As more and more cities, particularly in Europe, make the green shift, more and more ingenious solutions to everyday challenges, particularly when it comes to mobility, have emerged. Electric bicycleshave proven themselves as a sustainable and reliable alternative to cars when it comes to personal urban mobility, however, recent times have proven that their utility goes beyond that of a personal level.
We’ve talked about several electric cargo bikes in the past; impressive models that can haul not just you and your stuff, but a passenger and some kids, too. Bigger e-bikes for commercial applications have emerged, as well, with the most recent of which being the PelicanTrain. Developed by French startup Pelican, this electric cargo bike offers users a nearly endless array of options when it comes to configuration. Its interesting design means that you can keep attaching trailers to haul more and more stuff. In effect, it’s like a train – as the name suggests – except it rides around on the road and bike paths and is technically considered an electric bicycle.
The ethos behind the PelicanTrain is remarkably simple, and is a reality that a lot of us take for granted. The internet is largely responsible for making the world go round. In fact, a lot of us buy our stuff online. Take me, for example, the clothes I’m wearing and the laptop I’m typing this article on were all purchased via the world wide web. That’s cool and all, but if we stop and think about the logistical process involved in getting these products from their warehouses to the end users, well, it can be quite a dizzying affair.
With more and more countries pushing for decarbonization especially when it comes to last-mile delivery, it’s safe to assume that in some markets, the days of delivery vans and trucks are numbered. This is where innovations like the PelicanTrain come into play. The bike can tow up to two trailers, and can haul up to 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cargo. Pelican highlights the bike’s modularity as one of its selling points, as users can set it up for different jobs – everything from hauling furniture, equipment, and parcels. In fact, a setup designed as a people-mover doesn’t seem so far-fetched in my opinion.
Underneath the modular exterior is some interesting technology that works double time to make sure you and your cargo are transported safely. The bike, as well as the trailers, are equipped with electric motors that, once connected, work together in a synchronized manner to ensure smooth and efficient operation. They all produce power at the same time and apply the brakes together when necessary. The entire setup provides 111 Nm of torque, all while complying with the EU’s e-bike performance regulations of 250 watts of nominal output.
The PelicanTrain, as well as the other innovations at Pelican Cycles, is the brainchild of company founders Alex and Thomas. With engineering backgrounds, these guys worked for the likes of Decathlon and Fabernovel, both key players in the sports/recreation and tech scenes. The company also distributes BKL and YakBike cargo bikes, as well as maintenance services, and training and fleet management.
As for the availability of the PelicanTrain, Pelican Cycles offers rent, lease, and purchase options for a streamlined user experience. Short-term rental starts at 15 euros ($16 USD)a day, while a monthly lease program allows users to take ownership of the bike starting at 45 euros ($49.37) a month. Lastly, those adamant on acquiring a PelicanTrain indefinitely can purchase it starting at 4,500 euros (about $4,937 USD).