Parcel delivery company DPD has taken delivery of the first ten EAV P1 electric-assist cargo bikes, the result of a partnership with Oxford-based manufacturer EAV.
Five of the unique bio-mechanical hybrid electric-assisted pedal bikes are currently being tested on the streets of London, York and Newbury, while the other five are being shipped to DPD business units in Ireland, Spain, Germany, Portugal and France to help support British manufacturing and exporting abroad.
The purpose-built, quadricycle measures 2m long by 1m wide, weighs 75kg and can carry a 120kg payload. The 250-watt motor helps the rider accelerate to a maximum of 15 mph. The P1 can cover a range of up to 60 miles in a day and over 100 parcel stops and then be recharged using a normal 13amp, 240v plug socket.
The bike’s body is made from advanced composites which include the latest fully recyclable materials, for example; the fascia is made from a composite strengthened with hemp fibres stuck together with a resin-based on the oil from cashew nutshells.
The EAV P1 is part of DPD’s aim is to be the most responsible city centre delivery company and the leader in electric vehicles in the UK. In October last year, DPD opened the UK’s first all-electric parcel depot in Westminster and plans to have a fleet of 500 electric vehicles by the end of 2020.
Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO, said: “The P1 is an absolutely amazing vehicle and we are immensely proud to be technical partners alongside EAV on this unique project. This is an entirely new type of vehicle and is designed specifically to meet the current challenges for delivery firms in the urban environment.
“The early trials show that the P1 is performing really well and clearly has the potential to be more efficient for us than traditional vans in certain locations. It is highly manoeuvrable, can carry a good day’s worth of parcels and can often get closer to delivery addresses than the vans.
“We’re on a journey with EVs and as usual, we are ahead of the pack. But it is uncharted territory, and the reality is that we are going to need to invest in new and different types of vehicles to solve new and different challenges. We know that the environment and climate change matter more than ever to our clients and the feedback we get when we share our EV vision with them is really positive.”
Adam Barmby, founder and technical director at EAV, added: “It has been fantastic to work alongside DPD and to see our vision for the P1 realised. It is classed as an e-cargo bike, but really, we started from scratch and reimagined an entirely new type of vehicle to operate within the parameters of today’s urban delivery market.
“It is a modular design, so we can extend or shorten the chassis and change the cargo configuration to fit the brief. In addition to the design flexibility, there is also a whole new set of efficiencies that we are tapping into here.
“Realistically, the P1 can move as fast or faster than a traditional van through many cities because of the different routing it can take.”
DPD recently issued a White Paper calling on vehicle manufacturers, energy providers, national and local Government to start working together to tackle the barriers holding back more widespread EV adoption and investment.