1000 Solutions - March 7, 2019

K-Ryole, a smart electric trailer for clean and efficient last-mile deliveries

k-ryole bike

Written by Tristan Lebleu

E-commerce is now part of our everyday lives. We buy pretty much anything in a matter of seconds with a simple click, and we expect purchases to arrive at our doorstep within a few days. But do you know this very convenient habit has major consequences, on both cities and the environment?

Indeed, for goods to successfully arrive at your home, an entire logistics chain has to be put in place, which often includes ships, planes, trucks, and vans. The last part of the delivery, from distribution centers to the package’s final destination, is known as the “last-mile delivery” and is a major contributor to carbon emissions. In a recent study from the Logistics Research Centre of Heriot-Watt University, each delivered parcel accounts for 181g of CO2. The problem is quite substantial, as in Europe alone, approximately 5 billion parcels are delivered across cities each year. Greenhouse gases aren’t the only issue. City deliveries also cause problems such as traffic congestion, which in turn leads to noise pollution. With rapid surge of online shopping, these problems are likely to increase.

Gilles Vallier and Nicolas Duvaut invented K-Ryole to offer a clean and profitable alternative to last-mile deliveries. Actually, it began as a matter of personal convenience, rather than solving one of the biggest issues of logistics. When the two friends decided to leave France for a bike trip across America, they wanted a way to transport their luggage effortless. The idea of K-Ryole was born. 

This “smart electric trailer”, as the two engineers call it, can be attached to any type of bike. It is comprised of two motors on the wheels and a sensor on the tow bar of the trailer. The big innovation of K-Ryole resides in its embedded sensor, which feels when the cyclist pedals, and accelerates accordingly, and feels the compression when the cyclist brakes and decelerates accordingly. The result is quite astonishing: K-Ryole users can carry a load of up to 250kg without feeling any weight behind them.

The aim of K-Ryole co-founders is to make last-mile deliveries effortless and totally clean.  

Perfectly adapted to the width of bike roads, which are appearing all across European cities, the smart electric trailer is has already convinced big retailers, postal services, supermarkets, and delivery companies. The City of Paris is even using K-Ryole trailers without the bike for workers to move heavy tools and objects without making any effort.

By replacing their polluting vans with smart electric trailers, companies are not only acting responsibly for the planet and for cities, they are actually making a considerable profit. They save money on fuel expenses and spend much less time in traffic. K-Ryole is the perfect example of a philosophy of shared value creation, and an obvious choice for the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.

Written by Tristan Lebleu on March 7, 2019

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