While Amazon thinks drones are the future of delivery services, for now at least companies like FedEx and UPS still require people power to get packages to your door. In fact, people power is exactly what UPS is using to delivery packages locally in Europe, where electronically-assisted trikes have been delivering packages in the older sections of Dortmund, Germany.
Like many European cities, Dortmund has narrow streets that make maneuvering even small delivery vans difficult. The “UPS Cargo Cruiser” was a pilot project launched in 2012 with a pedal-assisted range of 21 miles, with a top speed of 15 mph. Small, quiet, and costing next to nothing to “fuel” and maintain, the UPS Cargo Cruiser is a clever solution to a common project.
I haven’t been able to find any recent updates on the project, though it’s definitely something that could come stateside sooner rather than later. With over 77 cubic feet of cargo space, that UPS Cargo Cruiser has more room than most mid-size sedans for storage. It’s a brilliant solution, one that could become increasingly important in clustered urban environments in a world where energy prices are only rising. Also, trike drifting totally needs to be a bigger thing.
Will a UPS man be riding an e-trike up your street someday soon?