UPS Rolls Out Electric-Assist Tricycle for Holiday Deliveries
by Phil Covington on Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2016
In this busy Internet shopping season, if you happen to live in Portland, Oregon, it’s possible your packages and parcels from online retailers will be delivered by electric tricycle.
On Nov. 21, UPS launched an e-bike prototype in the city, which the company says could become a component of its delivery capabilities in some other cities across the country as well.
The American roll-out of electronically-assisted tricycle deliveries by UPS follows a successful deployment in the city of Hamburg, Germany, where the delivery company piloted the concept back in 2012. We spoke to Mike Britt, a director within UPS’s automotive team, to find out more about the fledgling operation in Portland.
Why electric tricycles?
Britt explained the original objective for the pilot program in Hamburg was based solely on congestion mitigation. “The city of Hamburg didn’t want any trucks in the city during the business day,” he told us, and since many cities in the U.S. are similarly afflicted with high traffic volumes, the company felt the e-bike concept would work equally well in busy American cities .
Portland was selected for the prototype in the U.S. because, as well as being a bicycle-friendly city, its hilly terrain and fairly long delivery routes provides a rigorous environment to test the engineering.