The electric tricycle is bringing new hope to the delivery service of grocery stores and restaurants.
Vehicle type with unique design
Joco is an e-bike startup that hires New York City and Chicago shippers to deliver food and other goods. In June, the company started testing a new vehicle called Deliverator.
Deliverator is a three-wheeled electric vehicle developed by Arcimoto Inc. manufactured in Eugene, Oregon. The vehicle has a “reverse tricycle” configuration with 2 front wheels and 1 rear wheel. This design makes the car look like a giant lobster.
In addition, the Deliverator three-wheeled electric vehicle is not equipped with a door. The steering wheel of the car is not like a car steering wheel, but instead is a horizontal handle like a motorbike. It has a spacious enclosed storage compartment behind the driver. The maximum speed of the car reaches 120.7 km / h with a total distance traveled on a single charge of nearly 161 km. The “lobster” electric car currently costs $ 25,000.
As part of a pilot program with Arcimoto, Joco is currently testing four of the vehicles and has begun offering demos to takeout eateries, grocery chains, and other potential customers who need a fleet of delivery vehicles. row.
“They loved the car,” said Joco co-founder Jonny Cohen.
Bloomberg sports and transportation reporter Ira Boudway met Cohen in a parking lot west of Manhattan so he could test drive the Deliverator around town.
After being guided through, Boudway merged with the traffic on 11th Avenue. The car could easily slip past cars to run on open roads. Boudway considers driving a Deliverator much more enjoyable than sitting in a boxcar.
However, a pleasant driving experience is not the heart of the matter. Deliverator is a modified version of the FUV (Fun Utility Vehicle), Arcimoto’s flagship product.
The FUV’s single rear passenger seat has been changed into a cargo compartment in the Deliverator. The first version is aimed at customers who are willing to spend 17,900 USD to enjoy the breeze blowing through them while driving. Meanwhile, Deliverator is aimed at customers who want to own a fleet of vehicles that can minimize operating costs and the number of deliveries per hour.
Arcimoto was founded in 2007 and has spent over a decade developing retail FUVs. They were delivered to the first customers in 2019. Deliverator development also started that year.
In addition to Joco, Arcimoto has other Deliverator test programs in Los Angeles, Key West in Florida and Eugene in Oregon. The company’s goal is for electric tricycles to gain a foothold in the US as an urban delivery vehicle. Electric tricycles have already played this role in many cities across China, India and Southeast Asia.
“What we’re aiming for is radically expanding the market opportunity for electric tricycles,” said Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto co-founder and CEO.
According to BloombergNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook report, of the 117 million three-wheelers globally in 2021, more than 90% will be in China and India. China alone has a fleet of about 100 million vehicles, mainly used to carry passengers and goods within close range.
Although the transition to lithium-ion batteries is happening rapidly, nearly 70% of the global fleet are electric vehicles powered by lead-acid batteries. BloombergNEF expects global sales of electric tricycles to exceed 12 million units this year, with 10,000 units in other countries except China and India.
Opportunities open for electric tricycles
In the US, tricycles are still a niche product. Internal combustion tricycles like the Polaris Slingshot are sold to retail customers as a weekend getaway. Arcimoto is trying to use that allure to lure American drivers into opting for light electric vehicles for some of the many short solo trips.