UPS tests electric trikes in Basel

United Parcel Service (UPS) is testing a fleet of battery powered delivery tricycles in Basel, Switzerland.

Basel is an ancient city with narrow streets and 13th Century architecture and as such small, low weight delivery vehicles are better suited to moving around the city’s streets than even LCV sized vans. According to a statement from UPS, Basel “is an ideal testing ground for the new three-wheeled delivery vehicle.”

Basel is not the first city where these battery powered trikes have been tested – some are being used in Munich and in Hamburg. According to the company, “While the delivery truck does well with hauling large boxes, navigating congested, centuries-old roads – especially those in European center cities – is more challenging.”

According to Philip Healy, marketing manager for UPS Switzerland, “Cargo bikes offer a distinct advantage to UPS as it reduces time spent on searching for a suitable parking position, saving valuable time.”

The battery powered trikes being trialled in Basel can carry loads weighing more than 325lbs (150kg). They are small and compact with a width of 1 metre 30cm, making them ideal for compact urban environments. While UK readers may immediately think of the Sinclair C5, the world may well have changed enough for their use not to be so terrifying for the driver.

The new vehicles are part of UPS push to reduce carbon emissions, something that a company that transports the output of 2% of the world’s GDP has to take seriously as it is one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters. Such efforts could make a difference in Europe’s older and windier towns and cities…

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