Electric Cargo Trike

  • 2020

  • Next Gen

Designed By:

  • Daniel Shorrock
  • Zoe Lovell-Smith
  • Chris Warren
  • Oscar Jackson
  • Fergus Salmon Liam Avery

Commissioned By:

Massey University

Designed In:

New Zealand

The trike is a compact electric urban delivery vehicle made for delivering packages from the depot to the recipient. It offers a sustainable alternative to large delivery vans and is able to lean into corners to improve handling, stability and safety.

Image: James Dyson Foundation
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  • We were challenged to create a compact tilting electric-vehicle designed for last-mile delivery in urban-contexts. We were inspired by tilting sport-bikes and thought the concept could be applied to a compact delivery vehicle that could provide a sustainable alternative to large delivery-vans that are inefficient for delivering small-packages in urban/suburban areas. Small deliver- vehicles like this are gaining popularity with postal agencies such as Australia-Post, but are often compromised when compared to vans/motorcycles due to poor handling and safety issues. The delivery-trike design offers better-handling, speed and safety over existing compact delivery-vehicle solutions whilst improving the sustainability of last-mile delivery.

  • The three-wheeled setup allows for more cargo-capacity than a traditional motorcycle whilst not compromising the handling and dynamics offered by two-wheeled vehicles. The trike is designed so the rider can lean into corners, improving stability and speed. This makes the trike almost impossible to tip over during normal use, enhancing rider-confidence. Two contact-patches at the front improve braking and traction in the wet. The suspension arrangement means the trike has independent-suspension on all three-wheels, allowing the trike to travel over obstacles such as speed-bumps and curbs easily as the tilting-action gives a huge amount of suspension-travel over a typical non-tilting-vehicle.

  • The vehicle is significantly different from any existing fully electric delivery-vehicles. The focus of this design was on handling and driver-experience. This makes for a delivery-vehicle that inspires confidence when sharing the road with much larger and faster vehicles. The frame is built to be adaptable to different contexts, and the suspension design handles obstacles such as speed-bumps, rough-terrain and curbs exceptionally as the suspension has a huge degree of travel, much greater than you would get on typical small delivery-vehicles. The trike offers a safer alternative to motorcycles in developing-countries being able to carry more safely in a smaller-footprint

  • The electric cargo trike addresses the growing need for small delivery vehicles to deliver packages in urban contexts. Other potential use cases could be as a car replacement for families, or as a food truck replacement as equipment could be set up on the front platform. The modular frame opens up a wide array of design-opportunities. And if outfitted with electric motors on all three-wheels, the electric cargo trike could be a potent offroader, able to be used in agricultural-contexts such as Australia's farms. Hot-swappable batteries give the vehicle a longer-range and allow it to be put back on the road quickly meaning it can be run all day continuously with only short breaks to swap out batteries, their low mounting position also lowers the centre-of-gravity. This is an urban ute. Nobody has applied disruptive thinking to this type of vehicle before. This could become a transportation game-changer from a global perspective. "Having spent a significant amount of my life in the developing world, I see a real need and opportunity for this design. The Electric Cargo Trike has a place in every developing country and is a great example of Kiwi applied technology." - Dyson Award Judge Sir Ray Avery.