UPS has announced the launch of an eBike that will deliver packages in Pittsburgh, Pa. The electrically assisted tricycle will help reduce carbon emissions in addition to traffic, noise and air quality challenges in Pittsburgh. The deployment is part of UPS’ Cycle Solutions and the company’s Rolling Laboratory, which tests alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.
“Working with cities like Pittsburgh to provide them with a delivery solution that helps reduce congestion and emissions and improve air and noise quality is the latest example of how to meet the needs of today’s cities,” says Barb Jaram, UPS mid-Atlantic district president. “We have many vehicle options when it comes to reducing our impact on the environment, including our cycle solutions that provide greater mobility and fewer emissions.”
Pittsburgh residents joined Karina Ricks, the city’s mobility and infrastructure director, and Grant Ervin, Pittsburgh’s chief resilience officer, at a UPS facility to debut the eBike. The eBike route is planned to go around downtown Pittsburgh.
“In Pittsburgh, we welcome solutions like the UPS eBike to reduce traffic congestion and tackle urban growth,” comments Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “We encourage companies like UPS to work with our residents and businesses to create innovative solutions to the complex urban challenges we face every day. This effort aligns perfectly with the ONEPGH Resilience Strategy and our efforts to make Pittsburgh a thriving 21st-century city that is livable for all.”
UPS says the success of the eBike was first demonstrated in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, where the company 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 electronically-assisted cargo tricycles that ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions each working day. Due to the success of the pilot, the Hamburg program was already extended. That model serves as a prototype for the company’s new eBike in Pittsburgh.
According to UPS, 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 to the city’s infrastructure and acceptance of the vehicle. The intent is to operate the eBike in Pittsburgh as weather permits on a regular route year-round.
UPS notes it 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.
Using its Rolling Laboratory approach, UPS deploys more than 8,500 low-emission vehicles to determine what works best in each situation. From old-fashioned pedal power and electric-assisted bicycles in dense urban areas like London and Hamburg to electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in the U.S., and natural gas, renewable natural gas and propane globally, UPS puts sustainability innovation into action, all over the world, according to the company.