Cargohopper is the Solution for the City of Utrecht
The Europeans are constantly working on improving the conditions of their cities and here is an example.
Cargohopper is a vehicle that is able to tow 3 metric tonnes in a linear line by means of a 48 Volt 28 hp electric engine. Its max speed is 20 kilometers an hour but that is more than enough as it is only driving in the inner city of Utrecht and does not make more mileage than 60 kilometers max daily. The three trailers are steered on both axles which gives it a great maneuverability.
Driving on green power, Cargohopper is designed for the delivery of packages (not for pallets) an is able to do the work of 5 to 8 regular (European sized) vans as there are Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and so on. It can do that because Cargohopper is a more than a nice looking little train, it is a complete logistic system. The three containers you see, are in fact separate boxes that can be put on and of the undercarriages by means of a forklift. 8 of those boxes fit on a European sized trailer of 13.60 meters. The boxes are preloaded outside the city in the Cargohoppers Distribution Centre and towed to the boarder of the inner city by means of a regular truck. There we have a transhipment point where the boxes are put on the Cargohopper and rolled into the pedestrian zone: from there the deliveries to the shops starts. That is very effective, Cargohopper never leaves its ‘natural habitat’, and the reloading is done within 10 minutes. So it is almost always ready to roll.
Once empty, it collects dry carton, paper and empty packaging from shops for recycling so it never runs empty. In this way, Cargohopper removes up to 100.000 Van kilometers from the inner city streets and saves approx. 30 tons of CO2 on an annual bases.
Important is, that we have strict delivery rules in The Netherlands. If you are a normal van or truck you are only allowed during a small window of time into the city for unloading. Then we have environmental rules too: the city is divided in zones that you only are allowed to enter with an Euro IV or better vehicle. Cargohopper has zero emission and is allowed in the inner city at any time and any place. That is part of the advantage. It is also quite narrow: only 1.25 meters wide so when stopped to make a delivery in narrow streets, that we have a lot here as you correctly assumed, most of the other traffic is able to pass. Where it would have been trapped by a regular van.
Pretty intelligent don’t you think? I believe that this will certainly take off in Europe, especially in cities that have all of those narrow streets.
Cargohopper … as the green future unfolds.