News Business & Policy Oxwash Uses EAV Electric Cargo Bikes to Move London Laundry If you are going to run a zero-carbon business, you have to do it door to door. By Lloyd Alter Lloyd Alter Facebook Twitter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Learn about our editorial process Published November 4, 2020 01:50PM EST EAV / OXWASH Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Oxwash is a laundry service that was started in Oxford in 2017 with the intent of being the world’s first sustainable laundry, using 60% less water at much lower temperatures. Its timing was propitious, given that using "ozone disinfection with thermal and biodegradable chemical processes to achieve greater than pharmaceutical-grade disinfection" is just what you need in these times when everyone is worried about viruses. Oxwash's regular cargo bikes. Oxwash In any service business, one of the biggest components of its carbon footprint is the vehicle that does the pickup and delivery. Oxwash aimed to have no carbon emissions, so it has been using electric cargo bikes. But now they are expanding to London, and bigger cities might mean bigger loads. To cope, they are adding EAV electric cargo bikes from Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited to their delivery fleet. Oxwash founder Kyle Grant says "the cutting-edge EAVs will allow us to transport more than double our usual laundry capacity, for both bags and hanging items, per journey. This added efficiency means our customers benefit from more flexible delivery and pickup times." EAV Treehugger has admired the EAV before, although it doesn't look much like a bicycle. Carlton Reid explained that in the UK it was: "Despite being a four-wheeler, it is classified as an electric-powered bicycle, or EPAC, not a light electric vehicle, or LEV. It is designed to be the 'Sprinter van' of the e-cargobike world and has indicators and other motor vehicle accoutrements but it can legally travel on cycleways [bike lanes]." It's much smaller than a real Sprinter van or your typical step van that is used for deliveries and usually parked in the bike lane, which will reduce congestion and danger to cyclists. In London, they will be charged with fully renewable energy and can go anywhere in London's Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Grant notes that "with more cities now introducing congestion charges and low-emission zones, our model ensures that we are future-proofing our delivery routes for our customers." Oxwash/ EAV But it is also about redesigning systems with appropriate technology for the job; big vans don't belong in crowded cities. Kyle Grant is picking a vehicle that is as modern as his business: "Traditional methods can only go so far and have taken their toll on the planet. The zero-emissions EAV bikes are the cutting edge in sustainable local goods transport, and we are proud to have them as a partner on our journey to bring truly sustainable laundry to everyone." Adam Barmby of EAV uses all the modern buzzwords about their "vision to disrupt logistics and the circular economy." Oxwash is "aiming to disrupt traditional but environmentally costly washing and dry-cleaning processes by using ozone to sterilize fabrics at lower temperatures, along with electric cargo bikes for hyper-local collections and deliveries." So much disruption! But there are important concepts that could apply to many businesses, disruptive or not: hyper-local, battery-powered, circular, and carbon-free. That is the future we want.