URB-E looks to electric bicycles to make grocery delivery more efficient

Rolling along the busy streets of New York City, an electrically driven fleet of foldable cargo carts is quietly laying the groundwork for a California startup’s vision of the future of grocery delivery.

Propelled by battery-powered bicycles expressly designed to tow heavy loads, the compact containers designed and owned by Los Angeles-based URB-E can each haul 800 pounds of goods for a fraction of the cost of using a conventional van, said Charles Jolley, an investor in the firm who became its CEO in March. Twenty of the blue carts, which are designed to be maneuvered through a typical grocery store, can fit into a single parking space when not in use, according to the company.