What is an electric cargo bike?
An electric cargo bike is a cargo bike - with an electric boost! They're electric bikes with added storage, perfect for deliveries, carrying luggage, or storing all the cycling essentials for your journeys. Any kind of cargo bike is a bicycle designed for carrying a load. The added boost from the electric motor means you can pedal away faster, and get a bit of a helping hand on any challenging hills or inclines!
Are electric cargo bikes good for families?
Electric cargo bikes are ideal for families, with plenty of space for kids, pets and shopping as well as pedal assist for a bit of well-earned help during the week! Plus, get your exercise in on the journey from A to B and free up a bit more time for yourself.
As well as being eco-friendly and efficient, bikes like the Stride 2 Family Cargo Bike offer a large load capacity and a powerful 500Wh battery to help you power through those traffic lights and get more done. For the school run, getting the weekly shop in or even just ferrying the kids to and from after-school activities and playdates, a cargo bike will revolutionise your routine.
What e-cargo bike accessories are available?
To build the best family bike for you, consider adding cargo bike accessories. Our Stride cargo range includes family-friendly cycling accessories like the Toddler Bike Seat, Cargo Bike Baby Head Support and the Cargo Bike Rain Cover (ideal for any wet and stormy school runs).
Do I need an electric cargo bike?
It's all a matter of what you use your bike for, and your riding style. There are cheaper bikes available, but if you're going to be regularly carrying large or heavy loads or making lots of journeys, a cargo bike can make your journeys faster, easier and more efficient.
When it comes to electric bicycles versus regular bikes, it's really a matter of power and ease of riding. Your own pedal power, as great as it may be, is greatly improved with the electric assist of e-bikes. That means that you can power over steep hills with more ease, and the pedal assist helps you get a little boost from a standing start and more.
So, if you currently use an electric bike but have lots to carry - whether it's deliveries, luggage or even the weekly shop - an electric cargo bike may be a sensible upgrade. Cargo bikes for families are also great for the school run or short trips into town. Similarly, the boost you get from pedal assist with an electric bike means that it's often much less labour intensive to ride than a standard bike. So, if you're a courier or delivery worker making multiple long journeys to reach customers, upgrading to an electric bike with built-in storage might just help you ride faster, easier and over fewer journeys.
Why choose an electric cargo bike?
So, in a nutshell, what are the advantages of using an electric cargo bike?
Save money with an electric bike
Compared to motor vehicles which need fuel, an electric bike is much cheaper to run. For delivery services, studies have found that deliveries can be completed faster on electric bikes than in vans, too - potentially allowing a rider to complete more orders and last mile delivery journeys in the same amount of time.
You may also find that you can save on parking or congestion charge fees using an electric bike, which can be a huge saving over the course of a year or more.
The ideal family transport option
Electric cargo bikes are ideally suited for families and those who have to get from A to B with a decent bit of luggage (whether that’s kids, pets, shopping or anything else!). The cargo section can be fitted with extra benches, toddler bike seats or other accessories to make it the best bike for taking kids to schoo. The electric pedal assist helps make the journey even easier, and you’ll save plenty of time, money and effort being able to cycle right to the door rather than having to search for a car parking space.
E-cargo bikes are environmentally friendly
Obviously, opting to cycle is a more eco-friendly option than driving in a motor vehicle. Bikes can reduce carbon emissions from diesel vans by up to 90%, so as well as avoiding the traffic you'll be helping reduce your environmental impact.
Save time with an e-bike for cargo
With typical city traffic, you will likely often find your bike faster than a car or van that will get stuck in traffic. An electric bicycle with cargo storage means you get the load-carrying benefits of a small vehicle, with the manoeuvring ability of a regular bike (plus a bit of extra pedal power electric assist for making the journey easier). Skip the traffic queues and carry your deliveries, loads or parcels right up to your destination.
How much money can I save by using an electric cargo bike?
It's hard to put a specific number on your saving or cost per journey, as it will differ depending on a range of factors including battery capacity for charging, your riding style, how much you travel, the cost of travelling and parking in your area, the cost of fuel, and more.
It’s worth bearing in mind that our electric bikes are equipped with lithium ion battery packs, which offer great return on charges. For example, a 300wh battery can last around 80km on one charge (with a 400wh battery pack being able to power around 100km on a single charge with average usage).
Find out more about electric bike running costs.
Ownership costs of a vehicle v electric cargo bikes
Ownership costs for an electric bike generally include the purchase of the bike, the cost to purchase spares down the line (tyres or brake pads etc), and infrequent service visits at your local cycle shop. Incidentally, most cycle shops carry spares and bike parts onsite, so you won't necessarily need to order ahead or order in expensive parts on demand, as you might with a motor vehicle.
With a road vehicle (be it car, van, or lorry), ownership costs include your driving licence and renewal, insurance, potential finance or lease payments, road tax and possible toll or emissions charges. Then there are the potential costs that come with renting or buying a parking space. So, right off the bat, you'll save money on owning an electric cargo bike (or even a conventional bicycle) versus a vehicle.
How fast do e-cargo bikes go?
In the UK, all electric bikes must abide by the assisted speed limit of 15.5 mph (25 kmh). You can ride faster in your electric bike, but the motor won't provide the electric assist after 15.5 mph.
How much can an e-cargo bike carry?
Cargo electric bikes are designed to carry loads of varying weights - that's why they're great for families, businesses, couriers and delivery personnel. Every cargo electric bike will have its own weight limit as dictated by the manufacturer. For example, both our Raleigh Pro Cargo Bike and the Raleigh Stride 2 Family Cargo Bike can carry loads of up to 80kg, while the Pro Cargo Trike has a capacity of 900 litres and up to 100kg.
How far can an electric cargo bike travel?
As with many things, that depends, although as a general rule of thumb most electric bikes can travel as far as 25-50 miles on a single charge. E-cargo bikes will obviously often be carrying a heavier load than other bikes, so that needs to be taken into consideration.
As an example, our Pro Cargo Bike can run up to 37 miles on a single charge. Perfect for the school run, the Stride 2 Family Cargo Bike has a range of up to 40 miles. The Pro Cargo Trike can do up to 43 miles on a charge.
Where can e-cargo bikes be ridden?
You can ride cargo e-bikes anywhere you'd cycle on normal bikes! Cycle paths, roads, parks, paths and more are made easier with many electric bikes. Plus, you can push your bike up pavements and driveways to reach buildings and fit through tight spaces that you might not have been able to reach with petrol or electric cars!
What are the storage requirements for cargo electric bikes?
While you likely won't have to make as much space for your bike as you would a car or van, you should consider how you're going to store your electric bike. When it comes to cargo electric bikes, there is an added space consideration too.
Because of the battery (and the whole electrical system) on any electric bike, it's recommended you store them somewhere where the temperature is consistently between 1 and 39 degrees. This can mean that it's not recommended to store an electric bike in a garage or outdoor space over the winter.
The best advice for storing an e-cargo bike is to remove the battery and keep that indoors (where temperatures are above 0 degrees). Also try to keep the bike itself under cover, to prolong the life of moving parts and bike components.
So, if you have limited storage space indoors (or if your business is considering an investment in a fleet of cargo electric bikes for business), a key thing to think about will be storage - whether it's a dedicated building or an area of existing storage. Keeping the electrical components at the right temperature, dry and clean will prolong the life of your electric bike.
How do you charge an e-cargo bike, and how long do they take to charge?
Electric cargo bikes will be supplied with a battery charger for the electrical components, so you can simply take the battery out, charge it using your home or business electric plug points and go.
Our electric bikes for cargo take between 4 and 6 hours to fully charge.
Do e-cargo bikes need to be registered, licensed, insured or taxed?
There is currently no legal requirement in the UK to tax or insure an electric bike, and you don't need a driving licence to operate one. However, we recommend thinking about getting bike insurance to help protect against things such as damage, loss, injury and theft.
Are e-cargo bikes legally classified as bicycles?
Yes, all electric bikes (including cargo bicycles) are classified as conventional bikes in UK law. This is providing they don’t travel at speeds above 15.5mph using the electric motor assist, and that they don’t have an electric motor that exceeds 250 watts.
Can I use car batteries in my e-cargo bike?
Your electric bike will be supplied with a manufacturer-approved battery. For example, Raleigh electric cargo bikes use Bosch battery packs for maximum performance. You should only use electric bike batteries, and make sure they're the right capacity and type for your particular model.