FedEx now has four tricycles making mail deliveries in Paris – 12 by the end of the summer – that run on a 250-watt electric motor supplemented with pedal power. The company partnered with Urban Cab, a transportation service with 22 pedal-powered “rickshaws” around the city.
The tricycles require manual pedaling to start the motor. Although slightly bulky, there’s a tall, removable storage container that sits between the back two wheels. The vehicles can travel at a speed of around 20 kilometers per hour and are welcome traffic in Paris’ pedestrian-only areas and many bike lanes. (Watch the video of the trike in action here.)
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe has made a special effort during his tenure of the past 10 years to widen sidewalks and replace car lanes with bike and bus corridors. FedEx anticipates that this intiative is keeping the company ahead of plans to develop more car-less areas of the city. Paris plans to develop over 400 miles of bike lanes by 2014 and already has a number of streets devoted to pedestrian-only traffic.