Carbon – what’s the problem?

Why is reaching Net Zero Carbon so important and what’s all this fuss about zero emission vehicles?

March 31, 2022

Why is reaching Net Zero Carbon so important and what’s all this fuss about zero emission vehicles? We’re not setting out to preach to people about the climate crisis (though sit us down with a glass of wine and we will happily recount some compelling evidence for action) but we do want to be a force for good in terms of the reduction of carbon, and to that end we believe that moving goods around Oxford should be done in zero and low emission vehicles, wherever possible.

Whatever the arguments are for reducing emissions, we intend to be part of the solution. Jake has sold a fleet of four “eco” diesel vans from a previous venture and our new fleet currently consists of six e-cargo bikes and a 100% electric van – although we do need you all to help us fill them with deliveries every day!


Research on the comparison of emissions seems to be unified that an electric assist cargo bike emits less than 5g of CO2 per km travelled, compared to around 50g per km with an electric van. Conventional vans (diesel/petrol) emit in excess of 200g of CO2 per km as a direct comparison, before you factor in the use in production of fossil fuels (and let’s not get into the whole fracking debate).


Interestingly, the food a rider consumes as "fuel" for their body as it powers the bike, is a significant contribution to that small amount of CO2 output. We encourage our riders to consider this when choosing the food they eat. That’s when local, seasonal food can really make a difference.


If you want a quick and easy test that you could try yourself, simply stand still in the street and breathe in deeply. If you’re standing next to a diesel van with the engine switched on, you’ll appreciate the problem immediately. If you’re standing next to one of our bikes, you will have your clean air enhanced by also observing a beautifully designed and decorated piece of engineering.


We know that national courier companies are starting to wise up and use e-cargo bikes in cities and rather than fearing this as a threat to ourselves as a local business, we believe it’s a huge step in the right direction towards the goal of normalising zero emission delivery.


Progressive cities like Oxford are now actively pushing polluting vehicles away from the most densely populated areas and are encouraging the use of more environmentally friendly ways for people and goods to get around. That’ll be the future nationwide too, but we believe that future needs to be happening much sooner than current governmental targets of 2050, or 2040 even – it needs to start happening now, with everyone working together to make the vital progress we need.


This article from the Guardian paints a pretty clear picture and is well worth a read.

Jake & Will

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