You may be seeing fewer UPS vans in busy metros as the shipping giant begins to use eBikes in the U.S. following their success in Europe.
The latest eBike was launched in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and will deliver packages along Las Olas Boulevard and in surrounding neighborhoods.
UPS’s Cycle Solutions will help reduce carbon emissions and noise, as well as improve traffic congestion and air quality in the city’s downtown corridor.
“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,” said Scott Phillippi, UPS’s senior director of maintenance and engineering, international operations. “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.”
Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler applauded the city’s partnership with UPS.
“Fort Lauderdale is proud to collaborate with UPS to launch the first eBike in Florida,” Seiler said. “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 bike is a great addition to the street safety enhancements we are making along Las Olas Boulevard to create a friendlier, safer, healthier, and more sustainable experience for everyone, regardless of travel mode.”
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 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 eBike in Florida as well as another eBike that deployed in Pittsburgh, Pa., last month.
The eBike 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 eBike 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 in addition to the two eBikes now in the U.S.
Using its “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS deploys more than 8,500 low-emission vehicles to determine what works best in each situation.