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Drive for electric bikes to replace delivery vans

A taxpayer-backed firm wants to help end use of petrol and diesel delivery vans with a new electric bike amid rising demand for green transport.

The «Urban 200» was invented by three childhood friends who grew up building bikes together in their sheds.

Their company, Edinburgh-based PeddleSMART, is getting ready to launch its vehicle.

It will be built in a new factory employing ex-offenders and people with disabilities.

The premises at Ravenscraig, Motherwell, has been set up with a £400,000 grant from the economic development agency Scottish Enterprise.

Campus pitch

The vehicle has been developed over the last few years by friends Alastair Hutchison, Brian Craigie and David Field, who bonded over a love of engineering as teenagers in the 1970s and 80s.

Mr Hutchison said: «I do lots of cargo deliveries around Edinburgh — I’m one of the very few who do with a bike and a trailer.

«We wanted to come up with something bigger, more powerful and this was the solution. It’s a bit Heath Robinson, but that’s exactly where we began.

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