Interest in cargo bikes and bike trailers has increased significantly in recent years. A total of around 103,000 cargo bikes were sold in Germany in 2020; by 2021, the figure had already risen to 167,000, an increase of more than 62 percent (cf. cargobike.jetzt, 2022).
This interest is also reflected in political debates about nationwide purchase premiums for private cargo bikes. The question of the potential of private cargo bikes for the transport turnaround and of appropriate funding instruments has thus also arrived in federal politics. Less attention in the media and political debate is paid to bicycle trailers, which have already been established for some time, especially for transporting children. According to Fahrradmonitor 2019, trailers are used significantly more often than cargo bikes to carry children on bicycles (cf. Sinus Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH, 2019).
In model projects and studies of potential in Germany, the focus has so far been very much on cargo bikes in commercial transport. So far, very little is known about the actual potential of cargo bikes and bicycle trailers in the private sector and, above all, about the users. The research project “Potential of cargo bikes and bicycle trailers – analysis of acquisition and use in the private sector” is intended to close these knowledge gaps. The client is the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt); in addition to infas, the partners Nuts One GmbH, Verkehr mit Köpfchen and cargobike.jetzt are involved in the project. The project started on January 01, 2022 and will run until the end of September 2023. Various methodological approaches were used to determine which groups of people use cargo bikes and bicycles with trailers in the private sector, what difficulties there are in using them, and for what purposes they are used. In addition, factors were identified that make everyday use easier and more convenient and those that make use more difficult or even impossible. Both users and non-users are taken into account. The aim of the study is to develop individual and structural measures to promote the use of cargo bikes and bicycle trailers – also as an alternative to the private automobile.