This is not the first time we talk about cargo ebikes: they’re growing more popular among delivery services in Europe and all over the world. People shop online all the time and couriers must guarantee fast shipping while organizing the insane amount of work. The costs of this kind of service are high: petrol, driver, insurance, amortization… Managing a courier delivery service efficiently is so hard it has been taken as an example of one of the most complicated math problems (especially calculating the optimal route to distribute the packages).
It’s easy to understand why delivery service companies are looking to reduce expenses in every way they can. One of the most promising evolutions from this point of view is the implementation of cargo ebikes. The pros are a lot: costs are low, load capacity is high, they can circulate in traffic restricted areas. There are many pros for citizens as well: these vehicles don’t contribute to pollution (not even to noise pollution). They are also significantly smaller than the commonly used mini-trucks.
There are many types of cargo ebikes. We have already given you examples of two-wheeled ebikes or three-wheeled ebikes. This is the first time we have ever talked about a four-wheeled vehicle: it’s being tested over these days by DHL in the Dutch town of Almere. As you can see from the photo above, it’s basically a recumbent bike, the rider is sitting in a reclined position on the front axle, while the load weighs on the back axle.
The container dimensions are 80 x 120 x 100 cm (a cbm). You can load a maximum of 125 kg in it. If compared to other cargo ebikes, the main innovation of this Cubicycle is a better integration with DHL’s logistics system: the container we have just described has standard dimensions, it’s detachable and it can be transported by other DHL vehicles.
We can easily guess that long-distance transports involve dozens of these cubes being stacked in trucks. For the final journey to the customer, the cubes can be quickly and easily unloaded and loaded on a cargo ebike.
As we mentioned before, this kind of procedures must be quick and easy for courier delivery services. This was likely the reason why they chose to use a quadbike: to accommodate a standard cube easily.
If this solution turns out to be efficient and effective (we can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t) it’s likely that we’ll see many more of these vehicles on European streets.
Source: International Transport Journal