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by Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, The Urban Idea

ECOMOBILITY EXPERIENCE GALLERY 2024: the world of fine mobility commercial vehicles

28 May 2024

For tradespeople who need more that a cargo bike, there are plenty of options before you get to a van. More and more companies are introducing small electric vehicles to their fleet. This applies in particular to building service providers and landscapers and gardeners, but also to local municipalities.

There have been plenty of stories in the press. Some two years back, chimney sweep Markus Remy in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany’s Rhein-Neckar region started doing his daily rounds on a e-cargo bike. The story went down well in his local newspaper, but also made national news. A year earlier, Walter Babel, a chimney sweep business from Borchen near Paderborn invested in two e-cargo bikes as transport solutions for day-to-day business operations. Babel works also advises customers on how to save energy and environmental protection. He sees e-cargo bikes not just only logical, but also an investment in the health of his employees.

Back as 2019, the press picked up on the story of yet another chimney sweep, Andreas Raschke from Gilching, who was out in all weathers and even in snow with his cargo bike and cargo trailer. Christian Borgen, a gas, water and heating engineer from Niederrad near Frankfurt, also travels to his clients by bike – he transports his tools and materials in a trailer. And this is just a small selection of some of the reports. 

Versatile, fine mobility solutions are on the increase

Companies want to be “finer” and “more versatile” by steering clear of common issues: larger commercial vehicles get stuck in traffic, are often too big to find a parking space, get in the way when parked up to load or unload or are difficult to manoeuvre through narrow streets or courtyards.

Looking at what’s available on the market, it’s interesting to see just how many versatile fine mobility solutions there are out there: from electric trolleys and hand trucks via traditional bikes for tradespeople and e-cargo bikes and trailers for motorized scooters and electric mini trucks. Fine mobility is the word on the street here. The “world of wheels between shoes and cars”. Or maybe this should be more aptly described as “The world of wheels between boots and vans”.

Ecomobilty at EUROBIKE

As the world’s leading platform for the bike industry, in recent years EUROBIKE has organized a dedicated Cargo Bike Academy and special CARO BIKE AREA. This has helped to draw attention to the significant advances and versatile uses of cargo bikes.

This year, EUROBIKE is taking things a step further by hosting the ECOMOBILITY EXPERIENCE GALLERY: a special exhibition in hall 8 that covers the full spectrum of commercial vehicles for fine mobility. The idea is not just to see, but also to experience these new transport solutions.

A fine and compact overview of the market

Which vehicles best meet the needs of caretakers, cleaners, electricians, plumbers and heating engineers, gardeners and chimney sweeps? What’s the best vehicle for workers moving from house to house, for example to read gas, water or electricity meters?

Here are a few examples: 

ARI_458_kipper_l_seitenansicht

The ARI 458 tipper is a versatile light electric transporter, which can take 531 to 648 kilograms of cargo load and up to 2.05 square metres of cargo. With its tippable load area, this light vehicle is ideal for a range of trades, work on building sites, or gardening and landscaping.

AIXAM-Pro-eTruck-Pritsche

The French light vehicle manufacturer AIXAM also has a small tipper transporter in its range – the Pro e-Truck. It has a range of 150 kilometres, a cargo loading area of two square metres, can load 327 kilograms of cargo and pull a maximum trailer load of 187 kilograms. 

GOUPIL-G2-Flora-Aufbau

Goupil is offering an environmentally-friendly, quiet solution with its G2 – it’s ideal for tourist sites, hotels, parks and public areas. It comes in different versions, including a rubbish tipper for collecting litter in tourist sites, or can be used as a means of transporting goods or people, for catering and drinks services, as a laundry van for hotels, fire-fighting or emergency response vehicle.

GECO-Heavy-Truck-XP-Pickup-Pritsche

When it comes to three wheelers, GECO is offering its Heavy Truck XP flatbed pickup. It has a loading area of 1.27 square metres and can carry 500 kilograms. As such, the light electric one-seater vehicle is the perfect solution for areas with narrow or restricted access.

VeloBRING_11

However, it doesn’t always have to be fully electric. The BAYK VeloBRING is a high-power pedelec cargo bike with a particularly robust construction, a very tight and manoeuvrable turning circle and carrying capacity of 318 kilograms. 

Metrucks-Doer

Metrucks from Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Württemberg have developed the Doer minitruck on a pedelec platform. It has can carry up to 200 kilograms and we’re excited to learn when it will hit the market.

Of course, there are lots of different type of cargo bikes, which are documented on other platforms, and therefore don’t need to be included here. We would however, like to demonstrate the wide range of cargo bikes by citing two particular examples.

CHIKE_e-Cargo_melonengelb

The Chike e-cargo bike is two metres long and just 73 centimetres wide, which means that it rides well on narrow cycle paths and fits through all standard doorways. Nevertheless, it’s loading platform or front box accommodates up to 80 kilograms, and it can take an additional 25 kilograms on the rear luggage rack.

Nanuk-cc-megaliner-1024x500-1

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Nanuk Megaliner, which has a loading capacity of 4,000 litres, equivalent to three Euro pallets, and can carry up to half a tonne. This is even sufficient for carpentry companies to transport materials to building sites. 

eurokraft-Handpritschenwagen

Last, but by no means least, we come to transport solutions designed to be pulled by hand and on foot that might still have electric support. Take the hand platform trucks from Eurokraft. The largest version has a one-tonne load-bearing capacity and loading area of 1210 x 760 millimetres. 

Zalölys-TR-30-Radmotorwagen

These kinds of trucks are also available with electronic assistance. The TR 30 motorised trolley from Zallys is a good example: it has five gears and can carry loads of up to 300 kilograms. 

The fine mobility segment includes even more types of transport solutions for trade and industry with some extraordinary characteristics.

The potential uses of fine mobility is highly relevant to small and medium-sized companies. In Germany, there are some 570,000 craft-related businesses (destatis 2023). According to the GaLaBau industry report of spring 2023, there are nearly 20,000 garden and landscaping companies, while the German association of contract cleaners (BIV) reports that there are 60,000 businesses with 700,00 employees in its sector. If these companies decide to go with ‘finer transport solutions’ in future, they will be making an important contribution to the move towards sustainable transport.