DPD has partnered with a new start-up to develop a new type of electric delivery bike.
The company, called Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV), opened for business today after creating an electrical cargo quadracycle called the Project 1.
The Project 1 is powered by peddling with the ability to support this with electric assistance. It is designed to fit down cycle paths and can hold six cargo containers with up to a 150kg payload. The vehicle has a “modular” design, meaning that it can be extended, widened or shortened depending on applications.
EAV is examining additional functionality including adding full weather protection and the ability to carry passengers.
The business model in future will focus on making the P1 a rentable vehicle for the gig economy with entrepreneurs able to access it through an app.
DPD has supported the company since launch as a technical partner. CEO Dwain McDonald said the collaboration was part of its aim to be “the most responsible city centre delivery company, which means neutralising our carbon footprint and developing smarter, cleaner and more sustainable parcel delivery services.”
He said: “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 centres and we are really looking forward to adding it to our rapidly expanding zero emission fleet in July.”
Nigel Gordon-Stewart, MD of EAV. “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.”
Gordon-Stewart said: “We have to try and make transport as close, in many ways, to how it is now but also significantly shift away from what we’re all used to. Loading a generic van up with batteries isn’t really the answer as it’s just more weight to carry.
“We need to think more about how we travel, why we’re travelling, when we travel and what we travel in – just for a short while until it becomes as second nature as what we have now. ULEZs and ZEZs will justifiably force the speed of the change on us but it doesn’t mean that mobility should lose its appeal, easy functionality or fun, it’s just going to be different, and rightly so.”
The UK government recently announced plans to subsidise electric bike purchases for companies that are making last mile deliveries.
Organisations can apply online for the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) eCargo Bike Grant, which will cover up to 20% of the total cost of an ecargo vehicle up to a maximum of £1000 per bike.