We live in a golden age for electric cargo bikes

It’s a great time to shop for an electric cargo bike.

Not only are there a bunch of cool, modestly priced models just released from a variety of really interesting companies, but there are also a growing number of countries offering incentives for curious shoppers that can help bring the cost down even further.

It’s as if industry and government have simultaneously woken up to the huge potential of charging e-bikes to replace car travel and improve the environment, and frankly, it’s about time.

The superpower of e-bikes saving the planet and society is widely known. They have been shown to Reduce dependence on the carAnd Save people’s moneyAnd Reduce carbon emissionsAnd Accelerate delivery times for companies. Perhaps this explains the reason for its high prevalence. Sell ​​at a faster clip From traditional bikes to other electrified models.

The superpower of e-bikes saving the planet and society is widely known

That’s also why every company under the sun is springing up with new e-cargo bikes. In the past month alone, we’ve seen new models introduced by legacy bike makers, such as sharpen And specializedas well as the latest direct-to-consumer brands such as AventonAnd Rad Power BikesAnd electrical.

If more brands accumulate in the space, the indirect effects on pricing and the secondary market increase. Bikes are getting cheaper, more used bikes are being sold, and in general, e-cargo bikes are more available and getting more exposure, which in turn has positive effects on infrastructure and an overall reduction in car trips.

Previously, cargo bikes represented a small part of the used bike market, according to Ponyeth Merova, a senior associate at Trucks VC and author of Really cool flywheel the news This is all about the secondary e-bike market. (Seriously, it’s a great newsletter. You must register to receive it.)

Consider this snapshot of January 2022, when cargo bikes accounted for just 2.77 percent of the used e-bikes posted on Craigslist that month. Not by a huge amount, but that predates the flurry of activity we’ve seen in the past few months, with new, less expensive models hitting the road.

Form factors for used e-bikes have been sold in major US regions since January 2022
picture: flywheel

According to Meruva, bike makers are waking up to several highlights about e-cargo bikes; Notably, it rode a lot more than other types of e-bikes. Meruva found that used cargo bikes average 766.5 miles of mileage, nearly double the mileage of commuter, sport or high-performance e-bikes.

Another interesting point worth noting is that this surge of interest in cargo e-bikes is not being led by legacy bike companies, but rather direct-to-consumer brands, who, from the outset, have developed a marketing strategy targeting non-cyclists and seeking to convert them into a two-wheeled world with a wide range of Models affected by goods and utilities.

Average miles for listed used e-bikes in major US regions since January 2022, broken down by form factor
picture: flywheel

“When you look at DTC brands, like Rad Power or Aventon and a few others, their utility-focused bikes have traditionally always been good because those brands started by selling to people who had never ridden bikes before,” Merova told me. . “Whereas Specialized or Trek, they sell e-bikes to people who were already riding road bikes in spandex.”

Makers of vintage bikes have grappled even more with the question of how certain they can replace road trips. It’s never been a central message for most of these companies, and it stands to reason that they won’t embrace it as quickly as DTC brands. It is confrontational, especially since politicians and media people are thinking with their hands about “War on carsAs if the cars weren’t there Wage war on cyclists and pedestrians for previous decades.

“These brands started selling them to people who had never ridden bikes before.”

Of course, it helps that electric and hauling lots of heavy cargo is a match made in heaven. If you’ve ever tried hauling a couple of kids or a few hundred dollars in groceries on a non-electric cargo bike, it’s no easy feat. But put in a battery and a decent rear axle motor, and those errands become so simple, so effortless, you’ll wonder why you even use the car in the first place.

“When you think about people who actually think about riding a bike for their benefit, not just because it’s fun. You need those kinds of features,” Merova said. “And so I think it’s about time. I’m honestly a little surprised that a lot of these companies have taken this long to release cargo bikes, but I’m really excited about it.”

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