Traveling on two wheels while carrying two or three children has become possible thanks to cargo e-bikes. The practice is still not very widespread in the French-speaking parts of the world, but it seduces more and more families tired of traffic jams.
While the famous electric scooters never stop to make headlines, another alternative mode of travel is gradually finding its place among a certain category of consumers: the cargo e-bike.
“The market is really developing in French-speaking Belgium,” says Stéphane Pêtre, founder of Velobac. Between 2017 and 2018, I would say that we sold 40% more cargo bikes. It follows the same progression as the electric bike. This increase is very high and Belgium’s share of Velobac’s turnover has increased from 5 to over 80% in 8 years.
Cycling with children
Caroline and Cédric Legrand took the plunge 3 years ago. Since then, every morning, the routine is the same, everyone gets on his bike. He, his racing bike, towards Central Station, and she, her cargo bike, go to the school of their two daughters, then her workplace. “Kids love it, although it’s obviously easier and more enjoyable when the weather is good,” says Caroline.
The cargo e-bike is still a niche sector. For the moment anyway, hopes the creator of the brand Walloon: “the clientele, it is mostly thirty-something with children who used to go to work by bike and see a way to continue to do so with their children. “
An alternative to the car
The cargo e-bike makes family journeys more aligned with
And according to Stéphane Pêtre, the couple is not alone in thinking this way: “when we started the business, the first customers were mostly rural, who no longer had access to public transport. But since then, of course, with the congestion in the cities, the city inhabitants are interested in cargo e-bikes more and more. Yes, ecology plays a role, but this more a choice of a bike vs a car. The cargo e-bike appears more practical. “
Pros and cons
Some conditions still apply to take advantage of this practical side: first, one needs to have a nice parking space, ideally covered, and one needs to live in an area where it is easy to travel safely on two wheels. “It’s out of the question to slalom between the cars with the children’s noses at the level of the exhausts,” insists Caroline.
Another imperative is to know your needs in order to better assess the necessary budget. 1,000 to 2,000 euros may be enough for a new cargo bike, but you can only count on your legs to move forward. If you want electric assistance, the bill will rise to around 4,000 euros. One has to clearly understand costs and benefits!
This post was translated from French. The original version was published on Generation Le Soir. Photo credit – Generation Le