UPS is continuing to electrify its delivery vehicles where it make sense to, with the recent announcement of a new e-bike delivery vehicle in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the latest example.
In addition to reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions, the deployment of the electric delivery/cargo bike will also of course reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise pollution.
While such vehicles of course won’t be able to replace a large percentage of UPS’s delivery fleet — owing to inherent limitations in range and cargo capacity (limiting such vehicles to urban areas) — they still likely represent a sensible part of a larger solution strategy involving electric vehicles.
Notably, the plan is to operate the new e-bike delivery route year-round in Pittsburgh, weather permitting — rather than just during the warmer months.
“The success of the eBike was first demonstrated in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, where UPS 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 UPS drivers. From these points, deliveries were made on foot or with specialized electronically-assisted cargo tricycles that ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions each working day. Due to the success of the pilot, the Hamburg program was already extended. That model serves as a prototype for the company’s new eBike in Pittsburgh, Pa,” UPS writes.
“UPS has numerous cycle solutions deployed around the world. The company currently operates inner-city delivery projects with delivery on foot and by bike in Frankfurt, Offenbach, Hamburg, Munich, Oldenburg and Herne, Germany, as well as in Leuven and Mechelen, Belgium; Rome and Verona, Italy; Toulouse, France; and Dublin, Ireland.”
While the e-bike deployments represent just part of UPS’s “Rolling Laboratory” program, the broader program currently encompasses the real-world testing of over 8,500 low-emission vehicles. These vehicles range from all-electric trucks, to hybrids, to propane and natural gas powered trucks.
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