So following on from the previous blog post, i fitted the new and improved GPS trackers on our 3* 8 freight cargo bikes this week.

The live tracking has been fantastic, being able to see where your riders are in real time is a great thing from my perspective, it’s standard practise with traditional car/van couriers so i believe it improves our service greatly to compete with them at the professional level, i’ve included some points at the bottom as to why but want to move on to talk about the distance and Co2oct-week-2-map-area-trackersWe’ve covered a pretty big distance between all three bikes of 233 miles this week displayed below, it would of been more but we knocked the antenna lose on Tuesday on one of the gps units and had to fix it and on thursday the unit fell into a pharmacy box and got delivered to a client near the start of the round, at least by the time he got back it was easy to find it again thoughoct-week-2-distance-data-trackersTaking the distance, i just have to find out the per mile co2 emitted by a van to give a very simplistic savings idea. 233 miles to km is 375 km rounded up.

A diesel class 1 van is our most realistic comparison, due to it being the most popular and most likely van we will replace and literally replace, woodlands pharmacy and Gatineau both used diesel class 1’s before we replace them with our service. Goverment figures are pretty good on the co2 produced per km, i’ll link the study at a later date when i find it again in our folders but i have the figure from working our rough estimates of co2 savings for clients about a year ago.

Diesel class 1 – Emits 143.4 grams of CO2 per km / Emits 1.25 grams of NO2 per km

375km * 143.4grams = 53775 grams or

53.7kg of co2 this week

468 grams of NO2 this week




The ECF (european cycle federation) did a study on this a while ago and actually factored in a lot of detail, They worked out

•- THE PRODUCTION PHASE which includes the energy and material inputs required to manufacture the vehicle. 

• THE OPERATION PHASE which includes fuel production and utilisation. 

• THE MAINTENANCE PHASE, which includes all activity required to keep a vehicle as safe as possible on the road.

Interestingly, bike’s aren’t technically 0 emission, they produce about 16 grams of co2 per passenger km cycled (less if your vegan/veggie as food counts as the fuel) and produce about 5 grams of co2 per km cycled in the production phase so total 21 grams

Compared to a car at 229 grams per passenger km in the operational phase and 42 grams of CO2 at the production phase totalling 271 grams

Cars release 14 times the amount of CO2 of a bike. Dam i dont really have time to look into this more today, i’m off to go collect a beat up giant defy road bike for personal use but i’ll try and go further into this soon


The trackers themselves lasted 6 days without being charged which works out perfectly to quickly swap them out at the end of the week, a big improvement on our first attempt at using car trackers that only lasted 48 hours at best.

Info on how the units have improved our service too

  • No longer have to wait on messages or phone calls riders might not pick up or see due to being busy or no signal etc to find out there location.
  • The above makes the office side move faster, if a customer enquires where there package is, we can tell them instantly and fairly accurately how long it will be before we reach them
  • having gps on the bikes themselves means we no longer have to rely on mobile phone GPS, which is wildly inaccurate and drains your phone battery like you wouldn’t believe, the phone is like molten metal in your hand.
  • Improves safety, if a rider’s phone runs out of battery, hes gone dark and we don’t have a location or contact method which is not good. This gives us an alternative at least to know the rider is on the move/safe/provide there location

All in all not a bad start to this project, keen to work on getting the trackers hooked up to the dynamo’s this weekend and see how long they can stay charged for, we are aiming for 3 months of not touching them and constant data collection

Have a good weekend!