How low-carbon transport offers emission target success
With home food delivery one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, it’s no surprise that with convenience comes transport challenges, nor that businesses need to look seriously at reducing transport emissions to stay on target. Commuting to work and deliveries to home are two of the biggest carbon costs, which contribute to 33% of UK emissions, directly from transport. So how can businesses maintain efficient, timely and affordable delivery and still make savings against their emission targets?
The answer in part are the next-gen cargo bikes which will be emerging into the market later this year, and for which 70 trials and pilots have already been agreed with leading food operators, the NHS and other businesses. The vehicles have been designed and prototyped by high-growth start-up PeddleSmart, who have so far received £725,000 in public and private investment and are also due to receive a further £1million from a round of investor funding in the coming months. The brand has also secured partnerships with Scottish Power Energy Networks, Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh and Strathclyde Universities and EIT Climate-KIC among others.
Unlike the standard cargo bike predecessors, these next-gen models have been designed to specifically solve the food delivery challenges, incorporating large-capacity, refrigerated and heated cargo sections, an enclosed rider cab for all-weather comfort, electric-assist to the pedal power and unlike other EVs, don’t require driver licenses, tax or permits. They can also be used in shared pedestrian areas, traffic-restricted zones, in cycle lanes and on bus lanes, providing greater accessibility and flexibility for town and city deliveries.
With double the capacity of a traditional rider-delivery option, and up to twice the speed of a standard bike-delivery, the FlexiQuad™ range from PeddleSmart is set to be the next big thing in food delivery. The range also benefits from a service and maintenance inclusion to maximise operational efficiency. The brand is already working to roll out pilots and trials with more than 70 businesses in Q2, before moving to full-scale production in Q3. They will be showcasing two of their newest vehicles at the show in September.
Adam Reid, CEO of PeddleSmart comments “Emission targets are a necessary consideration for businesses over the coming five years and as well as the ethical argument, there is a cost and efficiency benefit too. For transport-related businesses, carbon output is a particularly relevant measure, and businesses have utilised tools and technology well to streamline and reduce where possible for the carbon and commercial savings. We’ve seen the effective use of routing information, dispersed driver models, and switches to electric vehicles and pedal-vehicles all make a difference, but as demand grows, they’re not always enough. We have spent over a year developing, refining and improving our FlexiQuadsTM, directly responding to the market needs we have encountered. Thus far, standard bike delivery methods ail somewhat because poor weather drives up demand but reduces driver availability, while EV-only models fail somewhat because they cannot enter shared pedestrian areas where many food businesses operate from. Our FlexiQuads overcome all this, and they even have the opportunity to help businesses support the personal targets of individuals, as part of local active travel plans.”
The FlexiQuadsTM are a UK manufacturing first with production in Scotland to support British enterprise. Those considering adoption into or instead of their fleet can book a pilot from May, a short-term trial from June or become an early-adopter from July 2020. Anyone interested should contact PeddleSmart via www.peddlesmart.com.