The electric quadracycle is clad in a composite made from hemp and cashews.
The air quality is really bad in cities like London and the traffic is really slow. Meanwhile, with the growth of online shopping, there are more and more delivery trucks clogging the streets. That's where Electric Assisted Vehicles, or EAV, come in to play. They have just introduced their Project 1 (P1) electric cargo bike, or more accurately, electric quadracycle.
It has a thumb switch to accelerate up to 6mph after which simply turning the crank by peddling provides electric assistance to tackle the longest journey or significant slope with ease and with completely zero emissions. It’s narrow enough to fit down a cycle path and can hold, in short wheelbase form, six cargo containers with up to a 150kg (330 lb) payload at one time on a completely stable platform.
I often complain about life in the Fedex Lane, and how often they and UPS are blocking the way, but these new delivery vehicles are svelte and thin, only a meter wide, and surprisingly, according to Carlton Reid, they are legal in bike lanes. Reid writes in Forbes that "despite being a four-wheeler, it is classified as an electric powered bicycle, or EPAC, not a light electric vehicle, or LEV. It is designed to be the 'Sprinter van' of the e-cargobike world and has indicators and other motor vehicle accoutrements but it can legally travel on cycleways."
Reid also tells us that EAV is an offshoot of BAMD Composites, "a design, development and fabrication company, specialising in low volume composites manufacturing." Usually carbon fibre, they have given the EAV an even greener tinge by making their composite out of "hemp fibres stuck together with a resin based on the oil from cashew nut shells."
Nigel Gordon-Stewart, Managing Director of EAV, describes a different approach to design, rethinking the way it's done and the function the vehicle serves:
Loading a generic van up with batteries isn’t really the answer as it’s just more weight to carry. We need to think more about how we travel, why we’re travelling, when we travel and what we travel in.
That is the kind of cosmic approach we have to take to everything these days if we are going get people out of cars. We may all be driving these soon:
"We’re also looking at the P1 concept’s ability to carry passengers and we’re keen to work with the Department for Transport and Transport for London in order to evolve the regulations for this zero emissions solution for future urban mobility."
EAV has partnered with a delivery company, DPD, which will be trying it out in London this summer. CEO Dwain McDonald is quoted in the press release:
Our aim is to be the most responsible city centre delivery company, which means neutralising our carbon footprint and developing smarter, cleaner and more sustainable parcel delivery services. Not only does the P1 look amazing, it is also incredibly smart, flexible and future-proofed. As a result, the P1 is perfect for UK city centres and we are really looking forward to adding it to our rapidly expanding zero emission fleet in July.”
It does look amazing. I never much liked riding in the UPS or FEDEX lane, but life in the DPD lane might not be so bad.