The zero-emission trikes, named TRIPLs, were designed by Danish company EWII for use in metropolitan areas, where they will not need to use parking spaces or stopping zones.
“Delivery in the city centre is one of the biggest challenges for parcel services like DPD,” said Gerd Seber, Group Manager for Sustainability & Innovation at DPD Germany. “While parcel volumes are growing rapidly, inner-city traffic is also growing.
“This is where our TRIPLs can help, because they make much faster progress on narrow and congested inner-city streets than our conventional delivery vans. The emission-free electric drive of the TRIPL not only reduces traffic but also helps to conserve the environment.”
DPD is currently using the TRIPL trikes for “high stop density” rounds, with only one or two deliveries per stop, as they can navigate tight urban spaces more effectively than delivery vans. They can also be used in pedestrian zones or other traffic-restricted areas.
Downsides of the TRIPLs include their limited range and parcel volume (a maximum of about 200kg, or 50 smaller-sized parcels), which means they are likely to remain a special case vehicle. The TRIPL “docks” with a conventional van or at a micro-depot, where it loads up on parcels.
DPD already uses delivery bikes in several German cities and is currently trialling pre-production models of the VW e-Crafter, a van with a lithium-ion battery.