Just days after we felt sorry for UPS deliverers in Toronto because their cargo bikes had no electric assist, we hear that UPS has launched an electric cargo bike program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
We can see the important role that local government can play in bringing about this transition away from fossil-fuel vehicles to sustainable bike transport, as Fort Lauderdale has a “Green Your Routine” program alongside an initiative to create safer streets.
“Fort Lauderdale is proud to collaborate with UPS to launch the first electric cargo bike in Florida,” said Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler. “We are designing our infrastructure projects to focus on moving people instead of cars in the safest, most convenient way possible, and that requires balancing the needs of our residents, visitors, and businesses. The new electric cargo bike is a great addition to the street safety enhancements we are making to create a friendlier, safer, healthier, and more sustainable experience for everyone, regardless of travel mode.”
Scott Phillippi, UPS’s senior director of maintenance and engineering, international operations, told us “This is another example of how private and public sectors can work together to find sustainable solutions to meet the needs of today’s cities. We have many vehicle options when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment including our Cycle Solutions that provide greater mobility and zero emissions.”
The success of the electric cargo bike was first demonstrated by UPS in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, where they 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 electrically-assisted cargo tricycles that ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions each working day. Due to the success of this pilot, the Hamburg program was extended. That model serves as a prototype for the company’s new electric cargo bike in Florida as well as another electric cargo bike that deployed in Pittsburgh, Pa., last December.
The UPS Electric Cargo Bike
The UPS bike is equipped with battery-powered electric motors that makes it possible to cover longer distances than traditional bikes, carry substantial loads and navigate hills and other terrain. Maximum energy efficiency is achieved when combining battery power and human power simultaneously. The electric cargo bike can be operated solely on battery power or pedal power. UPS will evaluate the reliability, design, integration into Fort Lauderdale’s infrastructure and acceptance of the vehicle. The intent is to operate the eBike in Fort Lauderdale, as weather permits, on a regular route year-round.
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. It would be good to see some (loads!) of UK towns added to that list.