Cargo e-bikes have gotten so big, this one has six wheels and can jackknife


It’s true: cargo e-bikes are replacing trucks and vans for city deliveries like we’ve never seen before. With an ever-increasing push towards removing those heavy vehicles from our roads, larger electric cargo bikes are starting to pop up, offering to handle more of the loads typically seen carried by trucks. The new Cityshuttle ePack4 is the latest, and perhaps the biggest, to grace the streets.

Cityshuttle’s new cargo e-bike is based on a four-wheeled design that tows a cargo trailer with its own pair of wheels. The setup looks vaguely like your typical 18-wheeler semi-truck, just with a third of the wheels and 150th of the weight.

Riding on bicycle tires and featuring an electric bicycle drivetrain, the ePack4 may look like a delivery truck, but it’s all bike under the hood.

Innovative suspension in the cab and trailer provides a smoother ride for the operator and cargo without sacrificing cargo space. Hand controls follow typical recumbent trike designs, while the bubble nose extends far enough for the rider to operate the pedals.

And for added efficiency and reduced complexity, the designers have eschewed the typical bicycle drivetrain that uses a chain or belt, and instead replaced it with a drive-by-wire system. These are becoming increasingly common in large cargo e-bikes that don’t want to sacrifice cargo space to a chain run, and instead use a generator at the pedals to transfer the energy to the rear wheel, no chains needed.

The ePack4 features four cubic meters of cargo space, or around 140 cubic feet, and can support up to 350 kg of load (771 pounds).

The rear trailer is so big that the company touts its added value as selling digital advertising space as it slips past stopped traffic via the bike lane.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, the bike is apparently legal in bike lanes in the UK, where Cityshuttle is based. The same goes for much of Europe, but for other areas operators will likely need to check the local regulations.

To cater to delivery businesses and courier services, Cityshuttle has outfitted the ePack4 with a number of added features, including GPS tracking, remote fleet management, and a live CCTV feed.

For those that don’t need a massive four cubic meters of storage, there’s also a half-sized two cubic meter trailer option, a tipper trailer, a flat bed, and even a refrigerated trailer. According to the company, a trailer swap takes just two minutes.

“We are thrilled to introduce the ePack4, the world’s largest last-mile cargo delivery bike,” explained company founder Keith Jones in a comment provided to Electrek. “Green in colour, green by nature. We are looking to become the go-to manufacturer for last-mile logistics. Whether it’s cargo, refrigerated, local authorities, we have a flexible solution for all.”

The ePack4 is currently manufactured in the UK, and the company expects to begin larger volume production in 2025. For now, Cityshuttle is focusing on expanding its market in the UK and Europe, where the company claims to be “already generating significant interest.”

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