WMG partners with Pashley Cycles and a team of UK SMEs to bring a novel e-assisted cargo trike to market
WMG is collaborating with Pashley Cycles and three other SMEs across the Midlands to develop an electrically assisted, last mile delivery trike. The trike features an innovative tilting suspension system which will provide greater stability on corners (and therefore speed and manoeuvrability) than a conventional tricycle configuration of the same size.
Supported and part-funded by the Niche Vehicle Network, through a “Production Readiness” funding call, the Articulating Lightweight Electrically-assisted Cargo Solution (ALECS) project, will form the platform for a new generation of configurable products to meet the rapidly growing market for zero-emission last mile cargo vehicles.
Project Manager, Dr Alex Attridge, explained: “This project provides a fantastic opportunity for WMG to apply its knowledge and expertise in vehicle electrification, and in product testing and evaluation, to a real-world product development process, helping a consortium of UK SMEs bring a new, zero-emission delivery vehicle to a rapidly growing market.”
ALECS is designed to carry cargo on a versatile and customer configurable, multi-functional rear platform. It is particularly suited to parcel and package deliveries in an urban environment where fast and efficient multiple deliveries are the key to success.
The consortium brings together the engineering and simulation capabilities of Simpact Engineering, with the high strength, lightweight tubing expertise of Reynolds Technologies, and the composite panelling and cargo structures expertise of Foresight Innovations. Coupled with Pashley’s heritage and capability in the personal mobility, mobility as a service, and cargo cycles markets, and WMG’s knowledge and experience in progressing innovation through the TRL levels into finish products, the project is set to be completed in April 2021.
One of the seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, WMG brings a number of key technical capabilities to the project. These specifically include the development of photorealistic visualisations (in the form of still renders and interactive digital models) of the concept, and the delivery of digital design review content for both desktop and virtual reality environments. WMG is also responsible for the modelling and optimisation of the production facilities in an immersive, digital environment, utilising large scale laser scanning technology and the latest game engine software. Finally, as the consortium begins the physical testing stage, we will be responsible for the instrumentation of prototype and pre-production vehicles, and the subsequent data acquisition and analysis.
Managing Director at Pashley Cycles, Adrian Williams added: “Working with WMG has given Pashley the opportunity to take advantage of skills, expertise and facilities which we would never otherwise have had access to. This is really helping us create a robust and reliable, yet lightweight product which we’re confident will give us a competitive advantage in the market.”