E-Cargo Bikes Could Soon Replace Vans for City Deliveries

These four-wheelers are classified as electric bicycle and are legal in bike lanes.


(Courtesy EAV)

The world works on e-commerce and home or office delivery. There is almost no reason to go to the store when the store can come to you.

While this is easy and convenient for the purchaser, online shopping has added many more delivery vehicles to the already crowded streets. London has been plagued with traffic-filled streets and poor air quality that worsened due to the increase of delivery trucks. It doesn't have to be that way.

Oxfordshire, UK based start-up Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV) has introduced its zero-emission lightweight pedal-assisted four-wheel e-cargo bike – really an electric quadricycle – that could change the way city deliveries are made.

EAV is an offshoot from BAMD composites – a design and fabrication company located in Upper Heyford, UK in an old US air force base – that makes low volume composites for cars and other industries. BAMD manufactured the body of the E-Cargo bikes out of hemp fibers stuck together with an oil made from cashews making the project really green.

The first official trial of the EAV Project 1 e-cargo bike (P1)will be tested in July 2019 by DPD Group, the largest parcel delivery company in the UK which opened an all-electric parcel depot which opened in London in October 2018. DPD is spearheading the introduction of zero-emissions vehicles and is a technical partner of EAV.

"Our aim is to be the most responsible city center delivery company, which means neutralizing our carbon footprint and developing smarter, cleaner and more sustainable parcel delivery services,” DPD CEO Dwain McDonald said in an EAV press release.

"Not only does the P1 look amazing, it is also incredibly smart, flexible and future-proofed.   As a result, the P1 is perfect for UK city centers and we are really looking forward to adding it to our rapidly expanding zero emission fleet in July.”

The P1 is one meter wide by two meters long and only weighs 75 kg and has a 250-watt motor. P1 can handle cargo up to 150 kilograms and steers like a convention bicycle. What is really great is that the P1 has been classified as an electric powered bicycle and not as an electric vehicle so it can travel on bike paths and speed by the stopped traffic on the streets according to the company.

The P1 is also very adaptable. "The chassis design is modular so we can extend, widen, or shorten the P1 for multiple applications. Full weather protection is also in development for year-round use in almost any climate or city location worldwide,” BAMD founder Adam Barmby said. "Full weather protection is also in development for year-round use in almost any climate or city location worldwide."

EAV is looking to change the way people think about cargo vehicles, including design and function. Nigel Gordon-Stewart, managing director of EAV, wrote in the press release. “We’ve created a vehicle with Project 1 that will lead on to an entire range of mobility solution vehicles.  All highly functional, exceptionally environmentally aware, easy and great fun to use. Also, they have to be very cool to look at which is another crucial cultural point.”

Barmby hopes that in the future, P1 will be able to carry passengers and they are working with government agencies on new regulations that will allow them to do so.

Right now, EAV gets its funding from its parent company, but according to Forbes, the company is looking for investors and has applied for government-backed tax-relief for potential investors so that it can expand.

Someday soon, we can expect to see e-cargo bikes, carrying packages and passengers, to be zipping along bike paths in a city near you. With zero emissions, the P1 and future versions are a big win for everyone.

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