A courier with a carbon neutral mindset
London-based courier company Absolutely is flying the flag for cargo bikes and Electric Assisted Vehicles for urban deliveries. Absolutely's CEO Stuart Godman shares the company's strategy
How many and what types of vehicles make up Absolutely's fleet?
We have a fleet of over 250 couriers and predominantly operate an owner-rider/driver model supported by owning approximately 10% of our vehicle fleet. This model allows us, and our owner-riders/drivers, complete flexibility for all.
Our fleet comprises a mix of vehicles, led by our environmentally friendly Pushbikes, Cargo Bikes, EAVs (Electric Assisted Vehicles) and also Motorbikes and Vans for more distanced based deliveries. All allowing us the flexibility to support a wide range of customer demands across the differing urban environments in London.
How is your new Eco Hub in Holborn supporting the electric cargo bike expansion across the capital?
We’ve been planning the launch of our Eco Hub for some time to ensure our business continues our ‘customer centric’ approach, supporting the capital's zero emission targets and ensuring future long-term success for all.
Our Eco Hub, and expanding fleet of extra-large electric Cargo Bikes, will enable Absolutely to continue delivering ‘world class’ service whilst adhering to the latest legislations and building on our ambition to be a true ambassador for carbon neutrality. The added options of storage, fulfilment and urgent/instant deliveries offers our customers even more options for the continued success of their business.
Our long-term vision is to expand our operating nodes throughout London to maximise the range of our ever-expanding electric Cargo Bike and EAV fleet, with a planned 60% increase in the fleet by the end of 2021.
Aside from being zero emissions, what other benefits are there to using e cargo bikes in urban environments?
Cargo Bikes are the ideal final mile solution, which allows businesses to utilise a two wheeled carbon neutral vehicle rather than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle. Reports have suggested that average speeds in Central London range between 4-7mph when travelling by van or car, however, our Cargo Bikes can travel up to 15mph by taking advantage of cycle lanes etc. and therefore easing congestion.
Our Cargo Bikes have seen improved collection and delivery times, operating 2.5x more quickly than vans. The ability to carry goods up to 150kg has seen a change in customer booking behaviour, meaning our Cargo Bikes are now the vehicle of choice.
How are your electric vehicles charged? Does the company have its own charging infrastructure?
Our Eco Hub, and our three other London locations, are all fitted with electric charging points for vehicles and batteries. Our Eco Hub underground Cargo Bike storage facility allows us to store, maintain and charge all our vehicles on site, safely and securely.
How important is it to have zero emission last mile deliveries in London?
The Mayor of London is committed to making London a zero-carbon City by 2050, and with the recent announcement of a ban on new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, carbon neutrality is the only way forward. Absolutely is committed to driving a first and final mile carbon neutral approach wherever possible. We have been very successful to date, with 90% of all our UK Overnight collections managed on EAVs, with a view to closing this gap by the end of 2021.
Are you using any other alternatively fuelled vehicles or have plans to?
We will always explore new products and alternative vehicles to ensure we stay at the forefront of our industry. We started our partnership with Fully Charged, our original Cargo Bike provider, way back in 2017 and together we have continued to partner and grow throughout the last four years. More recently we have engaged with other partners, such as EAV, that have vehicles with a top speed of 15mph and have a 60-mile battery life on one single charge. With EAV we are also taking delivery of temperature-controlled electric vehicles to help facilitate our customers’ growth across the ever-expanding medical and food sectors.
What advice would you give to other companies looking to take on electric vehicles or e-cargo bikes?
We are already seeing many in our industry, and similar organisations, investing in Cargo Bikes, and I would encourage them to do so wherever possible. We are proud to be the market leader in this particular area and I feel that we have really made the Sameday courier sector sit up and take notice. Cargo Bikes, and EAVs, are the only way forward in our opinion, and we will continue to push boundaries to help the drive towards carbon neutrality which we all desperately want.