UPS recently introduced a new electrically-assisted delivery tricycle in the U.S. for the first time.
The parcel delivery giant announced that an eBike prototype began delivering packages in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 21.
The eBike — officially titled "Cargo Cruiser" — includes battery-powered electric motors to allow delivery personnel that pedal the tricycle to cover more ground and varied terrain while carrying heavier loads.
The effort began with a pilot program in Hamburg, Germany, in 2012, which was expanded for an additional two years in early 2015. Tests showed that the eBikes helped reduce emissions and ease traffic congestion.
UPS already uses conventional bicycles to deliver some packages in Portland on a seasonal basis, so the city was "a logical choice" for the eBike program, company officials said.
If initial evaluations are promising, the program could expand in Portland next year and, eventually, to other cities in the U.S.
“Portland, like all cities, is looking for ways to fight urban congestion and pollution,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “It’s great when a company like UPS brings us a unique solution that will help us combat climate change and protect the environment.”