November 16, 2022
Updated on:
May 16, 2024

Tough times ahead for Londoners, is ditching the car the answer?

As seen in London Daily News*, Zoomo’s UK General Manager Nicolas de Juniac discusses why e-bikes may be the answer to the cost-of-living crisis.

As the cost-of-living crisis spirals, and with inflation expected to hit 11% this month, one in three Londoners say they are using less energy, water, or fuel to make ends meet.  Research conducted by YouGov for the Greater London Authority found that one in four Londoners are worried about affording household bills and are looking for ways to cut costs.  For many, this includes running a car.

Fears the cost of fuel could be on the rise again.  Added to that, driving into the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) without a compliant vehicle costs £12.50 per day, and there is an additional £15 charge for entering the Central London congestion zone. With the ULEZ due to be expanded to cover the whole of Greater London as soon as August 2023, it is little wonder Londoners are considering whether a car is a luxury they can afford.

For those looking to make a switch to public transport, it is not good news either, with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, warning that unless the government intervenes, fare rises of more than 10% could come into force in March next year. That is double this year’s rise and would take the cost of a Zone 1 tube fare to £2.85.

There is, of course, another option – one economists, health professionals, and environmentalists support – walking and cycling. Businesses across the capital have, over the past two years, reaping the benefits of making the switch from motorised vehicles to e-bikes and cargo bikes and demand for cycle freight is growing as, according to the University of Westminster, average journeys are 1.6 times faster than those made by van in London, more sustainable, and far more reliable. There is a massive cost saving too as these vehicles are much cheaper to run and maintain than petrol vehicles, especially given the current economic climate. It is no surprise then, that London’s commuters and businesses alike are considering whether it is feasible to switch their cars for e-bikes.

The infrastructure is getting better, with almost 340km of mapped cycle routes across the capital, more than any other city in the country. And as the network continues to develop, so too does the technology, with e-bikes becoming more advanced. Newer models have longer-lasting batteries and increased carrying capacity, as well as more safety features like headlights and cameras.

Compared to the average cost of buying a car, the upfront costs of e-bikes are minimal, especially when opting for a rental. Research from Germany where e-bike adoption has been substantial shows that people can save 90% of their monthly travel costs by switching from cars to e-bikes or bikes.  

To ensure e-bikes are accessible to all, Zoomo offers several payment options including monthly rental, rent-to-own or purchase outright. These payment packages are available across all of Zoomo’s London stores, including Fulham, Bethnal Green, and Streatham. A week’s rental starts at £35, the cost of a little over half a tank of petrol at London’s pumps. Add to this the health and environmental benefits, and it is predicted that e-bike usage amongst London’s commuters and even those who would traditionally shy away from cycling, will be marked during the cost of living crisis and beyond.  

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