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Why I think the Royal Mail's electric-trike trial is important

20 Mar 2019, 14:20

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/art ... ike-53727/

Royal Mail, the UK’s primary postal-carrier, is set to trial eight e-assisted trikes in selected urban areas from March onwards in a bid to reduce emissions.

While the trikes themselves are interesting, I think the significance is a large company illustrating that practical, cycle-powered alternatives to urban transport exist.

The custom-built trikes are equipped with a 250w motor, and battery power is supplemented by two solar panels located on the roof of the trike’s cargo area.

The trikes also feature a large windscreen that covers the whole front of the bike, sheltering posties from the elements.

The six-month trial will start in Stratford, Cambridge and Sutton Coldfield

The large cargo area of the trikes is designed to primarily carry letters and small packages. Larger parcels will still be delivered by conventional means, which sadly means you’re not going to find your next bike delivered by bike.

Looking at the image above, the bikes also appear to be equipped with inbuilt lighting, wing mirrors and disc brakes. Further spec details, which I’m sure you’re all dying to know, are not yet available.

The six-month trial will start in Stratford, Cambridge and Sutton Coldfield. If the trial is deemed successful, Royal Mail may expand the program across the UK.

Why is this trial significant?

‘Urban mobility’ and ‘utility cycling’ are two of the hottest topics in the cycling world, as evidenced by the slew of e-assisted-everything we’ve become accustomed to seeing at every trade show we attend.

However, I would argue that the adoption of these cycle-powered-solutions in the UK has lagged far behind that of the continent. Indeed, the Royal Mail itself actually ditched its iconic Pashley Mailstar bikes back in 2014, to the disappointment of many cycling groups and environmental charities.

Pushing that misstep aside, I think Royal Mail’s trial is significant, because increasing awareness about the practical alternatives available, particularly by such an iconic and publically visible brand, can only be a good thing.

That it is e-assisted is also significant. Electric bikes have been proven time and again to lower the psychological barrier to getting people out of cars and as such, I wholeheartedly welcome this move. Pending the success of the trial, I hope other large companies are inspired to follow suit.

How about you? Do you welcome the move or are you suffering from a case of back-in-my-dayism when posties would haul loads on bikes unadulterated by assistance? Should we expect upcoming episodes of Postman Pat to include exciting trike action? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Why I think the Royal Mail's electric-trike trial is important

20 Mar 2019, 17:02

The impression given is that these trikes are not fully electric powered so a lot of the momentum will have to come from our bodies. It's one thing to ride a bike with 16kg of mail in the front basket or even be overweight and have maybe 25 kg in the front basket. It is an entirely different matter to maybe try and cycle your whole delivery at once on these trikes.
I realise diesal is on its way out as an option for the future but I would say these trikes appear to be a complete non-starter.

Why I think the Royal Mail's electric-trike trial is important

21 Mar 2019, 18:32

Power assist is a massive help for pedalling along, it gives support to the drive up to 15.6mph, uphill and against wind. These are not bikes, they are eco-friendly vehicles that will help save jobs and the planet, carrying a surprising amount of parcels and mail. This is what Royal Fail should have done when they got rid of the bikes, but when did they ever think ahead more than a few days?

Why I think the Royal Mail's electric-trike trial is important

21 Mar 2019, 20:23

Celgar wrote:The impression given is that these trikes are not fully electric powered so a lot of the momentum will have to come from our bodies. It's one thing to ride a bike with 16kg of mail in the front basket or even be overweight and have maybe 25 kg in the front basket. It is an entirely different matter to maybe try and cycle your whole delivery at once on these trikes.
I realise diesal is on its way out as an option for the future but I would say these trikes appear to be a complete non-starter.

You can get Tracked items now up to 30kg. How do RM propose to deal with the charging of the batteries if a good few DOs don't have enough room for vans, where do they expect to find charging points?

Why I think the Royal Mail's electric-trike trial is important

18 May 2019, 18:29

From the star trek transporter, duh.

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