Electric Cargo Bicycle
Based on the style of a Chinese cargo bike, but incorporating Scandinavian design, this electric tricycle could go a long way toward living a car-free lifestyle.
One of the key elements for transitioning more people into a car-free or low-car lifestyle is having a bike that can carry larger loads, whether those loads are stuff or people, so that more local trips that require cargo space can be covered by bicycle. Cargo bikes fit that requirement, but riding (and balancing) a load on a two wheeler can be challenging for some people, in which case a Dutch-style two-wheeled bakfiets may not be the best choice, but a three-wheeled cargo bike might just fit the bill. The stability of a tricycle, when combined with the pickup-like hauling capacity of a cargo bike and the power of an electric drive system, may make it possible for more people to replace many car trips with a cleaner transport option.
Sanitov Bicycles, founded by a Danish designer but based in London, has just launched its new entry into the urban e-mobility market, an electric cargo trike dubbed movE. This e-trike is well-positioned as an affordable option for covering ground in the city or suburbs with a combination of pedal and electric power, while also enabling the hauling a total of about 200kg (~440 lb) of stuff (or people) in its rear cargo area. At a discounted early-bird pricing option of just $1595, the cost is much lower than many of the other electric cargo bikes on the market, and the movE could be a gateway to bike-based living without sacrificing carrying capacity.
The steel-framed movE features 20" rear wheels and a 24" front wheel, which incorporates a 250W electric hub motor capable of helping the bike reach 25 kph (~15.5 mph), and is powered by a 36V 15.6Ah battery that can cover a range of between 30 and 50 kilometers (~18 to 31 miles) per charge. The rear cargo area has a lockable aluminum box that contains the battery and can also hold smaller items, and a variety of options are available for converting the rear for carrying kids or cargo, including a Conestoga wagon-style cover, seats and seatbelts, and a large lockable cargo box.
Weighing in at 55kg (~122 lb), and measuring 2.25m long (7.4 feet) by .8m wide (~2.6 feet), the movE fits fine in standard bike lanes and is said to have the smallest turning radius on the market, which is an important factor in getting around comfortably and avoiding awkward maneuvering. The bike also features a leather spring saddle and leather handgrips, and has a step-through frame for easy mounting and dismounting. An optional GPS tracker can be used to monitor the bike's position or to recover it in case of theft, and a forthcoming accompanying app aims to offer not only stats on the bike itself, but to also create a community of users sharing their experiences.