Electric Cargo Bike Big Dog. E cargo tricycle

Knox: The Cargo E-trike

We added the City’s first electric-assist cargo tricycle to central fleet. We wanted to know if we could encourage employees to use a zero-emission vehicle for work trips.

The experiment

We used a grant to buy a three-wheeled, front-loaded, cargo tricycle with electric assistance. We wanted to help City employees lead by example while conducting City business. We hypothesized that for short-distance trips, the trike would be a reasonable replacement for a car or truck. That’s assuming that an employee needed to carry something for their work trip, making walking or taking the MBTA less feasible.

The name for the City’s employee vehicle check-out system is FleetHub. We analyzed FleetHub data for trips made between September 2018 and September 2019.

  • Number of trips: ~6500
  • Median distance (round-trip): ~9 miles
  • Number of trips at or less than the median distance: ~2500

Working with Public Works, we offered to host the prototype for two years to kick the tires on the trike. We are currently exploring logistics around:

  • storage and maintenance
  • data management
  • employee training
  • resident perceptions and feedback, and
  • vehicle checkout and return.

We took inspiration from other cities and organizations who were testing whether cargo bikes and trikes made sense. In particular, we looked at:

electric, cargo, bike, tricycle
  • Madison, WI: partnered with a local manufacturer to add a cargo bike to their fleet
  • Denton, TX: bought a trike to replace employee car trips for hauling things around town
  • Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ (along with an Arboretum in Arkansas): bought cargo trikes for landscaping work, including hauling mulch and compost.
electric, cargo, bike, tricycle

Closer to home, we see examples of cargo bikes at:

  • the Arnold Arboretum
  • the BiblioCycle at the Boston Public Library. and
  • the BPM Blueberry. the market’s produce cargo trike.

We initiated the purchase of the trike in March 2020, before Boston declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19. With the pandemic, our launch timeline was delayed. The community meetings that we also imagined employees would need the trike for moved to virtual sessions. We are being responsive to the moment and finding new, safe uses for the trike until public meetings return.

Why we did this

The Environment Department released the City’s Climate Action Plan update in October 2019. We wanted to explore a prototype that aligned with that commitment.

One thing the plan calls for is reducing municipal carbon emissions. The City’s Central Fleet of vehicles accounts for roughly 25 percent of our local government emissions. So we wondered a few things:

  • If we added a cargo electric-assist trike to the fleet, would employees want to use it instead of a car or truck?
  • How would residents perceive the City’s use of the cargo e-trike to reduce our emissions?

The trike also supports Go Boston 2030. the City of Boston’s long-range, equitable transportation plan. Go Boston aims to encourage mode shift away from single-occupancy vehicle trips toward low-emission modes of travel. These included walking, biking, and public transit.

We hope to learn what benefits this zero-emission vehicle can bring through testing.

Honoring Kittie Knox

We wanted the City’s first cargo e-trike to be doubly special. So, we decided to name it after a trailblazing Bostonian: Kittie Knox.

On August 20, 2020, in the virtual naming ceremony, the tricycle was named after Katherine “Kittie” Knox. Knox was a biracial West End resident in the 1880s who confronted racial and gender stereotypes in Boston’s bicycling community. Mayor Walsh also proclaimed August 20, 2020, Kittie Knox Day in Boston.

We also partnered with Women’s Advancement and the Environment Department. We incorporated the virtual naming ceremony into Women’s Advancement’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of suffrage.

What We Learned

During the prototype period, employees took 85 trips with Knox and logged 362 miles (for an average roundtrip of 4.25 miles). According to employee reports, 27 of the 85 trips (32 percent) otherwise would have been taken with a Central Fleet vehicle or some other car. A pool of 34 employees opted in to use the trike for work purposes. We hypothesize that the pandemic played a large role in subduing employee interest in using the trike, particularly while some City employees were still on a work-from-home policy due to the pandemic, and because public meetings moved online.

We hoped that by avoiding Boston’s notorious vehicle traffic, employees would:

We did not suggest mandating that everyone use the trike, or that cargo trikes or bikes replace all trucks and cars in the fleet. However, for specific types of tasks and work trips — chief among them, hauling heavy things a short or medium distance — the trike seems to have increased employee satisfaction, as evidenced by the following self-reported quotes:

“I’m happy to report that my first event with Knox went well. Overall, I look forward to using her again!”

“It was so useful, a little hard to go over bumps with so much stuff, but honestly made all the difference. Who needs parking ?”

“. I think most people would take a fleethub but I don’t have a license so I would have carried [my cargo] on the train very uncomfortably or someone helping me would take them on a Fleethub. Thank you for making it possible to have a mode of transportation that allows me (us) to arrive at public engagement meetings with all our cargo!”

“Thank you! It was a blast riding it! I felt a bit more comfortable riding with it on some higher-stress streets than I would on my normal bike. I think a combination of the size and having the electric assist…”

We know many of our plans and goals ask a lot of our business community and residents. We hoped that through leading by example, we could show our many constituencies that we, too, are doing the work necessary to make Boston carbon-neutral by 2050.

We weren’t able to learn as much in this domain as we hoped, primarily because the majority of the prototype happened while the City was still under its public health emergency declaration due to the Covid pandemic. Even once that was lifted, entirely in-person public events have been slow to return. However, anecdotally, when residents encountered Knox on the street or at Neighborhood Coffee Hours or other events, they indicated joyful surprise that the City was actually testing out this vehicle type in its fleet.

“. Constituents and BID members came up to the trike and had so many questions! They were excited to see this idea being tested and were super impressed.”

— City employee who brought the trike to Boston Blooms

Electric Cargo Bike Big Dog

E-bike assembly from 112.7 with Check availability

All Himiway bikes are covered under our manufacturer’s 2-year all-inclusive warranty for the original owner against all manufacturing defects (All free Accessories are not covered by warranty service). Himiway has over 300 dealerships in the United States. All dealerships provide free diagnosis and free maintenance services to customers.

For non-quality issues, customer may ask for product replacement or return within 15 days after received it. A 10% processing fee will be applied but we can prevent it for the customer if a replacement order is received. The customer is also responsible for the return shipping cost of 150. Himiway will provide a return shipping label, and the designated carrier will collect the return package. The customer may also choose self-return or arrange the return shipment by himself.

Currently, we only provide FREE shipping to the lower 48 states in the US. We DO NOT ship to PO BOXES or APO.

The top speed of all Himiway bikes is up to 15.5 MPH, which is legally required in the US.

48V 20Ah Samsung/LG Battery with Integrated Design

With the 48V 20Ah Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery, the Himiway Big Dog can range for up to 80 miles per charge (with pedal assist). The 52 5000mAh cells provide a 60-mile range on pure electric power. The wires are built inside the frame, which reduces mechanical failure in extreme weather conditions by up to 95%. The Himiway Big Dog maintains 80% capacity after 1000 charges.

750W Geared Hub Motor with Upgraded Inner Ring

The Himiway 750W geared hub motor has a larger inner ring, enabling superior high-temperature resistance and heat dissipation. No matter how difficult the riding conditions, our newly designed motor ensures the most stable and comfortable experience.

400 lb. Payload Capacity

Himiway Big Dog provides a variety of loading functions, which can perfectly carry your luggage, rear baby seat, delivery boxes, and more. Big Dog will be your best friend, helping you carry the goods—whether you’re camping, shopping, or commuting.

Updated 6061 Aluminum Frame

Himiway uses higher-quality materials for the frame, 3 times thicker and sturdier than other competing frames on the market, creating stronger triangle stability and greatly enhanced load capacity. And because we stand behind our e-bikes 100%, we promise a 10-year frame damage replacement service.

Electric Cargo Bikes

Electric Cargo bikes or light electric freight vehicles are a revolution in last-mile transport. The electric motor enables you to ride further and faster with heavy goods without feeling the strain. Our range of electric Cargo bikes and trikes have been designed to provide balance and stability at all times.

Electric Cargo Bikes are due to receive a grant after government trial which exceeded expectations of their capability to delivery last mile goods in replacement of vans. 96.7% of all deliveries could be fulfilled from a single e-cargo bike run.

What is an Electric Cargo Bike?

Electric cargo bikes help move heavy goods around congested cities with ease. Cargo bikes have been in use for many years. the first appearing in factories in the 1950s powered by a petrol motor to help speedily transport goods between picking lines. Since then things have moved on a bit, and they are now assisted by electric power. This means even carrying heavy goods is much easier, as the electric motor takes out the effort of pedalling. Quite simply they are large bicycles, usually with a storage area up front with the rider towards the rear. This lets them make sure the extra wide loads can fit through narrow gaps. Operationally they are identical to any normal bike, only with an extra stand for balance when stationary and on unpowered versions, a bit of extra leg power required! In cities all over Europe they can be spotted running between delivery depots and people’s homes, delivering food shopping for supermarkets, coffee beans to coffeeshops or online orders to customers. They are often faster than vans for deliveries as they can access cycle lanes, avoid traffic congestion and use narrow streets off-limits to other motor vehicles. They’re extremely cheap to run and don’t require any license or tax.

How many miles can an electric cargo bike travel?

Despite carrying huge amounts of weight, electric cargo bikes can continue to deliver surprisingly far. On a single charge, the Urban Arrow range can usually travel between 25 and 50 miles at 15.5mph. Of course, this will vary a huge amount depending on the ride style, weight of the load and how much assistance is required. If you require extra range or need to quickly recharge, we suggest buying a spare battery which can quickly be replaced upon returning to depot.

How much weight can an electric cargo bike hold?

Our smallest bike, the Shorty can carry up 225KG or 150 Litres of cargo. The largest in our range, the Tender can carry up to 300KG, or a huge 2500 Litres.

Family Bikes: 9 Best Cargo Bikes For Hauling Your Kids

Imagine a world in which it is convenient and practical to forgo the minivan and pick up a bike instead. Of course, a family cargo bike won’t magically improve the bicycle infrastructure and culture in your city, but it will allow you to easily haul kids, groceries, soccer balls, school backpacks, and whatever else parenthood may throw your way.

There are lots of cargo bike options out there, but some are better than others for hauling your most precious cargo: kids. Here are our top picks for family bikes, and some tips on how and why to choose a cargo bike for cycling with your offspring.

Why Choose a Cargo Bike For Cycling With Kids

Cargo bikes are ideal for families that do a lot of bike commuting, who try to minimize car use (or live car free), and who need a way to haul kids. Unlike most child bike seats or trailers, cargo bikes can be used for babies and “big” kids which means that the investment can be recouped over a lot of years.

They are also great for hauling all that stuff that comes along with having kids–library books, backpacks, balance bikes, groceries, Christmas trees, you name it.

Who shouldn’t buy a family bike? If you are new to bike commuting, and just want to get your feet wet, you might want to consider a bike trailer or child bike seat first before you spend a lot of money investing in a cargo bike.

To E-Bike or not to E-Bike

While I am generally not a fan of e-bikes (call me a good old fashioned luddite), the one case in which I think they make a lot of sense is cargo bikes. If you plan on using your cargo bike as a primary source of transportation, have a long commute, live in a city with a lot of hills, have multiple children to haul, or are just otherwise motivated by an electronic assist, go for it. I personally use an e-cargo bike on a daily basis, and can’t imagine life without the electric assist.

That said, there are reasons to stick to a traditional bike without a motro. A couple of downsides of an electronic assist is the extra maintenance involved, needing to store and charge the bike indoors, extra weight, and the price. But when you consider the cost of an e-bike compared to a car, they are downright cheap.

Types Of Cargo Bikes

There are three general styles of cargo bikes: the longtail, the longjohn, and the front-load trike.

The longtail is generally the most agile and lightweight of the three types of cargo bikes. It generally can fit one to three children on the rear in either a bike seat or via a “cage” on the deck. Examples include the Xtracycle and Radpower Radwagon. A longtail with a shorter deck is often referred to as a midtail.

The longjohn is the most traditional family bike, and is also commonly referred to as a “bakfiets.” These aren’t seen a ton in the United States, but are very popular in the Netherlands and other European countries. They can be heavy for pedaling uphill, but can fit lots of kiddos and gear.

electric, cargo, bike, tricycle

For parents wanting to bike with babies, you can even strap a carseat in. Examples include the Riese and Muller Packster and the Urban Arrow. The front-load trike is ideal for parents who aren’t super comfortable on a bicycle and want a lot of stability or have a lot of kids to transport. Again, the biggest downside to these bike is that they can be heavy. Examples are the Bunch Bike and Christiania.

Some cargo bikes are also folding bikes. These make it easier to take them on public transportation or to store in small spaces. Examples of these are the Bike Friday Haul-A-Day and the Tern GSD.

Our Favorite Family Bikes

Bike Price Style E-Assist Option?
1 Xtracycle Swoop 4,999 Longtail Yes
2 Riese and Müller Packster 8,799 Bakfiets Yes
3 RadPower Radwagon 1,999 Longtail Yes
4 Madsen 2,645 Bakfiets (kind of?) Yes
5 Bunch Bike 4,999 Front Load Trike Yes
6 Tern GSD 5,399 Longtail Yes
7 Surly Big Dummy 2,249 Longtail Yes (Big Easy)
8 Yuba Spicy Curry 4,750 Longtail Yes
9 Bike Friday Haul-a-Day 1,850 Longtail Yes

Xtracycle Swoop

Want a high quality cargo bike that can be endlessly customized? Check out the Xtracycle Swoop.

This longtail cargo bike fit two or three kids depending on the configuration, haul bikes, and go almost anywhere. All Xtracycle models now include an electric assist.

The Stoker version has a higher, more traditional top tube, while the Swoop has (you guessed it) a downward swooping top-tube that allows you to easily step thru and get on or off the bike.

For young kids, you can easily install the Thule Yepp Maxi on the rear deck, and for older kids the Hooptie cage provides a fun ride. There are endless ways to set this all up, and the Xtracycle team can help as well. Their customer service is top notch.

Read Our Reviews: Xtracycle Swoop OR Xtracycle Edgerunner (older version)

Price: 4,999

Riese and Müller Load

Is there anything you can’t carry in the Riese Muller Load? Not much. With the child seat, you can haul two kids in safety with the 5-point harnesses, plus all their stuff.

One of our biggest complaints about bucket bikes for kids is that they tend to be a bit of a bumpy, rough ride. The Riese Muller has addressed this by offering FULL suspension. Much more comfy for both the passengers and the riders, particularly on pot-holed or gravel roads.

Sound heavy? No fear. The bike has a Bosch Performance CX electric assist system that can handle all but the steepest hills, even fully loaded.

Read Our Review: Riese Muller Packster (older version)

Price: 8,799

RadPower Radwagon

If you’ve decided you want an electric cargo bike for hauling the kiddos around town, but are struggling to stomach the necessary investment, check out the Radpower Radwagon. It’s WAY more affordable than most electric longtails, but doesn’t cut a lot of corners to make it happen.

Our family owns and uses a Radwagon nearly daily and we love the bike. It’s easy to mount up to two bike seats on the rear deck AND panniers. I use it for dropping the kiddo off at school, but I don’t feel silly using it afterward to run errands (like I do with our bakfiets).

Read Our Review: Radpower Radwagon

Price: 1,999

Madsen Cargo Bike

We’re partial to the Madsen bike because they are based out of our (previous) hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. They also happen to look really, really cool.

The Madsen is unique in that it comes in lots of pretty colors and that the “bucket” is located at the rear of the bike instead of the front. If you want to bike around town with the kids, and look good doing it, the Madsen is your bike.

electric, cargo, bike, tricycle

Read Our Review: Madsen Cargo Bike

Price: 2,645

Bunch Bike

The Bunch Bike is a haul-everything machine. Our family uses ours for hauling our kiddo (plus his friends), bikes, scooters, camp chairs for watching soccer practice, soccer balls, tennis rackets, etc, etc, etc.

There are two benches with seatbelts for up to 4 kids in the bucket (and you can add a seat on the rear rack as well). There is also storage under the benches, and they can be removed all together if you want to carry additional cargo.

The bike currently only comes in an electric assist version, and the bike is heavy enough that you’ll need it to get up the steep hills.

Read Our Review: Bunch Bike

Price: 4,999

Tern GSD S10

Has every there been a cargo bike with more cult-like enthusiasm than the Tern GSD? I think not!

Of course, this loyalty is well deserved and hard won. The Tern GSD S10 can carry two kids, but only fits the footprint of a regular bike.

This makes it super convenient for families who want to take it on the train or bus, store it in a small apartment, or who want to be able to maneuver the bike in tight city spaces. The bike folds up for transport or storage.

While the bike may be small in size, it’s nothing if not powerful. It can haul up to 400 pounds, and has a 250 watt motor.

Price: 5,399

Read Review: Tern GSD

Surly Big Dummy

The Surly Big Dummy is another long-tail that should be on your shortlist of options. Like the Xtracycle, the Big Dummy accepts the Thule Yepp Maxi seat on the rear or allows passengers to sit on the deck with a rail system.

This one is popular amongst mountain bikers, and folks who hope to ride dirt with the kiddo in tow. In fact, you can also opt for the Surly Big Fat Dummy which is even better suited for off-road riding, or the Big Easy with electric assist.

Price: 2,249

Read Review: Surly Big Dummy

Yuba Spicy Curry

If you are looking for an e-bike, consider the Yuba Spicy Curry. The popular bike has recently been upgraded with a Bosch motor so you can speed up steep hills.

The Spicy Curry isn’t cheap, but compared to a car it is–and it comes with all the extras: lights, fenders, kickstand, wheelskirt, etc. It also has hydraulic disc brakes which are a step up from the mechanical disc brakes found on most cargo bikes.

Price: 5,199

Read Review: Yuba Spicy Curry

Bike Friday Haul-a-Day

Smaller riders and cyclists in hilly cities, rejoice. The Bike Friday Haul-a-Day is a lightweight and nimble family bike option.

The 24-speed drivetrain provides plenty of allowance for big climbs, and the low standover height is awesome when juggling a bike and kiddos. It also means that riders as short as 4 foot 6 inches will fit on this bike.

Need an electric assist? That’s an option too.

Price: 1,995

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