From pubs to green machines: Evri bike courier reveals secrets of the job

Photo of a woman answering door to courier in blue uniform

19th April 2024: Forget crowded offices and rush hour commutes. Meet Robert Yeadon, one of Evri’s 150 eco-champions, who swapped serving behind a bar to serving customers in his community and has been delivering parcels by e-cargo bike for the company since November last year, following a career change. Swapping a bustling office for the busy streets of Colliers Wood in London riding on an EAV cargo bike. He’s shared what it’s like to deliver parcels on one of these bikes.

Rob’s job as a bike courier starts at about 1:30pm, one the benefits he loves is that the flexibility allows him to work another job he has in the morning. Arriving at the local Evri depot he starts by scanning and then loading around 70 parcels on to the bike. It takes less than half an hour to scan the parcels then about 10 minutes to load them. Less than an hour after arriving he’s out on the road ready to deliver his round.

Rob tackles traffic like a champ with no fumes, just efficiency as these e-cargo bikes can use cycle lanes. He said, “It takes around 3 hours to deliver all the parcels. I live 3 minutes from the depot, and I know the local area well, so I know a few side streets that help me speed things up.” He went on to talk about the advantages of the bikes, “The obvious one is the benefits to the environment of course then on top of that, the bikes can be more efficient than traditional methods, especially in built up areas and allow you navigate busy streets easier.”

 Rob isn’t just delivering parcels; he’s delivering a greener future. The EAV cargo bikes are one of the largest on the market, boasting a cargo volume of 2,000 litres, a 170kg payload. With zero tailpipe emissions a single bike can be expected to produce up to a 3t carbon saving alone.

70 parcels might sound like a lot of weight to pedal around. When asked if it was hard work Rob revealed a surprising perk, “You’d think the bike would feel heavy and hard to ride, but it’s the opposite, you don’t feel any weight at all. The bike really does the work for you, it’s great, the throttle gets the bike moving, all you have to do is steer, it doesn’t really feel like you’re pedalling.”

When asked what he loves about the job he told us, “I used to work in a pub and then worked as a recruitment consultant for a couple of years, I wanted to a more active job, something where I could be out and about. This job gives me just that, I cycle around 40 miles a week. I get to see different places and meet new people and build up a rapport with my customers. People often stop me and ask about the bike, how fast it goes, how it works and where they can get one from.”

An obvious question people may have when considering this job is how fit do you need be? According to Rob, “A level of fitness helps but the bike does a lot of the work, so people shouldn’t be put off, personally I feel like I’ve got fitter as result of doing the job which is great. This job is perfect for anyone who wants to ditch the desk and get paid whilst getting fit.”

Over the last two years Evri has rolled out e-cargo bikes across multiple sites including Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Wimbledon, and Oxford. Last year it delivered 1.5 million parcels by e-cargo bike, and it has ambitious plans to increase that in the next 12 months. Where e-cargo bikes are in place, it means 100% reduction in tailpipe emissions for parcels under 15kg direct to the consumer address.

Evri is pushing to be the most sustainable parcel delivery company and as well as rolling out zero-emission e-cargo bikes, the business is expanding its EV fleet and testing alternative solutions such as battery-powered and hydrogen vehicles in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. Evri achieved a 10% reduction in the carbon per parcel since last year and has ambitious plans to become net-zero by 2035.