Looking for your next EV, with plenty of space for the kids, a week's shop and whatever else you can throw at it? We've explored the world of e-cargo bikes and how they can become an integral part of your family travel routines.
Sitting in your car, stuck in mile after mile of stationary traffic, there comes a point where it's just unbearable. This is the reality for many urban car drivers – but there must surely be a better way to tackle those short but agonising journeys to drop the kids or pop to the shop? For many years the cargo bike was the preserve of the eccentric diehard, but that has all changed with the new breed of uber-cool and functional family bikes that use electric power to enhance the ride and flatten those hills. Fancy gliding serenely past queues of angry motorists, looking down from the moral high-ground? Read on as we explore 6 of the best leading the ‘charge’ right now:
Tern have transformed themselves from a brand renowned for folding bikes a decade or more ago into one at the sharp end of cargo cool. Nothing encapsulates this more than the Tern GSD – the name alone (Get Stuff Done) is iconic. Here is a bike that combines rugged urban good looks with supreme practicality. Load her up with 2x kids, a week’s shopping and still enjoy 150+ mile range (with a 2nd battery). It even semi-folds and stands up on its end, so is surprisingly stowable. This thing is not cheap, but it’s up there as one of the best car-replacement solutions.
Benno have created an entirely new word to describe their range of e-cargo bikes – ‘Etility’. If you want your e-cargo bike to ride just like your normal e-bike than you’ll be needing a Benno Boost. The Boost serves up a riding experience majoring on agility and manoeuvrability, one far removed from the typical idea of an unwieldy cargo bike. Add in some seriously chunky, slightly retro styling and distinctive block colours and you have an appealing proposition. Highly adaptable set-up, great range, Bosch motor – this bike ticks a lot of boxes.
Designed afresh from the ground up, Lundi 20 from chic French brand Moustache firmly puts the U in utility. If the Benno majors in manoeuvrability, then then Lundi doubles-down on functionality. From the utilitarian black paint to the boxy construction and long, long tail, everything on this bike puts function first. Perhaps the best example of this is the telescopic seatpost, allowing you to instantly drop the saddle to safely negotiate traffic light stops. A plethora of accessories means you can configure it as you please and top-notch integration means this will be a seamless ownership experience.
Do you crave Germanic build quality from your load-lugger? Look no further than the Riese & Muller Multitinker. A brand more synonymous with trad front-loading designs, this foray into the rear-loading long tail space has a serious, efficient vibe with its good-looking buttoned-down design and business-like colours (petrol black anyone?). Out back the fully enclosed rear wheel looks cool and adds a degree of safety for little legs. A ton of luggage options and accessories means configurability is on point and you can rest assured everything will work with slick efficiency for years to come.
In the UK at least, the Raleigh brand is an institution. If you are of a certain age, if you didn’t have a Chopper as a kid then you had a Grifter or a Burner. It was a brand built on style and value – and that still rings true today with their take on the family cargo bike, the Stride 2. The first bike on this list based on the front-loading format – this gives a really big and adaptable load space, you can even fit the child seat from your car with an adapter. The other big advantage of this format is that you can keep an eye on your small human cargo up front! Simple, looks good and great value, this is a Raleigh through and through.
The Wooden One
One of the longest running and most recognisable cargo bike brands is Babboe. This Dutch brand has a wide range, but perhaps the most iconic is the Curve with its distinctive twin front wheel set up and luxurious wooden storage box up front. These are massively practical bikes able to carry loads of all shapes and sizes. Despite the iconic design, they are some of the best value e-cargo bikes around. You can easily imagine cruising the canals of Amsterdam in one of these beauties, with wind in the hair and the kids and dog in tow – living the e-cargo dream!