UPS Starts Electric Trailer Delivery Trial In London
November 26th, 2017 Nicolas Zart
Electric Trailer Low Impact City Logistics and UPS
UPS Low Impact City Logistics Trial - 1:11
Nov 23, 2017 - Uploaded by Skotkonung Apps
UPS TRIALS NEW AND MORE SUSTAINABLE URBAN DELIVERY SYSTEM IN LONDON.
UPS has dabbled with electric vehicles (EV), but it’s got a fun new project
in London that deserves attention. In a move to better optimize EVs, UPS is
starting an electric trailer delivery trial in London in anticipation of the
city’s closure to gas cars.
When push comes to shove, the human mind is incredibly resourceful and finds
more solutions than there are obstacles. Case in point: UPS testing an
elegant depot-to-door delivery e-bike system powered by the trailer it
carries to deliver its cargo. Simple, brilliant, and ingenious.
The trial started when the Low Impact City Logistics project was set in
motion to tackle how to reduce traffic congestion and emissions in the city.
As I watch an Amazon truck idling in front of my window while the driver
looks for the correct home, I wonder how many times a day this happens,
multiplying by the thousands of delivery vehicles in my city, nationally, so
on, and so forth. An elegant solution would be to deliver these packages
with a power-assisted e-bike hauling a trailer. This is what UPS is working
UPS, Fernhay, Skotkonung, University of Huddersfield, and Outspoken Delivery
are partnering in the UK to test the concept. UPS is handling the
depot-to-door delivery in London. How it works is simple. Packages at the
UPS depot are shunted to a central hub within an urban area. They are then
distributed on a battery-assisted trailer delivered by a bicycle or even on
Low Impact City Logistics and UPS
Technically speaking, the electric trailers are weight-neutral. The weight
of the cargo, which can go as far up as 440 lb (200 kilos) is unfelt by the
bicyclist or walker. Think a Star Trek–like type of platform moving the
heavy load but without the handler needing to haul anything — simply move in
the right direction with the trailer pushing behind.
Hailed as a clean last-mile delivery system, UPS and its partners at the Low
Impact City Logistics project are applying something we’ve seen countless of
time in Sci-Fi movies and series but with today’s electric drivetrain.
According to Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability, UPS Europe: “Low
Impact City Logistics is a collaborative project that could revolutionize
the way we deliver packages in our cities. … UPS has a long history of
developing, deploying and promoting the use of more sustainable technology
and delivery methods – and this collaboration will facilitate a
one-of-a-kind urban delivery solution.”
Led by the development company Fernhay, which designed the prototype trailer
and payload box at the University of Huddersfield, Robin Haycock, Director
at Fernhay, said: “A key feature is our IP protected, ‘net-neutral’
technology that stops the weight of the trailer being felt by the rider. …
All drivers, regardless of their fitness level, will be able to make
deliveries using our new system.”
Elegantly Tackling the Last-Mile Delivery Polluting Problem
Of course, as well all know by now ad nauseam, an EV is only as clean as its
manufacturing and energy source., but a non-EV is completely dirty no matter
what. Also, you can’t really find a 100% coal grid, and most grids
(including the UK’s) are getting cleaner by the day and already have <50%
coal market share.
With a £10 million investment by the UK government, Fernhay and UPS are able
to tackle with their partners local air pollution, leaving it in a previous
era. An electrically assisted delivery trailer with its own IP-protected
technology is the future, and the future is here now.
[© Sustainable Enterprises Media]
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