In the past week in Stellenbosch, electric cargo bicycles delivering parcels throughout the town and district surprised and delighted people. Many stopped the cyclists to ask about the bikes and the service, while others took selfies with the cyclists.
The e-cargo bikes will deliver parcels until the end of March as part of a project exploring its benefits. If viable, it could have significant advantages for Stellenbosch, including new income opportunities, relieving traffic gridlock, and reducing CO2 emissions.
Stellenbosch Cycling initiated the idea and the project started in 2022 as a partnership between the Stellenbosch Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development Trust (SEED) and German partner Innovationsmanufaktur. The German government and the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment fund the project through GIZ, the German agency for international cooperation, as part of a worldwide initiative to reduce CO2 emissions.
This week, German experts for micro-mobility innovation from bicycle-friendly cities Augsburg and Munich will visit Stellenbosch. They will meet with stakeholders, including Stellenbosch Municipality, and will present insights on the project in a day-long event this Friday.
Lark Cycles, a local e-bike company, designed and built the e-cargo bikes, called Stroom, that residents will see in town for the rest of March. Carinus Lemmer of Stellenbosch Cycling and Seepglad is the project partner responsible for logistic planning. As the project coordinator, SEED builds and tests a viable business model.
Nicolette Booyens of SEED describes the project as “an opportunity to stimulate economic growth, reduce motorised transport and move towards more sustainable ways to do business”. GIZ has also appointed experts to establish the carbon footprint of the locally produced e-cargo cycles.
E-cargo bikes as a solution to climate friendly transportation of small goods may yet present tremendous benefits to Stellenbosch.
For more information, contact Nicolette Booyens.
Cell: 082 856 8789