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.
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.
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