By Thomas Henderson, as told to David Waterworth
My bike is a Yuba (make) Spicy Curry (model), which is a “long tail” style electric cargo bike. We bought it in March 2020 from EarthCycles in Brisbane, and in the last 2 and a bit years we’ve put 5000 km on it. The bike has capacity for 1 adult and 2 kids and has a range of about 90 km with a dual battery system. In combination with using public transport, the cargo bike has allowed our family to go back to one car (an ICE until we can afford an EV). In short, cargo bikes can beat the traffic.
Purchasing a cargo bike is a big upfront cost, but has been well worth it for us. Hopefully state and federal governments will begin to realise the benefits of electric cargo bikes in decarbonising transport and provide rebates to encourage uptake. The bike cost about $8,000 with the passenger cover and a 2nd battery added. I charge it at home or at work by plugging into a normal wall socket. The charger is compact and lightweight, so I can take it with me easily. I try to charge during the middle of the day so I can know it is being charged off solar at home or at least partially off solar in the grid.
We use the bike for school drop-offs/ pickups, going to work and back, after-school activities, getting to the shops and markets on a Saturday morning, and just for fun. ? Most of our trips would be in a 2 km radius from home, but I’ve found anywhere up to 4 km would be competitive with car travel times in urban settings. People in cars don’t realise how much time they waste being stuck in traffic or finding a park! (A parking space in American lingo.) A cargo bike can beat the traffic. The other benefit of the cargo bike for us is that we can store it in the house — no garage or shed required to keep it out of the weather and secure.
If you’re looking for a mode of transport that has practically zero running costs, very little maintenance cost, can easily get up hills, can carry a heavy load, can weave along roads as well as bike lanes and footpaths, can squeeze through a doorway or fit in an elevator, then get yourself an electric cargo bike.
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