THEY are how the chic but sometimes shabby citizens of Copenhagen cart about their messages or ferry their kids to school.

Cargo bikes - usually, in fact, trikes - are as big a part of life in the hip canalside neighbourhoods of the Danish capital as polser hotdogs, woolly jumpers and overpriced kaffe.

Now cycles with giant buckets in loads and even passengers look set to be a mainstay of Glasgow too as the city fights to become Britain’s first to achieve net zero carbon.

And the Scottish version of the tried and tested Nordic technology will have some added whizz - thanks to electric support for pedallers.

ScottishPower has just invested in two Clydeside developed cargo ebike businesses, which aim to make or provide vehicles that can deliver loads to shops, bars and restaurants in the car- and road-less city centre of the not-too-distant future.

The energy giant announced its finding as part of a £20m scheme that also includes grants for electric bin lorries in Dumfries and Galloway, electric buses in Glasgow and electric community heating in Edinburgh.

Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SP Energy Networks, the ScottishPower division which runs the grid in central and southern Scotland, said cargo bikes were just one of the new things Scots could expect to see as the nation moves to tackle the climate emergency.

Mr Mitchell said: “It is not just about having zero-emissions lorries or public transport. There will be areas where there will be no transportation at all.

“How does a city service itself, and its commerce? We want to see how e-bikes fit in to fit in to city centres where no vehicles are allowed.”

One of the firms getting support is the charity Soulriders. Another is a start-up called PeddleSmart aiming to manufacture delivery e-bikes capable of carrying half a tonne.

A council spokeswoman said: “Our plans for cycling aim to tap into the strong public support for more people to take up cycling and also for more safe cycling infrastructure.