We are not the only ones who think that cargo ebikes can play a very important role in urban mobility, especially for that crucial last mile distribution in city centres. We have repeatedly covered the efforts made by many actors in using cargo ebikes for their deliveries.
These vehicles were at first a bit artisanal, born maybe by lenghtening and strengthening normal bike frames, but using in general standard components. The market is covered by a small army of small or very small producers, which make cargo ebikes (or cargo bikes) very different from each other.
The growing demand for cargo ebikes is leading to a specialization in components. There is a need for specialized components able to resist the stress of a bike loaded with dozens of kgs of cargo. The last to come in this sector is a sized-up drive belt produced by Continental especially for cargo ebikes.
Lately we have been testing many different belt-drive bikes, and we were positively impressed with their simplicity and the fact that they don’t need a lot of maintenance. The latter is a very important factor for those who work with their ebikes, pedalling for many miles every day on a heavy ebike. This is why Continental has decided to produce a wider belt: 12mm, 50% more of the standard 8mm belts. According to Continental, this drive belt is fit to be used on cargo ebikes weighing (when fully loaded) up to 290 kg. Beyond that, the power and the torque of the motor would also be important factors. The first ebike using this belt will be a cargo ebike produced by Hercules.
Cargo ebikes are already reality in many European countries, and they are slowly being introduced in other areas as well. The technical evolution of their components is definitely a step in the right direction, allowing for better cargo ebikes to be produced.