Electric transport or micromobility devices for getting around our community are here to stay.
Electric bikes, carbo bikes and e-scooters for school drop-offs, visiting friends, heading to the park, and grocery runs are increasingly common and for good reason.
They can be charged on clean energy and they’re fun and efficient ways to get around. Merri-bek Council has established a reputation as Australia’s leading local council for electric vehicles.
Electric cargo bikes
Electric cargo bikes allow you to carry kids, shopping, pets, the weekly groceries – or all of the above!
They come with a cargo box attached to the front or back or are built as ‘long-tail’ where your passengers or cargo ride on an extended rear rack.
Some heavy-duty models have total carrying capacity of 250kg – ideal for small business deliveries with no parking fines and low running costs – but even the standard models can carry around 60kg on their rear racks.
Several businesses in Merri-bek offer short-term electric cargo bike hire and rental (like Cargobikes) or longer-term cargo bike by subscription (like Lug & Carrie, who are also a partner in our Ride & Stride program).
Electric bicycles or e-bikes are good for single riders with less cargo.
As well as being a great option for getting around Merri-bek, they are terrific for longer distance commuting, like runs to and from the CBD, because while you still need to peddle like a standard bicycle, they take the edge off so you arrive at your destination ready for the day ahead.
Choice has a great article, How to buy the best electric bike, and online forums like Bicycle Network Australia can be helpful research tools, too.
Businesses like e-stralian offer leasing and e-bike salary packaging so you could include your e-bike as part of your salary (much like you might a motor vehicle). Otherwise, many bike shops offer electric bikes or you could visit one of the local specialist shops like Vyron.
Electric scooters have taken off with Melburnians riding more than 1.6 million kilometres on the rental vehicles within three months – a faster rate than most other cities around the world.
Electric scooters are a great option for when you don’t feel like riding, but you still want effective, efficient, clean air transport that gets you from A to B without worrying about parking.
Like e-bikes, do your research and purchase a model that will suit your needs. Some of the cheaper models have batteries that need regular recharging, which is fine if you only need it to go to/from the shops, but can be a hassle if you want to be out all day.
Electric cars are also becoming more popular and as federal government support improves prices will come down.
In the meantime, you can check out The Good Car Company who offers new and pre-owned electric vehicles, buyers groups and community bulk-buy schemes to make more electric vehicles accessible to more people.
Charging with clean energy
We have a network of 16 publicly available free electric vehicle charging stations that are powered by 100% renewable energy. Visit our website to find out the locations.
Electric bike and scooter recharging is also available at Merri-bek Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. This is also powered by 100% renewable energy from the Crowlands Wind Farm.
Ride and Stride program