Cargo E-bikes – Two Different Takes
Cargo e-bikes are one of the hottest segments in the bicycle industry right now. And not only that, a lot bigger entity, the logistics industry is paying close attention to how the emerging field with the accompanying technology is developing. We are fortunate to work with the two most forward-thinking companies in the field – EAV and Ouca Bikes.
This article lists some of the similarities and differences in how the two companies go around harnessing modern e-bike technology’s capabilities to logistical needs.
No Reinvented Wheels
Inventing or engineering something just for its sake is certainly respectable, but rarely convenient or efficient. Therefore it’s oftentimes preferable to use existing components that are readily available.
Both, EAV and Ouca Bikes, have put this philosophy into good use. As the name suggests, cargo e-bikes are still bicycles, but with very special needs posed by the unique demands subjected to them. Because of this, some commonly used bicycle components can’t simply meet the demanding criteria or as a choice are far from optimal. In these situations, it’s best to look outside the bicycle industry and see what’s being used. As can be seen from the lineup of both manufacturers, this has been done with good results.
In order to fulfil its intended task, the cargo e-bike needs to carry quite a bit more than just the rider. This means that the structure needs to be capable of handling loads of intended magnitudes. The bike needs to be robust all over, including the frame/chassis, wheels and the parts that contain the payload, whether it’s goods, people or both. On top of all this, the design needs to be practical to use in all scenarios, whether that’s riding, loading or unloading goods, or charging the battery for example.
It comes without saying, that just like a regular e-bike, a well-designed cargo e-bike needs to be reliable. The only thing more unpleasant than being left on the side with a broken bike is to experience that with a cargo e-bike. Therefore, heavy-duty components are well-warranted, like puncture-resistant tires, and durable drivetrain parts.
The latter brings us to the topic of drive systems. The Revonte ONE Drive System is the winning choice for cargo e-bikes for several reasons. First and foremost is the ride experience it offers – just pedal and the drive system will take care of the rest! No clunky shifting or chains skipping over cogs. Thanks to its ingenious design, the Revonte ONE Drive Unit boasts plenty of torque and peak power even for the most demanding use cases. Another thing worth mentioning that will make some product managers very happy is the fact that one type of hardware – drive units in this case – are used for all types of e-bikes! This simplifies design work of an order of magnitude and makes stock management easier. Last, but not least is the software-first approach. The Revonte ONE Drive System runs on highly sophisticated software that is developed constantly. Whenever an update is released, everyone running the Revonte ONE Drive system will enjoy the benefits. Revonte ONE Drive System is as future-proof as one can get.
Similarities & Differences
Even though Ouca Bikes and EAV are offering solutions to very similar needs, they got about it quite differently. Let’s start with Ouca Bikes, our partner hailing from Oulu, the northern part of Finland. The lineup can meet just about any need in the modern urban environment. Take the Transport model for example. With its cargo bay that reaches up to 570 litres of volume, it provides almost endless options for use cases – as long as the maximal load limit is adhered to. The Kiddiebus model on the other hand can move up to 8 small children – a true testament to the platform’s brilliant design and its versatility.
EAV on the other hand has taken another route. Their lineup is the broadest found in the fast-growing industry. The bikes themselves resemble a small-sized van with their windshields and sturdy-looking, but still lightweight chassis. Everything about EAV’s lineup radiates the intent for professional use. The logistics industry has taken note of this, and It does not come as a surprise that some of the biggest players in the field have expressed their strong interest.
Both companies have taken a similar approach in designing their fleet by using components that are sourced outside the bicycle industry. Cargo e-bikes fill a very special need, and therefore the demands posed to the components can differ greatly from what they’re designed for. In some instances, a component used in regular e-bikes simply does not cut it, and therefore more heavy-duty alternatives are used.
E-bikes are becoming more and more popular at an accelerating rate. Besides commuting, and sports and leisure use, the fast-developing technology will reach other fields as well – and quicker than most realize. Cargo e-bikes answer the last-mile dilemma by offering a highly agile and zero-emission option. In the future, small deliveries in the urban environment will be done with cargo e-bikes of trucks with accompanying diesel fumes. Also, cargo e-bikes will be a full-scale substitute for a car in modern cities.
EAV and Ouca Bikes are leading the field with the most advanced drive system on offer.