UPS has deployed its first e-bike in the USA with the introduction of an electrically-assisted tricycle used to deliver packages in Portland, Oregon.
The deployment of the e-bike is part of UPS’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions as city populations, e-commerce, traffic, and air pollution continues to grow. The carrier anticipates that the e-bike prototype could be rolled out to other cities across the country.
Mark Wallace, senior vice president global engineering and sustainability, UPS, said, “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.”
UPS first deployed its e-bike prototype in 2012 in collaboration with the city of Hamburg, Germany. It focused on developing a new and sustainable method of delivering goods to urban areas. UPS placed four containers at central locations in the city for interim storage of packages for service providers. From these points, deliveries were made on foot or with specialized bicycles called Cargo Cruisers, UPS’s electronically-assisted tricycles. Due to the success of the pilot, the Hamburg program was extended in February 2015 for another two years.
Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland, said, “Portland, like all cities, is looking for ways to fight urban congestion and pollution. It’s great when a company like UPS brings us a unique solution that will help us combat climate change and protect the environment.”
The e-bike is equipped with battery-powered electric motors that makes it possible to cover further distances, carry substantial loads, and navigate hills and other terrain. Maximum energy efficiency is achieved when combining battery power and human power simultaneously. The e-bike can be operated solely on battery power or pedal power. During the testing phase, UPS will evaluate the reliability, design, integration to the city’s infrastructure and acceptance of the vehicle. If successful, UPS envisions additional e-bike deployment and testing in 2017.
December 12, 2016