Ireland’s state-owned postal service will shift towards the use of an electric cargo bike fleet in order to make efficiency gains, CI.N has learned.
The large scale contract landed by Irish specialist retailer and distributor GreenAer will initially see around 138 rear-loaded Radkutsche cargo haulers distributed to the postal service with aftercare provided by the specialist.
Speaking to CI.N Olivier Vander Elst at GreenAer.IE said: “The process began about two and a half years ago. An Post are pioneering this cargo bike revolution in a country which has shown zero inspiration on the electric bike and cargo bike front, which so far has focused their efforts on the promotion of electric cars. They are committed to the complete electrification of their fleet, with a changed business which is all about e-Commerce and parcels (letters accounting for a small percentage of it all).”
To begin the process a tender was put out where around six bike types were put forward, two from Green Aer; an Urban Arrow and the Radkutsche.
Having been successful, the roll out will initially begin in Ireland’s main cities, with Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick all early beneficiaries. Each of these larger cities will initially host an electric cargo bike fleet of around five units, while smaller urban areas will begin with up to three.
“All going well there is scope to double the fleet size in the future. The postal service has gone to the effort to create new routes for its staff to improve the efficiency of deliveries,” said Vander Elst. “We very often see announcements in Ireland of sustainability drives, but often in low volumes; we’re working from a low base, so this is real progress. For the workers too this is a big plus.”
Green Aer both retails and distributes electric vehicles in Ireland, having initially set out working with small electric cars in 2008. Today the firm is considered Ireland’s largest specialist electric bike supplier and has two branches from which it operates, as well as having expanded its business recently to house stock and maintenance. The business specialises in helping businesses change their logistics offering.
After sales service of the Radkutsche bikes will be handled on behalf of An Post by Green Aer, which has hired dedicated staff to help keep the fleets rolling.
Studies have in the past proven the roll out of smaller delivery vehicles in cities to be effective both in cost and efficiency terms in all but the very hilliest of urban areas.
The spec of An Post’s chosen electric cargo bike is:
- Radkutsche Musketier 23Ah
- Muskebox 9mm carbon sandwich plates (L 130cm x W 86cm x H 130cm)
- Speed: Max assist up to 25km/h
- Range: 30-50km
- Dimensions Length 262cm x Width 98cm
- Unladen Weight: 58kg
- Load Weight: Max 300kg / 1300 litres
- Transmission: Nuvinci N380 Gear Hub
Related: From today, local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales are able to bid for up to £200,000 of funding from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) electric cargo bike Grant Fund Local Authority Scheme.