the journey to sustainable last mile deliveries
intelligent and environmentally sustainable transportation solutions
We started by thinking about how a battery pack on wheels could be an amazing way of allowing an environmentally conscious tradesman to take power tools to an awkward location and work all day on electric and off the grid. It was that idea that started our journey.
Our ambition has grown from that early thought. We are now looking at the city as a whole system and not as independent parts and with this , so too have we begun the journey to see ways in which we can remove vans from the most congested parts of our dense urban street network.
removing vans from cities
The story properly started when we realised that we could make a bigger impact on the things we cared about if we tried to solve the removal of vans in cities for freight delivery.
The powered trailer went from 2 wheels to 3, then 4 and the joke became ‘when we would stop adding wheels’!
We needed to get more volume for a 6 hour shift of parcel drops so we moved to Fresh boxes and mechanisation.
We needed to develop the software and device that ensured that a trailer with 200kg of parcels was not felt by the rider of the tow vehicle or a walker when we fitted the optional tiller handle.
We then began to create an ECO Hub II system that meant the Fresh boxes could be used upstream of last mile and at a country level to remove double handling at the earliest point in the journey.
The problem to solve got bigger and bigger but we believed in what we were doing and so did our supporters.
the issue of space on the road
Along the way we learnt a lot and we continuously developed solutions, but fundamentally the issue of space on the road became a design constraint we did not believe was solvable with the eTrailer alone.
Breathe and the eTrailer combined allows a rider to legally tow 400kg of parcel weight and 2,6 cubic meters of volume – an interesting concept when compared to the volume of a Transit Connect small van – our benchmark for this solution.
The art of walking
The original concept and early testing of the e:trailer was for a cycle solution that could be converted into a walker aid. This has been achieved, but with compromises around speed and ease of manoeuvre.
And so our electric assist walker aid, Air was born and it is far more suitable to the specific task of being on pavements.
The width of Air is driven by the dimensions of Fresh, It is a pedestrian friendly solution as it is barely wider than someones shoulders and 95% of people can look over the top of it when it is being walked through the city.
With the support of our primary partner UPS and Dublin City Council, we will test Air in a controlled environment later this year.