Cityshuttle’s 6-Wheeled E-Cargo Bike System Is Like A Pedal-Powered Semi Truck

Cityshuttles 6 Wheeled E Cargo Bike System Is Like A Pedal Powered Semi Truck

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It looks like a tiny semi-truck and trailer, with the driver sitting in an enclosed cab and pulling a spacious cargo trailer behind, but instead of burning fossil fuels for power, the Cityshuttle ePack is pedaled like a bicycle. This zero emission light goods vehicle could be a key element of our low carbon future, specifically sustainable transportation, and is described as being the world’s largest cargo bike.

Along the journey to sustainable urban mobility and logistics, especially last-mile deliveries of both packages and people, a variety of solutions — and multiple variations of those solutions — will need to be trialed and assessed, as there isn’t a magical one-size-fits-all answer to lowering carbon emissions and air pollution. However, solutions that mimic our current successful transport options but which are smaller and don’t need to rely on combustion for motive power are likely to gain the most traction.

For instance, the semi truck and trailer model, where a drive unit pulls a standardized container that can be swapped out in minutes, has enabled much of modern logistics, albeit with a huge carbon footprint and a plethora of pollution. Replacing diesel semis with electric versions is one effective low carbon approach for large scale transportation of goods, but what about smaller-scale and last-mile transport? One solution might be to use tiny semi-trucks and trailers that are pedal-powered but with an electric assist system, such as the ePack4 from the UK company Cityshuttle.

Like most cargo bikes, with widths narrow enough to fit in bike lanes, the Cityshuttle ePack has the ability to navigate city streets with ease, while also having the capacity to fit 4 cubic meters (4000L) of goods in its trailer. That’s a lot of packages, and with a payload limit of 350 kg (771 lb), the ePack appears to be well-suited for commercial last-mile deliveries, enabling a single driver to haul and deliver a fair bit of cargo without incurring a large carbon debt or adding to local air pollution.

With dual 250W electric motors providing assistance to the driver’s efforts up to 25 kmh (15.5 mph), and a range of 60 to 100 km from its swappable batteries, the ePack also features double wishbone suspension on all 6 wheels, plus cargo-specific hydraulic disc brakes for stopping power. It also incorporates turn signals, head- and tail-lights, brake lights, and daytime running lights for overall safety and visibility in traffic, while the onboard GPS tracker, CCTV, motor immobilizer, two locking doors, and an alarm system help keep the cargo safe as well.

As explained in the below video, rolling trolley units can be loaded and rolled right up inside the cargo area, making the loading of the trailer quicker and more efficient, and shelving units or other storage features can also be built into the ePack. Additionally, the two large QLED screens on the sides of the units allow for the delivery of digital goods, namely advertising and marketing, which may help subsidize purchase and maintenance costs.

There aren’t any specific details about pricing and availability for the ePack currently available on the Cityshuttle website, but it looks like interested parties can email to book a demo of the units for a potential lease.

It appears that Cityshuttle is also poised to take on human transportation, as the company aims to launch another offering, a taxi-like ride-hailing service dubbed GECO, in London in late 2024, and to then begin offering franchises of that system the following year. GECO is said to be capable of carrying two people “comfortably” in a private carriage, which will be equipped with air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a folding table, and an intercom for speaking with the driver.

“A premier transportation service committed to providing reliable, comfortable, and convenient travel. With a focus on customer satisfaction and efficiency, using cycle and road infrastructure to guarantee your short trip across the city is on time, every time.”

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