We can’t help but be biased towards completely human powered bicycles at Terry, but we look on the growth of ebikes as a great thing – it brings the benefits of cycling and bicycles into new realms, and to new populations, meaning more healthful, less polluting transportation in more places.
And, this > Sagan vs. Grandma Joan.
Another great sign of ebikes reaching new levels of acceptance and usefulness is that UPS is rolling out delivery by ebike “trucks” in both test programs and into full service more and more widely.
The company has introduced small electric assist tricycle trucks in about 30 major cities now, mostly in Europe. The programs are intended to increase efficiency in congested areas, where traffic delays, double parked and idle trucks are common problems. The ebikes are nimble, can use bike lanes and park on sidewalks, and of course save a lot of fuel.
- UPS began as a bicycle based delivery service in Seattle, in 1907.
- UPS has over 9,000 human powered, electric, hybrid or alternative fueled vehicles worldwide, and are working on electrifying their delivery fleet.
Two of the latest projects are in the U.S. – Pittsburg, PA, where ebikes have been in operation for about a year, and a new test program in Seattle, WA.
According to UPS, the Seattle pilot is the first test of some new initiatives, including a modular container system. The trike is made to accept an interchangeable container with about 95 cubic feet capacity, holding up to 400 lbs of packages – about the same as a larger mid-size SUV. The containers can be moved by conventional trucks to distribution points where they are transferred to the fleet of ebikes, for deliveries in the congested downtown area of Seattle.
Many of the employees piloting the Seattle ebikes are keen cyclists outside of work – they are referred to as “industrial athletes.” The trikes have a top speed of 20 miles per hour, and can move by battery or leg power alone, with enough charge for up to a 12 hour workday.
Perhaps sometime soon your Terry orders will arrive on your doorstep from the back of a pedal-powered truck, no matter where you live.
Plus, now we have a new entry on our list of “jobs where you get paid to ride a bike around all day.”