Asda has become the first UK supermarket to trial a new form of battery-assisted cargo bike. This will allow customers to receive their weekly food shop with zero carbon emissions.
The first of its kind Electric Assisted Vehicle (EAV) ecargo vehicle was used by the retailer as part of a two-week trial to make deliveries from Asda’s Cambridge store. Asda had been looking at potential solutions to reach customers who live in proposed pedestrianised areas and zero-emission zones where access for traditional delivery vehicles could be limited.
The ecargo vehicle was developed by Oxfordshire company, EAV. It is road legal and able to travel in cycle lanes. It weighs just 150 kilos and can reach speeds of up to 15mph thanks to its ultra-lightweight chassis and box made from bio-recyclable flax and composite materials.
The cargo unit behind the driver’s cab carries up to 10 full tote boxes of shopping. Fortunately, drivers only need to pedal for short bursts to maintain 15mph thanks to the battery assistance that offers up to 60 miles (97 km) of range. Drivers can also reach 6 mph (10 kph) without any effort helping to get the ecargo vehicle started from a stationary position.
EAV developed the ecargo vehicle to provide a form of commercial transport that reduces both carbon and particulate emissions. It is aimed at forward-thinking logistics companies and retailers looking to make emission-free deliveries.
Simon Gregg, Vice President of Online grocery at Asda, said: “It was great to see the reaction to the ecargo vehicle when we took it out on the road. It was well received and definitely 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 quality service to our customers. This is especially important whilst navigating 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. It has been great to collaborate with the team at EAV and put their ecargo vehicle to the test.”
Adam Barmby, Founder and CEO of EAV, said: “The ecargo concept has already proven to be more efficient than any van within an urban parcels and packages logistics scenario. Working with Asda to reduce the environmental impact of grocery, and to make those deliveries more accessible, in towns and cities has been a great test for our new 2Cubed vehicle and one we’ve been really keen to participate in.”