- EQuad is legal to use on bike lanes and can also enter pedestrian zones, increasing mobility performance compared to trucks or other four-wheeled vehicles.
- UPS is planning for expanding the employment of modular electric cargo bikes for urban parcel delivery.
Target to reduce carbon emissions
U.S. courier company UPS is known for promoting carbon-reduction goals while testing “EQuad” electric bicycles in certain locations in the US. About 100 bicycles made by British firm Fernhay will be used. In addition to the US, the test will also be rolled out to European markets and some Asian markets.
In addition to cutting emissions, package delivery companies are finding new ways to cut last-mile delivery costs. “EQuad” is an electrically assisted vehicle with a top speed of 25 km (15.5 miles). With a faster pedal speed, it can transport packages up to 100 kg (441 lb). According to Luke Wake, UPS’s vice president of fleet engineering and maintenance, the vehicle’s battery range is about 40 miles (64 km). The range is considered suitable for urban roads.
Furthermore, the vehicle is approximately 36 inches (91 cm) wide, which means it is legal to use on bike lanes and can also enter pedestrian zones, increasing mobility performance compared to trucks or other four-wheeled vehicles.
Scaling up in “megacities”
According to Wake, the company sees this as an opportunity to scale up using these bikes in “megacities.” This will add to its current fleet of a wide range of trucks. While testing the EQuad at a UPS facility in London, “There are growing opportunities for zero-emission solutions like this that can ease inner-city congestion”, adding, “It can also make our operations more time efficient.”
Rivals such as FedEx and Deutsche Post’s DHL unit are also testing electric cargo bikes. All changes are part of the zero-emissions plan. In addition, UPS is also working with electric van manufacturers such as British startups Arrival and Tevva, along with US truck manufacturer Xos.
In April last year, EQuad was introduced at Expo 2020 in Dubai. At the time, Wake said, “Innovation and transformation are at the heart of UPS’s intelligent global logistics network. The EQuad is specifically designed with the changes in mind for inner-city delivery. Many cities around the world not only have more pedestrian zones, but are also growing rapidly, resulting in larger vehicles not being able to reach more packages in crowded areas. EQuad is a solution that can be quickly delivered across cities to reduce noise, emissions, and curb congestion.”
UPS currently operates the largest private fleet of alternative-powered vehicles in the world. Sustainability is not just a promise and it is being reflected in investments to build a better planet.