- UPS will start delivering packages from its new, battery-powered, four-wheeled cycles in NYC.
- Called the "eQuad" by UPS, the cycles are meant to be more efficient for congested streets.
- The cycles are an effort by UPS to reduce its carbon footprint, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
A smaller, battery-powered version of the UPS delivery truck is hitting the streets of New York City.
On Tuesday, the company's four-wheeled eQuad electric bikes made their debut in the city, as part of the UPS' trial run of the delivery cycles in congested cities like NYC and cities in Europe, like Paris and Stockholm.
"We're testing out in New York just based on the blueprint of New York City, and the complexities," Nicole Pilet, UPS industrial engineer, said in a video shared by Bloomberg. "If we can have success here in the city, then we can see how we implement in other cities throughout the US."
UPS is already moving toward more electric delivery vehicles, and has more than 1,000 electric vehicles in its delivery fleet. The eQuad is only 34 inches wide, and can go up to 15.53 mph, even though the city has a 12 mph speed limit, Sarah Shatan, media relations and global communications supervisor at UPS, said. On a single charge, the bike can travel 40/4 miles, she added.
"Last-mile deliveries via cycle can support a more sustainable way to deliver in dense urban environments and navigate zero-emission zones," Shatan said. "They're the latest leap forward in UPS's innovative sustainability driven strategy to test new ways to serve customers while reducing carbon footprint and traffic congestion."
UPS has a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
UPS isn't the first delivery company to experiment with e-bikes. FedEx added e-cargo bikes to its delivery services in London in December 2021, and has plans to extend the bike service to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Cambridge. Like UPS, FedEx wants to cut its carbon emissions too, but 10 years earlier by 2040.
Talking to AP, Mohammad Islam said the eQuad bike was "cool stuff."
"Big trucks always blocking the traffic," he told AP. "If they do that kind of stuff, it's 10 times better for everybody."
During deliveries, the ebikes have curbside access to park. So far, there have been no incidents reported from the pilot launch in NYC.
Even some UPS delivery drivers agree that the electric fleet might be better. Dyghton Anderson, a 22-year-old UPS delivery driver working in the pilot program, told AP the program fit his interests as a cyclist.
"I ride to and from work — from all the way from the Bronx all the way to here on 43rd — so it's pretty comfortable for me," Anderson said.