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It’s time to replace urban delivery vans with e-bikes

E-bikes are cleaner and safer. So why aren’t we using them?

Liz Scheltens is a senior editorial producer for the Vox video team.

Remember, during lockdown, how we all got obsessed with ordering everything online and having it delivered right to our doorsteps? Yeah, turns out that isn’t going away anytime soon — and we’re starting to understand the many downsides. The delivery vans that make our next-day shipping dreams come true are driving up CO2 emissions while making our streets more crowded and less safe.

Fortunately, there’s a hero waiting in the wings: the e-cargo bike. Not only can these bad boys deliver packages in urban environments just as quickly (and sometimes faster) than delivery vans, they take up far less space and are much less likely to cause pedestrian deaths. Companies like Amazon, DHL, and UPS are using them in several European cities, but American cities haven’t followed suit.

In this video, we explore why that is, and lay out some of the big steps American cities would need to take to join the e-bike delivery revolution.

This episode is presented by Delta. Delta doesn’t have a say in our editorial decisions, but they make videos like this possible. For more information, visit

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