11 Aug 2021

Clean green gardening machine

“I know I can honestly say to my children I’m really doing something to reduce my impact on the planet.”

These are the words from The Green Trike Gardener, Dan Groves, who switched his van for an electric cargo trike in April 2020. Thanks to a grant from the Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access Fund, East Wight based Dan has cut journey times, saved money and cut carbon emissions.

In the last year, the e-cargo bike has replaced over 500 diesel van journeys, saving nearly two tonnes of carbon (CO2) emissions.  

Dan’s update follows on from news that the council is funding a two-month pilot study of electric cargo (e-cargo) bikes delivering goods on behalf of Cowes businesses. The project is being run by People Powered Community Interest Company (CIC).

Offering garden design, build and maintenance, Dan carries out all his maintenance work in the Seaview and Bembridge areas using his trike to carry his power tools, instead of his petrol engine van.

Mr Groves said: “My business and I are now very easily recognised and remembered in my main areas of work. I save a lot of money on fuel as all the short, stop-start journeys I used to make between jobs in my van were the least fuel efficient. It's much cheaper on servicing and spares too, which I get done through Island Bikeworks.

“I know I can honestly say to my children I'm really doing something to reduce my impact on the planet and prompting others to consider how they might be able to do something similar. It's not just CO2 - all the parts are far less degrading and depleting than a car or van, even an electric one, such as smaller brake pads and tyres.”

Cabinet lead for infrastructure and transport, Councillor Phil Jordan, said: “I’m so pleased to hear that Dan has furthered his successful business, following his grant funding. It’s companies like this that will really push forward the change to using clean, green modes of transport for deliveries and put the Island on the map when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. I wish him all the best and long may his success continue.”

Mr Groves has some good advice for those considering the switch to greener modes of transport:

  • Try it out by contacting People Powered CIC , which is currently running a pilot e-cargo bike delivery project and demonstration events.
  • Work out the figures for your business. You are likely to see savings in the medium and long term. Some small and very large delivery businesses are now using e-cargo bikes and trikes for their ‘last-mile’ pick up and drop off services and gaining the kudos and savings that demonstrate they are workable in practice.
  • Think carefully about which bike/trike to go for. Making sure you have the right combination of features to suit your business needs will recover your costs quicker and maximise your CO2 impact. Dan also had to make some adjustments to his business too, for example, reordering his routes and jobs in his rota. 
  • Look out for grants that may help with initial costs. They sometimes cover costs in different ways and some can be used in combination with others. Dan believes these incentives can be really beneficial because you see a return on your investment much quicker.
Dan added: “Members of the public who have approached for a chat when I'm with the trike are surprised at what I do and how much it can carry. My customers seem happy that I'm using the trike. By employing me, using the trike instead of a van, they rightly feel their gardens have a lower carbon footprint. It gives a very positive impression when parked outside their property.

“An important note is that all this interaction is a big plus compared to zero for a van, especially if a business is looking to grow.”

To find out more about the services The Green Trike Gardener offer, email mr.dangroves@gmail.com or call mobile 07955 381273.

For further information about the pilot e-cargo bike project and to get involved, visit People Powered CIC’s website

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Dan Groves swapped his van for an electric cargo bike in April 2020.
Dan Groves swapped his van for an electric cargo bike in April 2020.
Factfile
  • Dan Groves switched his van for an electric cargo trike in April 2020, using a grant from the Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access Fund.
  • In the last year, the e-cargo bike has replaced over 500 diesel van journeys, saving nearly two tonnes of carbon (CO2) emissions.
  • The council is funding a two-month pilot study of electric cargo (e-cargo) bikes delivering goods on behalf of Cowes businesses. The project is being run by People Powered Community Interest Company.
 
Isle of Wight, UK