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First UPS US delivery eBike debuts in Portland, Oregon

UPS has introduced its first eBike in the US. This new electrically-assisted tricycle began delivering packages in Portland, Oregon, on 21 November 21. UPS anticipates this eBike prototype could become a component of its delivery capabilities in some other cities across the country.

Abney eBike Pedaling
UPS eBike with UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney. Click to enlarge.

The deployment of the eBike is part of UPS’s ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions as city populations and e-commerce grow, and traffic, noise and air quality challenges continue to rise.

Early in our 109-year history, UPS operated as a bike messenger company. While we have evolved and developed a vast network of ground and air vehicles, the bicycle may be making a comeback as we navigate through crowded urban areas and continue our focus on environmental sustainability.

—Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability

The success of this pilot program was first demonstrated in 2012 in collaboration with the city of Hamburg, Germany. It 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 service providers. From these points, deliveries were made on foot or with specialized bicycles called “Cargo Cruisers,” UPS’ electronically-assisted tricycles.

These alternate delivery solutions helped ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions each working day. Due to the success of the pilot, the Hamburg program was extended in February 2015 for another two years. That model serves as a guidepost for the company’s new program in Portland.

Portland was a logical choice for the first US deployment as UPS already uses traditional bicycles for delivery seasonally in the city.

The eBike is equipped with battery-powered electric motors that makes it possible to cover further distances, 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. During the testing phase, UPS will evaluate the reliability, design, integration to the city’s infrastructure and acceptance of the vehicle. If successful, UPS envisions additional eBike deployment and testing in 2017.

By the end of 2016, UPS will have invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009. Using its “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS deploys more than 7,700 low-emission vehicles to determine what works best in each situation.



This is Portland, why is it not a unicycle!

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In Denmark electric delivery bikes are very common and used massively by the Danish Postal service. However, I have never seen this design by UPS before. It is quite brilliant. For the typical design in Denmark see

Bikes are overlooked in many countries. In Denmark over 40% of the citicens of Copenhagen get to work every day using a bike and the number is increasing as more bike lanes are build making it safer and faster to use a bike. Copenhagen has effectively eliminated 40% of its air pollution because of bike use and its population get healthier. Other cities could learn from that and start building dedicated and shielded bike lanes on all city roads.

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Today there is a story about US human life expectancy has started to drop.

I expect the US obesity epidemic is the cause. All the more reason to promote biking by building shielded bike lanes on every public road. Also make bike purchases tax deductable. The societal benefits for people that bike in terms of better health for everybody far outstrips the cost of making bike lanes and giving tax deductions for buying bikes.

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