Adrian Williams, managing director of Pashley Cycles, used today’s Niche Vehicle Network Symposium, to reveal that Pashley is developing a new tilting e-cargo trike aimed at the commercial ‘last-mile’ sector.
This innovative UK designed and built trike – which is battery-electric powered, with human assistance – uses a patented tilting system to allow faster cornering and stability than conventional trikes.
Stratford-upon-Avon based Pashley – which has long supplied Royal Mail and London’s ‘Boris Bikes’ revealed advance details of the innovative new UK-designed and built e-cargo trike ahead of the start of production in April 2021.
Currently under the project name “ALECS”, the Articulating Lightweight Electrically-assisted Cargo Solution – an electrically-assisted e-cargo trike – will form the platform for a new generation of configurable products to meet the rapidly growing market for zero-emission last-mile cargo vehicles.
Filling the mid-market gap
ALECS is aimed at filling the gap in the mid-market. Currently larger scale requirements are serviced by electric vans or expensive EAVs, and smaller requirements by e-cargo bikes, and ALECS will sit between the two.
ALECS is designed to carry cargo on a versatile and customer configurable, multi-functional rear platform.
It is particularly suited to parcel and package deliveries in an urban environment where fast and efficient multiple deliveries are the key to success.
The design versatility also means it can serve a variety of other purposes; on-premises load movement, and carrying tools and equipment for trades people or service operatives, being just a couple of examples.
It is aimed at delivering a low total cost of ownership through being EPAC complaint (i.e. can be ridden as a pedal-assisted bicycle), utilising high quality but standard components where possible, being tested extensively for robustness and reliability, being designed for ease of maintenance and being supported by a long established and experienced UK manufacturer.
ALECS uses the latest in electrical assist drive [and battery] technology and has a number of novel features.
In particular the tilting mechanism – for which a patent has been applied for – provides greater cornering stability (and therefore speed) than a conventional tricycle configuration of the same size.
Clever load stability brings best of both worlds
This vehicle brings the stability, load carrying and safety benefits of a tricycle whilst providing the agility and handling of a bicycle – due to its innovative tilting system – making it far more user friendly, safer and accessible for a wider variety of riders.
ALECS will be compliant with the German standard DIN79010, which is driving the European e-cargo trike regulatory regime, and thereby future proofing it should larger vehicles above this standard become subject to type approval or registration requirements.
It will have a gross weight (including the rider and the e-trike itself) of up to 300kgs and a load capacity of up to 1.2 cubic metres.
Its narrow wheelbase option means it can be used on cycle lanes and in areas with restricted access.
As with other Pashley products in the range, there is an emphasis on durability, style, function and recyclability… and being British made – manufacture will take place at Pashley’s premises in Stratford-upon-Avon and is supported by a large UK supply chain:
- Simpact Engineering specialise in advanced structural development and lightweighting: www.simpact.co.uk
- Reynolds Technology specialise in supplying high strength lightweight tubing: www.reynoldstechnology.biz
- WMG @ The University of Warwick provide product testing, vehicle visualisation and low carbon expertise: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/facilities/cimat
- Foresight Innovations develop industry leading composite material technologies: www.foresight-innovations.com
The development has been supported and part-funded by the Niche Vehicle Network, with Pashley being partnered on the project by Simpact Engineering, Reynolds Technology, WMG @ The University of Warwick and Foresight Innovations.
Pashley Cycles is the UK’s longest established maker of bicycles and carrier cycles, having been established in 1926 and is the last of the historic UK bike builders still manufacturing in the UK.
It has been in continuous production of carrier / cargo cycles for over 90 years, including motorcycle derived cargo trikes in the 1950s, and supplying Royal Mail with delivery bikes over a number of decades.
More recently it has been successful in the “Mobility as a Service” market, providing the hire bikes for both London and Edinburgh bike schemes.