Servicing the on-demand economy (something we used to call “ringing out for Chinese”) means adding a lot of little trips to the urban roadways. Every time you demand an artisan grilled-cheese sandwich or in-home bonsai trimming, someone has to make a trip to your door. That means more gridlock, more noise and more pollution.
Danish company Trefor Drive has an elegant solution, and it’s about as beautiful as a delivery vehicle can be. The Tripl (how are Danes so good at English puns?) is a two-in-front electric trike with a perfectly reasonable top speed of 28mph. It's about eight feet long and four feet wide, and it weighs 664lbs empty. A hub-mounted electric motor drives the rear wheel, and the narrow front wheels are set up to allow a London Taxi-like 25ft turning radius. And unlike its pedal-powered cargo-carrying rivals, the Tripl has a reverse switch. After an eight-hour charge (4.5 hours with the optional quick charger) it has range of 60 miles, enough for a full day’s delivery in an urban core.
The Tripl’s cargo area sets it apart, design-wise. It’s a sleek compartment with integrated lights, and meshes seamlessly with the trike body, a striking departure from the standard box-on-a-frame look. That compartment can be customized for an individual client and switched out easily for different needs, be they insulated, refrigerated, heated, or otherwise perfected for the product that needs transporting. The cargo area, which can carry up to 440 pounds and hold more than 36 cubic feet (more than a Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon), also has an 12-volt outlet powered by the Tripl’s battery.
The design not just better for cities, it’s better for citizens. Running boards on either side of the back wheel, coupled with an adjustable seat, allow the driver to simply step up on to the saddle. There’s no need to throw a leg over a bar, and throw out a back in the process.
Which should make the delivery guys from Fu Hao pretty happy, the next time you demand some dim sum in the new on-demand economy.
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