Whether you are an emountain biker, roadie or biker – we often share the same roads, so the topic of urban mobility concerns us all! We looked for the most innovative concepts of (sub-)urban mobility at the IAA Mobility and Eurobike and give you a preview of what we might soon encounter on the road.
There’s much more to mobility than just getting around. It also shapes our image and forms a part of our identity. Bikers can easily lapse into binary thinking and want a radical mobility change, but not everything and everyone is a hardcore biker. And rational reasons can often have an emotional background. Consider the SUV – even if discredited and attacked by many, it’s a logical and rational consequence of the human need for safety, superiority and protection in sometimes risky road traffic. When compared with a van, you can see how irrational some of these discussions are – regardless of whether it’s a VW bus or a Mercedes V-Class – vans have a positive image as family and outdoor vehicles, even though they offer similar space and fuel economy as SUVs. What we’re getting at is that we need a new approach, a new mindset and fundamental understanding: the future isn’t binary, but rather a sensible and balanced mix of mobility solutions. For our sister magazine DOWNTOWN, we have taken a close look at the most exciting innovations of urban mobility from the IAA Mobility and Eurobike and present them to you here as well – after all, the mobility of the future concerns us all! You might not like all the solutions, but they are definitely exciting!
It’s 5°C outside, it’s just starting to rain and a freezing wind blows in your face as soon as you open the door. Now, that’s just the weather for a 12 km ebike ride to work! Tough luck. And for this very scenario – and of course a thousand others – a new-generation electric runabout is the perfect vehicle. They are called the L7e class: light, four-wheeled motor vehicles that fall somewhere between an ebike and an e-car and are supposed to be a game changer in micromobility. The Microlino 2.0 offers space for two people and three crates of beer. Cheers! With a length of only 2.5 m, it can be parked at a 90° angle to the road without any problems, and the front door makes it easy to get out through the front afterwards. Production is scheduled to start this year and the prices start at € 12,000.
COLEEN Modern DB
The lovingly handcrafted Coleen Modern DB bike from France – being completely without the down tube – is certainly one of the visual highlights of this year’s show. Over more than 50 hours of work, the carbon frame is manufactured and fitted with the components, some of which are also produced in France. The hub motor is an in-house design that is powered by an integrated battery with 522 Wh capacity. For maximum connectivity, the on-board computer integrated into the stem offers real-time GPS tracking, an automatic Bluetooth unlock as soon as you approach the bike, a USB charging port and an instant notification feature whenever your yellow speedster starts moving without permission.
CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo
A behemoth has been announced! This is probably what you get when two Bavarian companies set about to develop a cargo bike – and it looks promising! Thanks to two drive wheels, the power of the Bosch Performance Line CX motor and an axle differential, the e-cargo bike allows you to lean into corners as you normally would, while the rear part with the transport box that holds up to 60 kg of weight remains upright. We have already exclusively tested how the innovative cargo tricycle performs in practice in our sister magazine DOWNTOWN.
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG
How does a heavy Mercedes-Benz G-Class fit into the cityscape of tomorrow? If you take a closer look at the cars on the streets of the megacities, one thing becomes clear rather quickly: in addition to lightweight vehicles that are as compact as possible, e-SUVs continue to play a role in urban areas. How much space these cars will be allowed in the cities of the future remains to be seen, but the fact is: the G-Class, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG, still wants to look good both off-road and in the big cities. Although the basic shape of the all-electric G-Class is the same as that of the combustion engine variant, it has been adapted in many areas. Instead of the regular radiator grille, the front now features a deep black design with a luminous Mercedes star. LEDs and light strips are also fitted all over the concept car. Details on the engine power and battery capacity have not yet been revealed, but it should already be clear that the Concept EQG will not be stingy in these areas, either. Sales are scheduled to start in 2024.
The young startup company Cluuv from Germany gives its e-cargo bike the new Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor and an integrated and removable PowerTube battery with a capacity of 750 Wh. However, the company places particular emphasis on the manufacturing of the e-cargo bike, for example, the frame is made entirely in Europe and other equipment is partly manufactured in Germany. For maximum flexibility, the cargo platform is equipped with a modular system to easily switch from a pure platform for bulky loads to a low transport box or the children box in no time. The integrated rail system is cleverly implemented, allowing, for example, the seats to be moved in the style of a VW bus. Depending on the load, you can decide whether to place it in front of or behind the kids. The box offers space for up to three kids or two seats plus a baby car seat, and you can put the seats in a resting position to make the ride even more comfortable for the little ones.
Stromer ST3 and ST2022 Concept-Bike
Among the new launches of the Swiss S-pedelec specialist Stromer are not only series production commuter bikes, but also exciting concept studies. The new all-season and all-weather commuter bike Stromer ST3 has a Pinion C1.9 central gearing with a remarkable 568% range and is coupled with an equally low-maintenance belt drive. Their own design rear motor comes with a peak power of 820 W and should get you to the office and back in no time. For this, it can rely on an already large 814 Wh or an even larger 983 Wh battery. But these values pale in comparison to the key data of the Stromer ST2022 concept bike. It is supposed to be equipped with a whopping 1,400 Wh battery. With this on board, many of us could commute for a whole week without plugging the bike into the socket even once. In terms of connectivity, Stromer don’t believe in half-measures with both ebikes and offer the models with GPS tracking, Smartlook, individual motor settings and more.
NICOLAI NC-1 Cargo
Nicolai is deeply rooted in the mountain bike scene and knows how to make their designs stand out with top quality aluminium frames manufactured in Germany. Even though the NC-1 Cargo is not the first cargo bike from Nicolai, it comes as something of a surprise. The NC-1 is equipped with the new Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor (see review), an integrated and removable PowerTube battery with a capacity of 750 Wh and the nearly maintenance-free Gates Carbon Belt Drive in combination with the Enviolo hub gears. If you need even more range, there’s room for a second PowerTube battery.
EOOS cargo bike ZUV (Zero-emissions Utility Vehicle)
An e-cargo bike from a 3D printer? The EOOS design studio makes it a reality. The e-cargo bike is called ZUV, which stands for Zero-emissions Utility Vehicle, and is made from a total of 70 kg of recycled waste. According to the manufacturer, the printing takes around 12 hours and can be done easily locally on-site using a Fab 3D printer or similar, without need for transport. The bike is supposed to be strong enough for four people and is also suitable for transporting loads, shopping, etc.
Hopper Mobility E-concept car
Hopper Mobility, a company from Augsburg/Germany, combine a car and a bicycle with an E-concept car that offers space for luggage and passengers for modern city traffic. The vehicle is supported up to a speed of 25 km/h and can thus also be driven on normal bike paths. Thanks to its compact design, it can also be parked crossways in parking spaces, just like a Smart. A special feature is the 90° rear-wheel steering, which means the turning radius is just 2 meters. If you live in a sunny area, one hour of full sunlight is enough to juice it up for a range of 5 km – thanks to the solar panel integrated in the roof.
A single form of mobility will never be the panacea. Ultimately, it will come down to a well-rounded mix of means of transport that satisfies individual needs. And these can be completely different depending on the infrastructural framework conditions. That is why urban planners and legal regulators play a central role in the transformation of mobility. The triumph of ebikes in urban areas has already taken care of some of individual mobility needs and has shown that there is a strong demand for new mobility solutions. The IAA and Eurobike have demonstrated that it is up to the bike industry to develop new self-confidence and to live up to its important role. Instead of “for” or “against” thinking, collaboration and competition with different players and industries are the only ways to solve the challenges of the future – and not just tomorrow!
In our sister magazine DOWNTOWN, we take a deeper look at the topic of urban mobility, so check it out.
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Words: Various Photos: Various