One-Year Test Uses Electric Cargo Bikes
While we usually approach the electrification of automobiles from the auto industry perspective, we sometimes forget that companies other than car makers are also innovating with electricity to update and improve their vehicles. One such company is the United Parcel Service.
But, while Brown is going green in many ways, the delivery companies’ latest program will open a whole new method of eco-friendly package delivery for the men and women in shorts.
Recently, UPS announced that it would be launching a new delivery program in Seattle using electrified delivery tricycles. These UPS cargo eBikes (which look a bit like UPS tuk-tuks) will be used for deliveries in and around the Pike Place Market and downtown areas in Seattle.
While not massive, the cargo eBike has a detachable container that can hold up to 400 pounds in its 95 cubic-feet of space. Exact specifications for the eBike’s electric drivetrain was not announced, however drivers should be able to easily navigate Seattle’s hilly terrain using pedal power, electric power or a combination of both.
“[The cargo eBike will] be able to make deliveries to areas conventional delivery trucks can’t access directly and currently require that trucks be parked on the periphery for long periods of time,” UPS announced in its press release.
Universary To Evaluate Test
The UPS cargo eBike program is being launched as a one-year test, which will be monitored by the University of Washington Urban Freight Lab. The UWUFL will evaluate reliability, design and integration into Seattle’s infrastructure over the next year. Ideally, the program will see improved first delivery attempts and shortened “dwell time,” both of which should reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
While Seattle might not seem like the most obvious city in which to launch the eBike program, it is a bit of a homecoming and “return to its roots” for UPS; which was founded in Seattle in 1907 as a bike messenger company.
If the test program goes well, we could be seeing more cargo eBikes in cities all around the country. This new program is another push to increase the already sizeable fleet of all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane vehicles currently used by UPS.