Zero-carbon travel: this summer, we're coming to read your meters by bike!

This summer, Sibelga will test the use of electric cargo bikes for gas and electricity meter readings.

In the next few weeks, you might see one of our meter readers riding around the streets of the capital on an electric cargo bike! Five of our drivers have agreed to trade in their van for an electric two-wheeler for a few weeks. This experiment will determine whether or not it is worth including cargo bikes in Sibelga's fleet.

Increasing soft mobility and improving air quality in Brussels

Sibelga has been reflecting on its mobility with a view to reducing its carbon footprint for several years now. More than half of our commercial vehicles are already carbon neutral. "All vehicles for which there is a 'green' alternative will be gradually replaced in the coming years, before the 2025 deadline imposed by the Brussels-Capital Region," explains Grégory Navet, Fleet Manager at Sibelga.

However, it may not make sense to replace all the commercial vehicles with electric or CNG vehicles. These vehicles are expensive and are sometimes only driven a few kilometres a day. Hence the idea of exploring new avenues... such as the use of bicycles!

The cargo bike: an asset for getting around Brussels!

The Cairgo Bike programme, coordinated by Brussels Mobility, aims to promote the use of cargo bikes by individuals and professionals in Brussels. Several companies, such as Vivaqua, Bpost and Proximus, have already successfully tested this solution. 

The cargo bike offers several benefits for getting around the streets of Brussels: it saves time by avoiding traffic jams and makes parking easier! Not to mention the benefits of physical activity for its users.

A well supervised pilot project

There is obviously no question of our volunteer colleagues launching themselves into the streets of Brussels without preparation! They will first receive training from Urbike, a cooperative cyclo-logistics company. They will learn how to handle the cargo bike and how to integrate safely into traffic. 

The actual test will take place from the end of July to mid-August. This period was not chosen at random, as the traffic is more fluid in Brussels during the summer holidays and the weather is generally milder.
Are you likely to see Sibelga technicians cycling regularly in the years to come? This first test will be a good indicator! We will be sure to share the results with you.

A few figures

•    Pilot project from 25 July 2022 to 15 August 2022 
•    5 of Sibelga's meter readers volunteered to take part in the test.
•    Their range is 40 to 70 km per day and their average speed is 15 km/h.