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Future of Urban Delivery

A Berlin startup has developed a new electric delivery vehicle, called the ONO PAT, that can carry a carload of goods in a bicycle-sized package. It's expected to be particularly useful in Europe's wiggly, narrow streets.

ONO's 'pedal assisted transporter' (PAT) may best be described as a 'cargo e-bike delivery system' and can carry a carload of goods in a bicycle-sized package.

ONO believes that in Europe’s typically narrow city streets, the advantages of an electric-powered bike with a cargo hold are many. It can park on pavements, removing the need to look for parking in dense urban areas. It can use bike lanes to ease traffic congestion and prevent the need for stopping in the street, and it doesn’t require a driver’s license, insurance, or registration - all problems faced by regular delivery van drivers.

Quick trips to and from ONO Hubs would allow operators and coordinators to make up for the small size of the delivery vehicle. Other features include an RFID chip-activated starter to prevent theft; there’s also an enclosed cabin for the driver to sit in, helping make the job that bit more comfortable for those making deliveries - especially during cold winters and grizzly wet days.

Naturally, the biggest advantage is that the vehicle is emission-free, with a fast-charging time and limited battery expenditure. After undergoing stress tests to see how many PATs and Hubs would be needed to service a metropolitan area, ONO is setting up in four German cities this this year, with five Hubs operating in Berlin alone. It hopes to roll out into dozens more cities over the coming years.

Other companies (such as DHL and Amazon) are all adding their own versions of the PAT to their respective delivery fleets, signifying that diminutive vehicles could be the way forward for 'last mile' urban logistics.



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