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Your next car could be a cargo bike - the climate friendly alternative


Half of the total number of car trips, is shorter than 5 km. In urban communities around 80 percent of the car trips are shorter than 3-4 km. Where  a normal bike or a bus might not be a convenient alternative, an electric cargo bike could very well to the job. 


See our film to get an idea how you could use a cargo bike.




Christmas book packages delivered by cargo bike


Man with Santa Claus hat and a cargo bike with wrapped packages.The city library in Griefswald, Germany, have for the last two years used a cargo bike to transport boxes full of books to mostly all kindergartens of the city. They also organized a regular circular book swap between the kindergartens. During the Covid-19 lockdown the library also used the cargo bike for delivery services to their customers.

This year they put together a special offer for St Nicholas' Day.

“We decided to pack book packages on different topics.” says Anja Mirasch, Head of the Library. “For example, there was the category ‘Tales and Legends’ or packages of family films. We have lovingly wrapped everything and sent greetings, so that the readers can be happy about it at St. Nicholas. Up to today we have received 65 orders for this action. We have also already received the feedback, that we should take our time on delivery because the children would like to sing.”


Anja Mirasch has plans for further use of a cargo bike for her library.

“Apart from the regular delivery service of books to customers and the boxes for the kindergartens we plan to deliver also book boxes to old people’s homes in 2021. For our ideas it is nearly an ideal way of transport within the city.” says Anja.

Another idea is to use the cargo bike to bring books to districts a bit far away from the library which is located in the city center, as they got feedback from booklovers saying they cannot afford to use the bus regularly. 


The trainee of the library, Florian Sack, play St. Nicolaus for the children when he delivers the packages with the cargo bike. (photo Stadtbibliothek Greifswald)


126 families share three cargo bikes instead of taking the car


For one year 126 families have tested if a cargo bike pool can replace shorter car trips. They can - because there is a rift about the three bikes. The families live in Engdraget, which is a sustainable residential area in Slagelse and the electric bicycles are part of Slagelse Municipality's pilot in CoBiUM. In the pilot, we investigate where we can replace car transport with cargo bikes for the benefit of the environment and health.
A trip to the playground in the facility, on the way out to shop or a trip to the cinema. The possibilities are many for when you could take the bike in front of the car. 

Small trips in the fresh air for both big and small

- It has been entirely up to the families themselves to decide what they would use the bikes for. The most important thing for us was to see if sharing bikes could replace some of the shorter car trips. So instead of putting the children in the back seat, they get on the cargo bike, and both children and parents can enjoy a fresh ride with wind in their hair. We are happy that both Slagelse Boligselskab and the families agreed to be part of the pilot, says development consultant in Slagelse Municipality Finn Vedel Pedersen.

Rift about the bikes

Peter Weisbjerg Rasmussen, who lives in Engdraget, has the overall responsibility for the bikes, and he has made sure that the cargo bikes can be booked through a free app, which the 126 families have access to.
- There is a big rift about the bikes. Almost every day, all three bikes are out riding. Now, of course, we are facing a colder time, so we are excited about whether the interest lasts, because of course there is the biggest rift about them when the weather is good. But for many, the rides may have become a regular part of everyday life to a greater or lesser degree, so many will still get in the saddle even if the temperatures drop, says Peter Weisbjerg Rasmussen.

- There are many good reasons to take the bike for the little trips rather than the car. This applies to health, a better climat,e and sustainable cities. But even if we know it well, we often must be inspired by it or at least remember it. The cargo bikes are a practical, fun, and different way to transport yourself and your family. In addition to the fact that the bicycles have inspired the residents of Engdraget for more green trips, we also hope that in the long run it can inspire more people in the municipality to consider sharing schemes and more environmentally friendly short trips, says chairman of the Environment, Planning and Rural Affairs Committee Jørgen Grüner (F).


Update 2021-02-23

This project has been noticed by Danish TV2 East, which did a news feature on it.  Watch it here.


News archive


A single cargo bike replacing a diesel transporter saves 5 tons of CO2 per year

Research from the CityChangerCargoBike (CCCB) project reveals that cargo bikes outmatch traditional delivery vans in almost every respect. While urban delivery trips account for 15% of all urban trips, their share of energy use currently amounts to 30% of all urban transport energy consumption. Cargo bikes, on the other hand, are a zero-emission transport option powered by humans.


Read the article on last mile deliveries on ECF hompage (2020-02-06)


Read the article on the German bike library at the UBC website from 2020-05-14

Photo of the start of the free cargo bike system in front of the city hall


European interest


CoBiUM is featured on the FEDARENE web page, where the CoBiUM film is promoted. See the article.

Release of the CoBiUM film


One of CoBiUM missions is to show that electric carbo bikes can be a real and convenient alternative to fossile-fuelled vehicles for many people living in urban areas. This film hopes to convey that in with a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. 

Cargo bike promotion in south Baltic cities 



Several cities around the southern part of the Baltic sea are currently in the process of procuring electric cargo bikes. The bikes will be lent out to businesses and private persons for a limited trial period or used in municipal services. The purpose is to let people find out how a cargo bike can work for them in their life or business, by being able to borrow a cargo bike for a couple of weeks. Another purpose is making the cargo bikes a regular feature of the cityscape, as municipal employees ride their cargo bikes around town. 

In the cities of Greifswald, Slupsk, Gdynia, Slagelse, Växjö and Guldborgssunds municipality cargo bikes will be a visible mode of transport the next couple of years, as the South Baltic Programme financed project CoBiUM promotes electric cargo bikes as an alternative to fossil fuelled transports.

Long ago cargo bikes were a common sight in many cities, but they disappeared when cars became prevalent in the 1950's. Today, with more electric models to choose from and a wish for greener deliveries, the cargo bikes are again on the rise.

According to Swedish national statistics, 51 percent of all motorized trips in cities occur along such short distances and with so little cargo that they could be done by cargo bike. An electric cargo bike will easily cover a radius of 15-20 kilometres and are suitable for transport of small quantities of goods or equipment for commercial or repair companies. Or for commuting to work, shopping, or travel to sports activities.

- In large cities cargo bikes are common nowadays, but we think that there is a great potential also in a medium-sized city, says CoBiUM lead partner Amanda Johansson, Växjö municipality. Electric cargo bikes are a greener transport alternative, an alternative that both saves money and the climate, with a bonus of added health value.


Social media

Follow us in social media - look out for the hashtag #CoBiUM 

Project progress

Feb 2018 - Project startsGroup picture of CoBiUM project participants in Växjö foto Johanna Wallin

March 2018 - Kickoff takes place in Växjö

April 2018 - Project partners visit the cargo bike fair at Velo Berlin 14-15 April

April 2018 - Research and stock-taking in the field of cargo bikes. Creation of the project steering group.

April 2018 - The web page at is published.

June 2018 - Stock-taking is completed, now follows analysis to serve as foundation for the creation of pilots.

September 2018 - Preparations for procuring cargo bikes to the pilots has started.

January 2019 - Production start of pilot campaign material.

Feb/April 2019 - Several pilots starts.

May 2019 - Project partners met in Greifswald discussing the pilots and the evaluation.

June 2019 - Production of film and graphic tool box.

July 2019 - Release of the CoBiUM cargo bike film

September 2019 - First stories from pilots were compiled and published. 

October 2019 - Partner meeting in Slupsk focused on peer review of the pilots.

November 2019 - Work with midterm evaluation.

December 2019 - collection of news stories for the web page.

February 2020 - First analysis of pilots compiled. Planning for pilot period 2020 are under way.

March 2020 - The planned partner meeting and study visit to Copenhagen had to be cancelled due to the corona virus. The partner meeting and workshop were transformed to an online event.

April 2020 - the Covid-19 pandemic causes a halt to most of the pilots, while some other like the bike library in Växjö still runs without any disturbances.

May 2020 - Development of the joint event format and the guidelines begins in ernest.

August 2020 - As societies open up a bit more, the cargo bike pilots are starting up again, where they before were hindered by the pandemic.

September 2020 - Lockdowns starting again as the pandemic gets worse again.

October 2020 - Bilateral meetings.

November 2020 - Project are being prolonged to October 2021.

December 2020 - Internal work with deliverables and reports.

January 2021 - collection of pilot data from partners.



Baseline report Ex-ante evaluation study (update with results from the data survey 2019-02-18) D 3.1




Better knowledge and increased use of cargo bikes in urban traffic!


CoBiUM (Cargo bikes in urban mobility) aims at reducing the number of fossil-fuelled vehicles in urban mobility in the partner cities by promoting cargo bikes as transportation alternative. Short distances in the urban environment are ideal for shifting trips from car to bike. For distances up to 5 kilometres the readiness of people to use their (non-electric) bike is highest. With pedelecs this distance goes up to 15-20 kilometres. We assume that these numbers do not differ for cargo bikes; the problem is rather that cargo bikes are not very well known and considered to be something very special and not for ordinary use. Through pilot applications, communication and campaigning CoBiUM wants to contribute to a better knowledge about cargo bikes and effectively an increased use among the different target groups.


CoBiUM will focus on three thematic areas: private users, municipal services and business logistics and offer innovative and sustainable solutions, helping municipalities in the South Baltic area to integrate cargo bikes into their urban mobility concepts. 

In CoBiUM the partners will carry out pilots (with small scale-investments) in one or more of the three thematic areas (private use, municipal services and business logistics). The pilots themselves as well as the accompanying communication and campaigning will take into account the different levels of advancement in the respective country with regard to cycling culture and mobility behaviour. The project will result in guidelines and campaign material for municipalitys wanting to replicate the actions of CoBiUM.


In CoBiUM eight partners from four countries comes together in joint cross-border efforts to improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area;


City of Växjö
Danish Cycling Tourism

University of Greifswald

City of Slupsk
City of Gdynia
Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden
Municipality of Slagelse
Municipality of Guldborgsund

Associated partner

University and Hanseatic City Greifswald




CoBiUM (Feb 2018 - Jan 2021) is part-financed by the South Baltic Programme, which supports joint cross-border efforts to improve the quality and environmental sustainability of transport services in the South Baltic area.
The contents of this web page are the sole responsibility of the author[s] and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020.