Do American courier companies understand cargobikes?

Look at these two pictures:

UPS has been trialling this electric tricycle in Dortmund since last summer.

K4RGO - UPS germany

And here is FedEx in Paris:

K4RGO - Fedex-electric-cargo-delivery-tricycle

Both machines are over-engineered and look like being spec’ed by someone who doesn’t ride a bicycle: “Let’s have a seat like a car; and protect the rider from the rain”. These people don’t understand the joy of riding a bike. They are motor-heads who think that most people prefer to drive a car than to ride a bicycle, so they are designing bikes that look like cars. Wrong! Put any van driver on a properly designed cargobike, give him good clothing and he/she will not want to go back to a tin cage.

To be fair, FedEx in Paris also uses these more traditional cargobikes:

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3 thoughts on “Do American courier companies understand cargobikes?

    • The advantage of velomobiles is aerodynamics. That is not needed in urban last mile logistics. Much more important is maneuverability and ease of getting on and off. The machines in the article look very cumbersome.

      • Mayhap. But if they’re going to use these regularly, they will have to operate in more than “inclement weather”–but also in weather that can be described as “flaming awful” (though the Fed-Ex one looks a bit dodgy in that regard). Also, these look like recumbents, which are much easier to pedal–thus the car-like seat (which gives support to the back). Really, these look fine to me. Excuse me while I continue designing my own pedal-powered van.

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