Foot to the Pedal – Asda trials new e-vehicle deliveries
Asda has become the first supermarket to trial a new form of electric assisted cargo bike, allowing customers to receive their weekly food shop with zero carbon emissions.
The first-of-its-kind Electric Assisted Vehicle was used by the retailer as part of a two week trial to make deliveries from its Cambridge store, as it looks at potential solutions to reach customers who live in proposed pedestrianised areas and zero emission zones where future access for traditional delivery vehicles could be limited.
Developed by UK company, Electric Assisted Vehicles (EAV), the cargo vehicle is both road legal and able to travel in cycle lanes.
Weighing in at just 150kgs, it can reach speeds of up to 15mph and has an ultra-lightweight chassis made of a bio-recyclable flax and carbon composite.
The unit behind the drivers cab carries up to 10 full totes of shopping – the equivalent of two customer orders – with drivers only required to pedal for short bursts to maintain speeds of 15mph.
Drivers operating the vehicle can also use the ‘hold’ button to maintain speeds of 6kmph without any effort.
Although customers won’t see widespread Asda deliveries made by the eCargo vehicles in the immediate future, they are part of the supermarket’s plans to respond to the challenges that low emission and pedestrianised zones will bring.
Simon Gregg, Vice President of Online grocery at Asda said: “It was great to see the reaction to the e-bike when we took it out on the road – it was really well received and definitely was a talking point at the store and with our customers.
“As we look to the future of retail we have to consider new and innovative ways to continue to offer great service to our customers whilst navigating things like low emission zones and pedestrianised areas. A solution such as this would allow us to get into town and cities where access is limited, using either roads or cycle lanes.