Urban Transport

Electric-assist cargo quadracycle is bound for British streets

Electric-assist cargo quadracy...
There are currently three P1 prototypes, with EAV planning to show a production version in June
There are currently three P1 prototypes, with EAV planning to show a production version in June
View 4 Images
There are currently three P1 prototypes, with EAV planning to show a production version in June
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There are currently three P1 prototypes, with EAV planning to show a production version in June
A thumb throttle switch allows P1 riders to accelerate from a standstill up to 6 mph (10 km/h), at which point they begin pedalling
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A thumb throttle switch allows P1 riders to accelerate from a standstill up to 6 mph (10 km/h), at which point they begin pedalling
Depending on the P1's battery capacity, one charge should be good for anywhere from seven to 20 miles (11 to 32 km) at full electrical assistance
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Depending on the P1's battery capacity, one charge should be good for anywhere from seven to 20 miles (11 to 32 km) at full electrical assistance
The P1 can carry a payload of up to 150 kg (331 lb)
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The P1 can carry a payload of up to 150 kg (331 lb)

We've already heard how courier services such as UPS and DHL are using pedal-electric vehicles for their urban deliveries. Well, UK parcel delivery group DPD is now getting into the act, with a four-wheeler known as the Project 1 – or the P1, for short.

Developed by Oxford-based eCargo bike manufacturer Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited (EAV), the P1 is 1.9 meters long by 1 m wide (6.2 by 3.3 ft), it tips the scales at 75 kg (165 lb), and can carry a payload of up to 150 kg (331 lb) – that's along with a rider weighing up to 100 kg (220 lb).

And yes, it has both pedals and a motor.

A thumb throttle switch allows riders to accelerate from a standstill up to 6 mph (10 km/h), at which point they begin pedalling. With the motor augmenting their leg power, they can then maintain an electronically-limited top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h).

Depending on battery capacity, one charge should be good for anywhere from seven to 20 miles (11 to 32 km) at full electrical assistance. The battery pack can then be removed for charging, allowing a freshly-charged pack to be swapped in on the spot.

Depending on the P1's battery capacity, one charge should be good for anywhere from seven to 20 miles (11 to 32 km) at full electrical assistance
Depending on the P1's battery capacity, one charge should be good for anywhere from seven to 20 miles (11 to 32 km) at full electrical assistance

And while the P1 does already have a full-height windshield, plans also call for a fully-enclosed model to be offered for year-round use. A passenger-carrying variant may additionally be on the way, along with a rental service for small businesses.

"This type of vehicle will fit into the fleet mix of every type of inner city delivery service in the world," EAV founder Adam Barmby tells us. "And where ultra-low or zero-emission zones are active, this form of transport can run through bike lanes, pedestrian zones and legally park anywhere without the worry (currently) of getting a ticket. They are also the most viable short-term solution to going electric, as the infrastructure needed to charge these vehicles is so slight and the running costs so small."

DPD plans on introducing a number of P1s to its service in UK city centers, beginning in July.

Source: EAV

3 comments
PhilippeHolthuizen
I wish them well but I sincerely hope to hire someone with some courier experience. As that seat does not look compatible with pedaling to me.
MikeRyanc95317ae2315443b
Considering they do get some nasty weather including winter snow storms, it will be interesting to see how well they cope with the elements.
Nik
Knowing human nature, the pedals are probably superfluous, unless its just to cover the last stretch to the depot, as the battery dies. A simple curtain each side down to the half way mark would probably be sufficient to keep out falling rain etc. but the rider would still need inclement weather clothing to make deliveries. It has a lovely big screen, but I cant see any wipers, so knowing London traffic conditions in winter, the screen is going to become very grubby very quickly, and as this grubbiness often contains oil, and grit from road gritting, any wiping will scratch the screen. Eventually the screen will resemble frosted glass, but even a few scratches will make visibility difficult in winter, as its often dark by 4 pm, with oncoming traffic headlamps shining on it. I think regular windscreen replacements will become a necessity, unless they are treated with a crap repellent. In addition, in winter, or summer when it occurs, it will be like sitting in a greenhouse, so some form of sun visor/curtain would be essential. I dont see one! From my experiences, I can see the operators becoming very disenchanted with this machine, and likely to vent their frustrations on it.