HOW TO SOLVE THE LAST MILE PROBLEM
What is Last Mile in terms of transportation?
In the transportation sector, the last mile has two meanings. It could either refer to the last stage in a process when a customer buys goods online or it could mean the last leg of your journey from any transportation hub such as airport or railway station to your home.
In 2013, Spanish company Hiriko intended to launch a folding two-seat urban electric car to provide the last mile of the journey to travelers disembarking at the Deutsche bahn railway station. However, this never kicked off due to a lack of funding.
Similarly, in the U.S. travelers are faced with unavailability of last mile transportation resulting in travelers having to call a family member or use public transportation to get to their final destination.
With land-use patterns that are followed in the United States, people have been moved to low-density suburbs that are not in close proximity to existing public transportation options. Therefore, in order to get from either point A to B or vice versa, you’d take one of the methods available; such as a bicycle, a car, taxi and so on.
There is one mode of transportation for last mile travelers that has proven to be reliable and that is an electric last-mile vehicle. This is perfect if you’re looking to cut down on spending much on cabs or cars and are looking to shorten your transit time.
People working in big cities normally have to commute a good 3-5 miles to reach their offices and with the help of an electric bike/scooter you cut down on the overall time spent on your commute as well as the amount you’d have spent on a ride share.
What are the various Last Mile methods available
With a growing population, public transportation tends to get over-crowded and with a large number of cars on the roads the pollution levels are bound to rise. There have been multiple methods made available to us in order to finish the last mile of our journey.
These typically are:
●Cars: Since the introduction of cars in our lives we’ve ever so relied on them for basically everything. Whether it is traveling to the store or simply down the road, people have taken advantage of the use of cars and this has led to congested roads and loads of air pollution. However, though traveling in a car is a relatively quick method, it’s not a recommended method as they lead to traffic jams and with slow-moving traffic, you’re bound to have a few cool dudes out there constantly ramming at their horns.
●Bicycles/Bike Sharing: Riding a bicycle for your last mile commute can prove to be tiring and takes a lot of time and energy to reach your final destination. Though it is a healthy means of commute, it can result in you sweating a lot if you’re into riding bicycles.
●Taxi/Ride Share: Often described as the most convenient method of traveling, taxi or ride shares such as Uber or Lyft can be a tad bit expensive in the long run. Daily use may actually leave a hole in your pocket though it’s by far the easiest mode of last-mile transportation.
●Bus/Metro:● It is a good method for those people who are in an urban area because the transport system is relatively perfect. But it is also not very friendly to your budget over the course of a year.
●Running/Walking: There are a lot of walkers around, it’s a healthy mode of commute and leaves absolutely no carbon footprint. However, it does lead to unwanted tiredness and is not safe to do at night with the steady rise in crimes after dark.
●Scooters: Lastly, we have the electric scooters that are beneficial to everyone that knows how to ride a bike. Commuting has never been this easy, with the availability of e-scooters at designated hubs, travelers can avail of this method by simply unlocking the scooter and riding away, only to park it in another designated spot near your destination. But it is a little dangerous for those people who have no good sense of balance.
How to solve the Last Mile problem
With most of us sitting down in one spot behind our desk completing our work, the journey home is one that’s revered. Electric bikes or scooters are a great initiative to solve the predicament many faces with regards to their last mile commute.
An electric bike is as the name suggests, a bicycle with a load of electrical components such as a motor, drive train, battery and controller. An electric bike works like a regular bicycle however, the electrical components on the bicycle help augment or replicate human power.
The primary components of an electric bike apart from the chassis of the bicycle are:
●Motor: The motor is the key component that defines the power output of the bicycle. This power output can range from 500-1000 watts and would be situated at the middle or back of the bicycle.
●Drive Train: A Drive Train in an electric bike displaces torque to the wheels allowing you to pedal with ease. This in tandem with the gear system, propels you forward without having to do much.
●Battery: Compared to the Motor and Drivetrain, the battery is the biggest part of any electric bike. Electric bikes come pre-fitted with a pedal assist function where the motor will be activated once you start pedaling. This allows you to get the workout you need and at the same time commute home.
Though electric bikes are not recommended for long journeys, it surely gets the job done if you’re running to the store or around a couple of blocks. The best part about using an electric bike is that most states in the U.S. don’t require you to hold a valid driver's license to ride an electric bike.
However, based on the U.S Federal law, an electric bike can fall in the class of regular bicycles as long as the following conditions are met:
●While riding under the electric-only mode, the top speed should not exceed 20 miles per hour
●The power output of each hub motor should be capped at 750W.
Electric bikes can be used for leisure or as a mode of exercise and are on the border of being considered a bicycle or a motorcycle.
Advantages of using an Electric Bike
Using an electric bike has its advantages, since it also runs on an electric motor, it has zero emission and helps in cutting down the carbon footprint that’s left behind by cars or buses.
●E-bikes are lightweight, with heavy capacity batteries that weigh as little as 5-6 pounds, manufacturers during their R&D sessions would have considered the fact that electric bikes would be used as a regular cycle on some days and this being said, it would be difficult to maneuver with a heavy battery.
●E-bikes offer longer riding range and the batteries that are used on E-bikes provide you with up to 40 miles in pedal assist mode or up to 20 miles while using only throttle mode.
●Electric bikes also have a long life span ranging from 2 - 3 years of virtual daily use or up to 8000 full charges.
●You don’t have to stand in a traffic jam and not be able to move for hours together, being simple and lightweight, you can zip between cars and other standard modes of transportation without having to break a sweat.
One such electric bike is the KBO Breeze Electric Bike, a cost and Eco-friendly option that offers everything you’d possibly need to complete your last mile commute. The KBO Breeze features a removable 48V, 15Ah lithium-ion Samsung battery that delivers up to 55 miles on one charge.
The KBO Breeze uses Shimano 7 speed gears that adapt to different terrains and surfaces. The motor is a 500W brushless geared hub motor that allows you to ride through the city or a park with ease.
Each KBO Breeze comes with a water bottle holder, toolkit for breakdowns, a rear rack to hold your belongings and full fenders for free upon purchase and these accessories tend to be useful in the long run.
With an increasing number of commuters, life tends to get difficult when it comes to traveling. As the saying goes “where there’s a will, there’s a way”, right now the will is to move from place to place and the only way to do so without having to resort to a taxi service or walking is by using one of the many electric bikes that have been docked all over the city.
Electric bikes give you the ability to travel to places that traditional cars and bikes can't. They promote an Eco-friendly commute and would be a fraction of the overall amount spent on cars or public transportation.
Therefore, Electric bikes are the long-lasting solution to our last mile problem.
Let’s go green!