to trial home deliveries by electric bike, Mitchells were keen to get involved.
Owner Keith Whyte said: “This is a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to doing our bit for the environment and help make Inverurie a less congested place.
“When we looked at our deliveries and at times the relatively short distances involved, it made us think there had to be a more environmentally-friendly way to do this.
“Now the use of the electric bikes allows us to reduce our fuel costs, our carbon footprint and helps keep our delivery staff fit and healthy.
“If you think back, most of the shops in towns like Inverurie would have had a team of delivery boys and girls on bikes. With the new technology, these electric-powered bikes give us the opportunity to provide a new take on the nostalgic ‘home delivery’ with a modern twist.”
In addition to the cargo bike trial, Mitchells will be using a new electric bike purchased with support from the Nestrans Sustainable Travel Grant Scheme.
And it has installed new cycle stands so that customers can safely and securely store their bikes whilst they visit the shop and tearoom.