The segment of three-wheeled Cargo e-bikes will be extended by two renowned participants in the next few weeks. Starting next spring, Volkswagen will be an OEM with its own electric load wheel. The specialist for the electric small truck from NRW StreetScooter even has Cargo e-bikes in its range, because: “We at StreetScooter don’t build cars (…) but tools on wheels. I took a closer look at both manufacturers at this year’s IAA for Commercial Vehicles.
Cargo e-bikes are bikes that are supported by an electric motor and are equipped with additional storage space. Quasi a bicycle with extra boot. This additional storage space is usually variable in the equipment variant. In this category of vehicles for the last mile there are many newcomers. Riese & Müller, UrbanMotion, Hercules or Babble are probably only known to insiders.
The last mile is the problem for parcel service providers
The last mile in particular, i.e. the last stretch of the journey from the depot of the parcel service provider to the customer’s front door, is often a major problem. On the one hand, these are demographically determined factors, such as growing mobility and the increasing number of single households, which act as a turbo for online trading. On the other hand, this reduces the probability of receiving deliveries personally. This is because the recipient is often not at home. And there are other problems.
While the cost issue of the last mile primarily concerns parcel service providers, another symptom of the flourishing online trade is becoming increasingly apparent in the conurbations. In addition to the growing number of cars, more and more delivery vehicles are being added not only in the weeks leading up to Christmas. These now account for up to 30 percent of traffic within cities – and, according to the latest surveys, account for around 80 percent of urban congestion.
So it’s no wonder that the major OEMs are now also dealing with these challenges.
With StreetScooter and VW, the cargo bikes are an addition to the vehicle range.
VW Nutzfahrzeuge is represented at the IAA in Hanover with its first own Cargo e-Bike. I briefly asked Mr. Ludewig, who is responsible for the project, a few questions in Hanover about the latest product.
For him, the Cargo e-Bike closes the existing gap on the last mile. Stability is a core feature for VW, the innovative tilting technology enables a dynamic riding style. The ‘Volks-Rad’ comes in spring 2019 and is expected to cost less than 5,000 euros. Then a few hundred Cargo e-bikes will be produced in the Transporter factory in Hanover before the decision is made to build a larger series. Further information about the bike itself can be found in our interview on our video channel.
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StreetScooter developed for parent company Deutsche Post DHL
The background for the development of StreetScooter Cargo e-Bikes lies with its parent company. Deutsche Post DHL already uses several thousand bikes and trikes with electric drive technology. StreetScooter has further developed and optimized the requirements of the delivery staff for these PEDELECS.
With more than 30 million electrically driven kilometers, Deutsche Post DHL is a reliable input provider. The two-wheeled version is called BIKE – here load boxes are adapted to individual customer requirements. No matter whether in the food delivery service or facility segment, at local authorities or green space offices.
With the three-wheeled trike variant, significantly more payload can be realized. The frame is designed in such a way that countless alternatives to the transport box can be used. A possible variant is the municipal trike. The transport of a garbage can or a trellis gives the customer a sustainable image.
Both vehicles will make their way thanks to the strong sales channels of the two vehicle manufacturers. No question – the market for vehicles to supply the last mile is on the move. And that’s a real good thing.