The government has announced £2m to support the uptake of e-cargo bikes.

Jesse Norman, minister for low emission vehicles, said: “Support for e-cargo bikes will help to ensure that Britain leads the way in the development and deployment of the technologies of the future.

“Encouraging electric delivery bikes on to our city streets will cut traffic and improve air quality, and will show how these vehicles have the potential to play an important role in the zero emission future of this country.”

The government’s plans are aimed at countering the increasing usage of diesel delivery vans that has accompanied the boom in internet shopping.

The announcement of the grant is an early response to the last mile call for evidence, which closed this week. The call for evidence asked for views on how the government can harness the opportunities for greener delivery in the commercial and residential parts of cities and towns.

It also builds on previous government-funded UK trials for e-cargo bikes in spring 2017. The Department for Transport’s Innovation Challenge Fund grant enabled London-based e-cargo Bikes to set up its first micro hub on an industrial estate in Islington from which grocery delivery trials with Sainsbury’s were conducted.

The trials exceeded expectations in its potential commercial viability and efficiency, which showed that 96.7% of orders could be fulfilled in a single e-cargo bike drop.