Lug & Carrie expands into Sydney tailing growth and sustainability

Daniel and Benjamin Carr, Founders of Lug and Carrie

As pressure mounts on Australia to reduce its greenhouse emissions and the global eBike industry continues to surge, a Melbourne-based eBike startup is expanding its reach to make it cheaper and easier for everyday Australians to reduce their carbon footprints.

Lug & Carrie, a premium eBike subscription service launched in Sydney due to bumper customer uptake in Melbourne and double-digit growth in Australia’s eBike sales.

Founded by brothers Ben and Dan Carr and billed the ‘Stan of Australian eBike providers’, Lug & Carrie offers customers of all experience levels their own eBike on a flexible, affordable, and scalable subscription lease, without hefty costs and long-term commitments.

Customers make weekly payments and can adjust their subscription with ease, changing accessories, upgrading, swapping, purchasing, or returning their bike with 4 weeks’ notice.

Lug & Carrie’s environmental sustainability mission

Never has it been easier to ditch the car for local travel, switch to cleaner commutes and unlock the fun, family and health benefits that come with accessing a premium eBike.

With Australia’s transport sector currently producing 19% of Australia’s entire emissions rate, and the UN’s IPCC reporting that Australia has warmed by 1.4C, Lug & Carrie is on a mission to make cleaner and greener eBike options accessible to everyday consumers.

Potential for eBikes to reduce greenhouse emissions is clear, with studies showing that eBikes emit only 22g of CO2 per km, less than a tenth of a car’s worth of CO2 per km (271g), and that an individual e-bike could provide an average reduction of 225kg CO2 per year.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggest that many Australians often commute transient distances that could easily and economically be travelled via eBike.

The ABS reports that almost three in four Australian workers commute less than 20km each day, with half of all workers in capital cities traveling less than 10km.

Workers in Melbourne and Sydney were found to be commuting an average of 15km.

Australia’s cycling economy is also booming, with the 2021 Australian Cycling Economy Report estimating that last year alone the Australian Cycling Economy directly contributed $6.3 billion direct industry output including $3.4 billion direct value add and 34,295 direct jobs.

29% of Australians spent money on cycling in 2020 (with NSW and VIC containing the highest number of cycling consumers) and that state/territory and local governments invested an estimated $428m in bicycle related infrastructure and programs in 2020.

Lug & Carrie eBike geared to maximise potential

Many Australian eBike companies have traditionally sold eBikes outright at high prices or marketed subscriptions to individual couriers, businesses and/or the gig economy.

To that end, Lug & Carrie offers quality eBikes as a fun, affordable and viable everyday transport alternative for young professionals, mums and dads, and families.

For a fixed weekly fee starting from $44, Lug & Carrie subscribers can enjoy sole access to an eBike kitted with all of the essentials like delivery and customisation, regular maintenance by an expert mechanic, roadside assistance, and theft and damage insurance.

Subscribers can choose between the Tern HSD (‘Haul Stuff Daily’) eCity Bike, starting at $44 or the Tern GSD (‘Get Stuff Done’) eCargo Bike, starting at $61 both of which are custom-designed to carry children, family, friends, groceries and bulky belongings.

With low upfront costs and a four-week subscription, customers can ‘try before they buy’, and have the flexibility to purchase their bike outright at a guaranteed price over time.

Clients can personalise their subscriptions to include accessories such as cargo carriers, hauler racks, sidekick bars, kids’ seats with safety rails, storm shield canopies.

Lug & Carrie expects more than 500 families to ditch their cars in favour of a Lug & Carrie eBike for local trips and everyday tasks like shopping, school runs and park meet-ups.

Women driving the shift according to Lug & Carrie

Women in families appear to be driving the shift, with Lug & Carrie reporting that females comprise more than 70% of its clientelle and that 80% of its bikes carry passengers.

This female skew bucks gender trends within the mobility industry, and even more so within the bike industry where only 20% of women make up the Australian consumer market.

Lug & Carrie has also been working with councils in Melbourne and Sydney on pilot studies to gain insights into potential eBike uptake among families with children in primary school.

One of the programs in Melbourne asked 16 families to trial Lug & Carrie’s eBikes for 2 weeks and 56% of families wanted to keep their eBike for their daily school runs.

Lug & Carrie works with council to roll out 5 more pilot programs with Melbourne primary schools, and City of Sydney on a program to offer 40 four-week trials in Sydney.

Dan Carr, Co-Founder of Lug & Carrie said, “Young and growing Australian families are increasingly looking at new ways to live more sustainably and cost effectively.”

“COVID has boosted peoples’ desires to get outside, avoid public transport, travel shorter distances, recoup incidental fun and exercise due to lockdowns and working from home.”

“A second car is a significant financial investment for most families, so it makes sense that if eBikes can perform many of a car’s functions – with less cost and commitment, plus added fun, health, sustainability and lifestyle benefits – they’re a transport alternative worth considering.”

“eBikes can replace cars and public transport for local trips and tasks in urban areas. eBikes are equal parts leisure and utility vehicles and they allow us to do daily life better.”

Ben Carr, the Lug & Carrie Co-Founder offered additional insights on this aspect.

“In both Sydney and Melbourne, we’ve seen an increase in bike infrastructure and pop-up lanes since the pandemic began, and many of us – including beginner cyclists can actually use eBikes to travel shorter distances faster than we could via car, train or bus.”

“Despite this, eBikes have often been overlooked due to the significant costs associated with up-front purchase – you’re usually looking at many thousands of dollars to buy a good quality model, and that’s a massive barrier to entry for your everyday consumer.”

“Lug & Carrie offers a better and more accessible alternative that doesn’t skimp on quality or service for cost. Our award-winning Tern eBikes retail for between $5k to $8k.”

“We lease for $44 a week with all the bells and whistles, plus 24 hour service.”

“Most Australians spend more money each week on public transport or running a car, with far less payoff for their health, happiness and the world around them.”

“We want to shake things up and democratise access to premium eBikes so that all Australians can travel more greenly and reach their full sustainability and lifestyle potential.”