UPS Unveils First-Ever Fleet of Electric Delivery Tricycles
There’s something strangely exciting about seeing that dark brown UPS truck pull up in front of your house; it’s there for a reason and it’s usually because somebody sent you something. Anything. And while at some point, that truck and the person driving it will probably be replaced someday by a package-carrying drone, the company has recently rolled out an intermediary option: what they’re calling the eBike.
An electrically assisted tricycle, the eBike prototype hit the ground running back in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, creating a sustainable means of delivery in an urban area, and reducing traffic congestion.
This past November, the program started its dry run in Portland, Oregon, and the company is looking to roll out the alternate delivery service in other cities across the country. UPS landed on Portland as the test city because of its emphasis on bike-bound delivery, seasonally.
The eBikes come packed with a battery-powered motor, with maximum efficiency achieved by simultaneous pedaling and electrical output—so you can’t just be any old guy/gal in a truck anymore; you actually have to be fit to make these deliveries happen.
Says Mark Wallace, Senior VP of Global Engineering and Sustainability at UPS, about the program: “Early in our 109-year history, UPS operated as a bike messenger company….While we have evolved and developed a vast network of ground and air vehicles, the bicycle may be making a comeback as we navigate through crowded urban areas and continue our focus on environmental sustainability.”
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