DPD deploys electric trikes for parcel deliveries in German cities

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DPD Germany has unveiled its plans to deploy eight fully electric tricycles for parcel deliveries in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.

The ‘TRIPLs’ from Danish manufacturer EWII are emission-free and are nimble and compact enough to drive right up to the front door of customers, saving both time and inner-city congestion.

Gerd Seber, group manager sustainability and innovation at DPD Germany, said, “Delivery in the city center is one of the biggest challenges for parcel services like DPD. While parcel volumes are growing rapidly, inner-city traffic is also growing. This is where our TRIPLs can help, because they make much faster progress on narrow and congested inner-city streets than our conventional delivery vans. The emission-free electric drive of the TRIPL not only reduces traffic, but also helps to conserve the environment.”

In Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, DPD is using the TRIPL on inner-city delivery rounds with a high stop density, where only one or two parcels are delivered per stop. The TRIPL can make more stops per hour in tight urban spaces than a conventional van and comes into its own when there are only short distances between stops.

Due to its compact size and the locally emission-free electric drive, the TRIPL is also suitable for parcel deliveries in pedestrian zones or other traffic-restricted areas.

The charging capacity of the TRIPL battery is sufficient for urban delivery rounds of 80-100km (50-62 miles), while its maximum speed is 45km/h (28mph). The transport volume of the TRIPL amounts to 200kg (440 lb) and 750 liters, so that up to 50 smallish parcels can fit under the bonnet of the electric tricycle.

During a delivery round, the TRIPL delivery driver may have to load up the tricycle with parcels several times. For this purpose, the TRIPL either docks with a conventional van or loads up with parcels again at a micro-depot.

“The search for suitable and affordable space in the city center represents a decisive obstacle to the use of transport bikes and other small vehicles,” added Seber. “We would like even more support from cities and municipalities in this respect. We hope that positive examples like those in Nuremberg, Berlin or Rostock will find more imitators.”

DPD is also testing preproduction models of the VW e-Crafter in Hamburg, Berlin and Stuttgart. The VW e-Crafter is the first fully electric model in DPD’s preferred vehicle class. The van’s lithium-ion battery is fully integrated in the underbody. Depending on the version, the maximum payload is between 1 ton and 1.75 tons.

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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