Saris, a Midwest manufacturer of cycling infrastructure, announced their partnership with Urban Arrow, the Dutch pioneer in electric cargo (eCargo) bike design, and Bosch eBike Systems, the global leader in eBike battery and motor design, to build and distribute best-in-class commercial eCargo bikes to North America’s public sector.
“Cities are at the center of a growing societal awareness of the long-term costs of our fossil fuel dependence and resulting carbon emissions on the planet and they are uniquely positioned to provide leadership to address climate change. Local governments and universities are making commitments to lower and offset their own emissions and reduce their carbon footprint, and we want to give them a best-in-class solution designed with global leaders Urban Arrow and Bosch.” said Mike Basarich, Director Saris Infrastructure.
As a leading manufacturer of bike infrastructure products with decades of public sector experience, Saris was uniquely positioned to bring eCargo bike technology to the North American public sector for the first time. Building a bike to withstand daily commercial use is no small task, so Saris turned to Urban Arrow and Bosch eBike Systems, each of whom brought with them a long and impressive history of innovation within the electric bike industry.
“Over the last decade in Europe we have seen increasing levels of eCargo bike technology adoption. This is happening in both private and public sector companies and organizations. We are convinced that this movement towards sustainable mobility is indeed global and are very excited to partner up with Saris to further develop the North American market for eCargo bikes. We have great confidence in this unique partnership and are looking forward to seeing the innovative solutions that Saris is developing on top of Urban Arrow's tried and tested cycling platform.” said Urban Arrow co-founder, Jorrit Kreek.
“The collective experience and collaboration between Bosch and Saris will no-doubt have a big impact on the eCargo movement,” stated Claudia Wasko, GM Bosch eBike Systems Americas.
As this partnership and the public sector eCargo bike took shape, Saris partnered with the City of Madison, Wisconsin, to launch the first pilot using eCargo bikes by City employees in North America. During the months-long pilot, the City tested the capabilities of the bike by rotating it through City departments, including Fleet Services, Public Works, Parks, Libraries, Transportation, and Streets. A second pilot is about to begin with the City of Portland, Oregon.
“We are excited to partner with Saris on this project and see what types of jobs can be done efficiently by bike,” City of Madison Pedestrian Bicycle Administrator, Renee Callaway, said. “These bikes are smaller, more nimble and can be parked and operated in more places than a typical City vehicle.”
These pilots are just the beginning. As the public sector eCargo bike takes shape, now is the time for public sector leaders and employees to start having conversations about integrating eCargo bikes into their fleets. An informational webinar on this topic will be hosted by the League of American Bicyclists on November 24th, titled On Your Left!: The transformative power of eCargo bikes in your community’s vehicle fleet.