Portland, in Oregon, USA, has been chosen by logistics giant UPS as the testbed for a new delivery vehicle. The electrically-assisted trike is part of UPS's commitment to reduce carbon emissions and it will replace traditional van deliveries.
In a way, things have come full circle. “Early in our 109 year history, UPS operated as a bike messenger company,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability. “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.” Indeed, Portland was chosen as UPS already use bicycles for delivery within the city. Bikes are also used in dense urban environments such as Hamburg and London.
The e-trike fills the gap between bikes and vans: it's big ebough to carry a significant amount of parcels and has a roof so it's better in all weathers. If the Portland trial is successful then UPS will look at rolling out the trike in other cities in 2017 and beyond.