Lightweight electric vehicles (LEVs) have begun integrating themselves into more than just the lifestyle and recreation sector. In several parts of the world, particularly in Europe and Asia, more and more people are relying on e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-trikes to get around. In fact, some places are even beginning to integrate LEVs into day-to-day business activities, specifically, last-mile delivery services.
A good example of this is Omniva, the national mail service in Estonia, a Northern European country with a bustling e-bike industry. A report published by Electrek highlights the company's shift to electric, doing away with traditional internal-combustion-powered delivery vehicles in favor of more sustainable alternatives. What you're seeing in the image above is a four-wheeled electric cargo bike made by Vok Bikes, a company specializing in these quirky, four-wheeled, pedal-assist machines.
With the use of Vok Bikes' cargo bike, delivery personnel can access residential areas without using noisy, emissions-producing mail trucks or scooters. Each cargo bike is manufactured by Vok Bikes, headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia, and is outfitted with all the necessary amenities to make a day's worth of deliveries a walk in the park. Furthermore, given the cargo bikes' diminutive dimensions, delivery personnel can access tighter, more congested areas, without having to handle certain deliveries on foot, as they would if they were using traditional mail trucks.
Vok Bikes' electric cargo bike is equipped with a swappable battery pack that returns a range of around 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, on a single charge. Limited to a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour, or 15.5 miles per hour, due to e-bike regulations, the cargo bikes can operate, on average, for a continuous four hours. Now, if you consider the amount of time these vehicles spend stopped—be it when packages and parcels are being turned over or packed, or when the operator needs to take a quick stop at the loo, you're looking at a full shift's worth of work on a single charge—pretty nifty.
Estonia isn't the first country to start integrating LEVs into the last-mile delivery sector. Several other startups have ventured into this industry in the hopes of providing sustainable mobility for such a vital, albeit often taken for granted, part of our daily lives. For instance, BLITZ, a tech company from Tel Aviv, Israel, has made a name for itself with the 3000X electric scooter, particularly in the fast-food delivery sector. Other up and coming entrants from countries like India, China, and Thailand have also been experimenting on new and intriguing platforms.
Sources: Electrek, Post & Parcel, Vok Bikes