Oscar Jackson, from Raumati South, is among a group of students who are the national winners of a James Dyson Award for their electric-powered cargo trike.

"It's awesome,' he said.

"It was a great opportunity to enter the awards which helped drive our project and motivated us to get it done."

Oscar, 22, was part of a six-person team, all studying a Bachelor of Industrial Design at Wellington's Massey University, that included Daniel Shorrock, Chris Warren, Fergus Salmon, Zoe Lovell-Smith and Liam Avery.

Advertisement

After a lot of brainstorming they decided to create an electric powered cargo trike.

READ MORE:
Award yourself an opportunity
Student's sensory coat designed to save piglets
In line for international award

"The aim of it was for it to help in that last mile of delivery in urban areas," Oscar said.

"The whole cargo tray, and the independent suspension, work together to help the manoeuverability of the trike through urban areas.

"The last mile is where there is a lot of stopping and starting.

"If you're operating a diesel or petrol vehicle then you're using up a lot of fossil fuels.
"With our cargo trike being electric it eliminates all of that."

Riding the trike took "a bit to get used to but it's a lot of fun".

"We know New Zealanders care about the environment and think they would feel better if they had an electric trike delivering their parcel than having a van in their driveway," teammate Daniel said.

Advertisement

"We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours over 12 weeks trying to make this the most effective, safest, and easy vehicle to use and we think we finally got there."

An Electric Cargo Trike.
An Electric Cargo Trike.

The ability to lean into corners make the vehicle much more stable at higher speeds, meaning it can handle obstacles such as speed bumps, rough terrain and curbs easily.

The wishbone suspension has a large degree of travel while the two front wheels give the vehicle a lot of traction at the front.

The three-wheeled setup also allows for greater cargo capacity than a traditional motorcycle.

"It can stop faster, corner harder, and provide more stability than a normal cargo bike," Daniel said.

This design also means packages are safer and are more likely to make it to their final destination undamaged.

Easily interchangeable batteries mean delivery downtime is kept to a minimum by allowing it to run all day with only short breaks needed to swap the batteries out.

"Nobody has applied disruptive thinking to this type of vehicle before," James Dyson Award judge Sir Ray Avery said.

"This could become a transportation game-changer from a global perspective.

"Having spent a significant amount of my life in the developing world, I see a real need and opportunity for this design.

"The Electric Cargo Trike has a place in every developing country and is a great example of Kiwi applied technology."

The trike will now progress to the international stage of the James Dyson Award.

A panel of Dyson engineers will select an international shortlist of 20 entries.

The top 20 projects are then reviewed by Sir James Dyson, who selects the international winner.