"It is a great solution for me; I'm aiming for zero emissions!"
Noël Wilmes, independent mobile hair stylist, talks about his experiences with the e-cargo bike.
‘I am a mobile hair stylist in Maastricht and the surrounding municipalities: Eijsden-Margraten, Meerssen, Lanaken, and Vroenhoven. I always used to visit my clients by car. I enjoy cycling, but I couldn't carry all my equipment in a bag on the bike. For instance, I need all kinds of bottles and materials for hair dying treatments on location and often also a mobile wash basin. I saw in a newsletter that the coffee company Blanche Dael is taking part in a Maastricht Bereikbaar trial allowing them to use a subsidized electric cargo bike under certain conditions, and I thought: that would be a great solution for me too!
At the end of September, I was able to start using my e-cargo bike. it is a unique bike, and it really suits me. My work involves styling, so I wanted a cargo bike that was both attractive and functional. I get a lot of positive reactions from clients and when on the road. I am currently developing a special cover for the cargo container, with solar panels. I often have 70 to 80 kg of equipment with me, and the range of a fully-charged e-cargo bike is only 40 kilometres. That's why I want to install the solar panels as soon as possible so it can charge throughout the day. That way I can work towards zero emissions. I feel really positive about this electric cargo bike. There are several advantages for me. I save on petrol and parking costs, and it's good for the environment and for my own health and fitness.
I have around five to ten journeys to clients each day. During rush hour, I can get there quicker with the e-cargo bike than by car. Outside rush hour, it's only five minutes extra per journey on average. That works for me. I consider it important to record the journeys properly using the GPS logger, as I am very aware of the fact that I am taking part in a trial using public funds. I want to use those funds as responsibly as possible.’