A Londoner who left his construction job behind to start a greener electrical business now has a whole fleet of e-bikes traveling around the capital.
Aaron Fleming-Saheed, 42, founded his company Cycling Sparks in 2017, shortly after he was diagnosed with a heart problem.
The electrician from Greenwich, south-east London, first came up with the idea while working at the US Embassy in Vauxhall and experiencing transport problems.
He told Metro.co.uk: “I was late every day because of the trains, there was always some delay.
“In 2016, I bought a bike and did a dry run on a Sunday at Vauxhall and said: ‘This is amazing. This is easy, why isn’t anyone else doing this?’
“I just kept going at it, really. Then I moved to a different location and when I wanted to leave the construction, I had already thought of the name and my friend said, “That’s a really good idea, you should do it.”
Fortunately, since he was already used to carrying his 15kg of tools to work, it wasn’t too difficult to adjust when he switched to his new business, which covers domestic and commercial work.
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“When I wanted to get out of construction, I started the company and basically started out on my own doing local jobs.
“I just built it up gradually and then in 2019 I got an e-bike. That allowed me to go further and then do more and then the next step was to buy this small fleet.
“I’ve done all the hard work basically, carrying all the weight, now we use e-bikes, it’s a lot easier. It’s a lot less difficult,” he continued.
He has traveled all the way to Bristol on his bike, over 100 miles away, to do a job for a friend.
Now, he has a whole fleet of bikes and lots of people working for him after being granted a fund for the extra bikes by the Energy Saving Trust.
Aaron was invited to speak at the London Assembly last year to give the Mayor of London some input on a future e-bike strategy.
He explained why it’s catching on: “People want to see change, they just don’t have a direction for it.
“Basically, what we are is that choice for them, I think, and that’s why they choose us.”
He says it was very “coincidental” that cycling infrastructure has improved while his business has also grown.
“When I first started, Ulez wasn’t in and then this came along, and of course the infrastructure has improved, the timing seems to be right.”
And it’s his customers who have helped him gain the confidence to grow his business even further.
He continued: “My customers love it, what encouraged me to take it further was my customers and their enthusiasm for it.
“I always knew there was something in it, if we could expand and grow the business, I wasn’t sure, but there were enough customers out there, but I mean we’re still growing.”
He said this is what makes it “really exciting” and added: “This e-cargo is very much like the Wild West, nobody really knows what works and what doesn’t work.
“Going from a construction site and then doing this, it’s great because it’s very much my thing and it’s really fun to see what kind of business you can get into.
“We’re enjoying like more commercial customers, it’s great. I mean, I love it.’
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