Canada Post hauls mail with new wheels as e-trikes replace trucks on mail routes
MONTREAL -- Canada post is testing out a new, greener delivery method to serve customers while reducing traffic -- especially with the extra deliveries due to online shopping during the pandemic.
The solution? Electric cargo trikes.
Michael Melanson pedals hundreds of parcels per day with the aid of some battery back-up.
His e-trike has different settings to help haul the load.
“I keep it in 'tour' or 'sport mode', and use the 'turbo mode' when going up hills,” he said. “It gives me that extra bit of assistance.”
That extra bit of assistance helps ease the back-breaking work -- Melanson estimates he's pulling almost 500 pounds when fully loaded with mail.
Still, he prefers peddling over driving.
“There's just too much traffic on the road as it is, so it's nice to do something a bit more environmentally friendly, more green,” he said.
“One of the issues that major urban city centres experience is downtown urban congestion, and we know that Canada Post contributes to that,” said Sally Dam, Director of Urban Delivery Strategy.
“You've seen trucks on the side of the road blocking the traffic. So, an interesting solution that we want to test is with these electric cargo cycles.”
Canada Post is not the first to try electric delivery.
Purolator tested similar electric trikes last year and has since rolled them out in three cities, with Montreal being the first in Canada.
Canada Post says it's investing in technology to reduce its carbon footprint.
“We know that Canadians find that the environment is really important to them,” said Dan.
“So, because we are such a large, national organization, we have the opportunity to take on more of a leadership role.”
Melanson says the program started out with six volunteers, and two more have just joined.
He says people are happy to see him coming on the new wheels.
“It's kind of meditative as you're cycling,” he said.
“It's fun because people are always waving at us saying ‘oh look, Canada Post has an e-trike!’ so it's really quite fun.”
They may be fun and functional, but only until October. The e-trikes don’t have winter tires -- at least, not yet.