UPS has started trialling delivery by electric bike trailers in London

Rebecca Smith
UPS said the move could potentially revamp delivery in cities
UPS said the move could potentially revamp delivery in cities (Source: UPS)

The latest effort to help curb London's air quality troubles comes in the form of electric bike trailers.

Global delivery giant UPS has started trialling a new electric-powered bike trailer in the capital among its couriers, with the trial kicking off in Camden over November and December.

The delivery system in central London is part of the Low Impact City Logistics project, which is part of a £10m investment by Innovate UK, to reduce traffic congestion and emissions associated with urban package delivery. UPS said if the trial proves successful it could overhaul how packages are delivered across the UK.

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The trial is taking place from the company's London depot, where packages will be loaded onto "pay load boxes" and delivered by a trailer to a central hub within a busy urban area. The boxes are then sent on their way on power-assisted trailers, with packages delivered to homes and businesses by bicycle or on foot.

The electric assisted trailers have "net-neutral technology", which UPS says means the weight of the parcels - up to 200kg - isn't felt by the handler. There is regenerative braking so that when the trailer slows, it recharges its battery.

“Low Impact City Logistics is a collaborative project that could revolutionise the way we deliver packages in our cities,” said Peter Harris, director of sustainability, UPS Europe. “UPS has a long history of developing, deploying and promoting the use of more sustainable technology and delivery methods – and this collaboration will facilitate a one-of-a-kind urban delivery solution.”

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