The UK’s Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited – or EAV – is a provider of low-cost, last-mile solutions that offer zero-emissions. Its eCargo vehicles have been trialled and tested by the likes of UK supermarket chain Asda and the parcel delivery group DPD. And it’s now moving into the taxi business.
Auto Futures has been talking to Adam Barmby, EAV’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder.
“I started EAV in 2018 off the back of my other company, BAMD, which makes composites for predominantly the automotive industry. I saw the need for zero emission travel in urban areas for the future of the environment and spotted a gap in the market for a last mile delivery vehicle. We partnered with DPD on our Generation 1 EAV technical project and went from there!,” he says.
Barmby tells us that EAV’s mission is to become a “complete provider of sustainable urban transport by 2025.”
“Legacy commercial vehicles such as petrol and diesel vans are typically very inefficient in the last mile. We initially seek to replace those vehicles in urban areas to reduce congestion,” adds Barmby.
2020 saw the launch of a number of new vehicles including the EAV 2Cubed eCargo, an ultra-lightweight commercial vehicle based on EU eCargo regulations. Fitted to the rear of the new EAV unit is the 2Cubed fixed box which offers a full two cubic metres of load volume with an internal shelfing system.
“We can honestly see a time when the majority of urban commercial and even personal traffic is based on the EAV chassis-cab concept and we already have a solution to almost every road transport use conceivable. In our new, post-COVID world, we don’t need to make the environment worse, we need it to be better and healthier and the EAV eavolution plan will go a long way to achieve that. We just need to change wider transport thinking and culture, a process which, fortunately, has already started,” he states.
We use a perfect blend of bike parts and electricals for the cockpit and powertrain.
To ensure their safety, EAV conducted a series of tests on its vehicles at its testing facility near the city of Oxford.
“We have conducted automotive quality tests such as a fully-laden stopping distance test and the ‘elk test’ which is an anti-tip swerve test. We also go well above the required legislation by providing lights, indicators, and a horn. We even had a car crash into an EAV and the EAV remained in good shape!,” says Barmby.
“EAV is the safest ‘Ultra-lightweight commercial vehicle’ on the market. We went through a rigorous testing phase with DPD and the Scandinavian postal service – PostNord – for 12 months.”
The vehicles are also highly sustainable, with many components made from fully recyclable materials.
“The bodywork is made of a bio-recyclable flax composite made by BAMD, our sister company, and the chassis is made from steel tubing, assembled on site. We use a perfect blend of bike parts and electricals for the cockpit and powertrain,” explains Barmby.
From Parcels to People…
EAV’s latest development is a taxi called the EAVgo. It’s been designed to carry passengers in a new rear compartment which has full suspension and lightweight side doors. A video screen for journey or location information and cabin heating or cooling to create a comfortable ambient temperature are all part of the experience.
A luggage compartment under the seats is also available, with access either from the rear or from the side, and it can comfortably hold a good size suitcase.
Barmby explains: “The EAVgo is an ultra-lightweight passenger vehicle capable of carrying up to 2 people. Currently, no suitable zero-emissions alternative to Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) or taxis exists that is exempt from urbanisation & vehicle emission restrictions. The EAVgo allows the shortest route possible as it is allowed in both cycling and road infrastructure.
“It is safe – protected from other road users and all weather types and comfortable, offering a user experience equivalent to that of a PHV. Most importantly it is zero emissions, energy efficient and environmentally friendly!!”
The plan is to produce the first prototype EAV Taxi in 2020, with production EAV Taxis deliveries taking place in the Spring 2021.
Nigel Gordon-Stewart is the Executive Chairman at EAV. He comments: “We’re 90% lighter than any hybrid or electric car and, if we just replaced one hybrid Uber with an EAV Taxi, we would save about 9.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in one year alone. Our energy usage is a fraction of an electric taxi and we don’t need an infrastructure to charge our batteries, just a normal plug socket.”
Barmby is clearly a very driven man and has great ambitions for his company. But what’s next for EAV? “We have a few projects in the pipeline to further our product offering – in an attempt to become the complete sustainable urban transport provider. We also look to expand globally within the next 2 years.”
Finally, he offered up his vision for what urban mobility will look like by the end of the decade.
“Pedestrianised cities with huge amounts of cycle and zero emissions infrastructure. The transport of goods and people will be zero emissions, cities will be congestion and pollution free! Travel time will be shorter and logistics will be more efficient. (IF EAV CAN DO THEIR BEST!!),” concludes Barmby.