Europes biggest Cargo Pedelec Test starts soon – a preview

urban arrow kids
Let’s go! Urban arrow takes part in the test.

On 21st April the so far biggest Cargo Pedelec Test in Europe starts in Tanna (Thuringia). The test is carried out by ExtraEnergy. Here you find a preview and all registered test bikes at a glance (some more might still be added). Futher registrations are still possible, find info and contact options here.

zur deutschen Version des Artikels hier


Due to their electric assistance Cargo Pedelecs are attractive to more users than normal Cargo Bikes and also suitable for and more usecases. But how about product quality, how do different models perform in market comparison? What can buyers use as orientation?

ExtraEnergy has been testing Pedelecs and Light Electric Vehicles (LEV) since 1992. The test conditions are highly standardized and internationally recognized. In 2013/2014 there was already a special Cargo Pedelec test done in cooperation with the project „Cargo on Bikes“ by the German NGO VCD. In this second edition Arne Behrensen/ and Wasilis von Rauch/e-Rad Hafen are involved as external experts. Up to now there are eleven test bikes and a prototype registered – that is twice as much as 2013! As mentioned above, you can still register as a manufactuerer, contact options here.

ExtraEnergy – Testing method

All tests are done under real driving conditions (RDE – blink, blink car industry ;-)). Test drivers ride the Cargo Pedelecs on a defined route, the ExtraEnergy test track. Every bike will have to do the route without payload and with 50 Kilograms (kgs.), that needs to be securly fastened on the bike. So beeing able to transport 50 kgs is a minimum requirement for the test.

ExtraEnergy measurement technology

Testfahrer mit eHarry
PedalPower eHarry and test drivers during 2013s test

All test bikes will be equipped with measurement equipment that collects data on velocity, energy use and human pedaling power. Thereby the support factor (U-Faktor) and the electric scope of the bike can be calculated. The test drivers individually assess driving charateristics. Last but not least a usability/handling-test of of the bikes and its add on features like boxes etc. complete the test.

All bikes are grouped into four product groups. Each product group is separated by certain exclusion criteria (e.g. minimum payload) and a different hierarchy of customer wishes (these are e.g. high speed, low price etc.). To what extend a product fulfills the set of customer wishes of a product group is calculated by the QFD method. The groups are: (1) Family Pedelec (focus on kids transport), (2) Business Pedelec (focus on velocity), (3) Cargo Pedelec up to 120 kgs and (4) above 120 kgs.

You can find a more detailed description of the testing procedure in this online brochure (link leads you to page 66 of ExtraEnergy test booklet pages 66-105 explain are relevant)

Press day and relase of results

All results will be published just before the EUROBIKE end of

EE Award Ceremony
Award ceremony at the Eurobike 2015

August 2016. The test report will be available in German, English and Chniese (see previous issues here). During the Eurobike there will also be the official ExtraEnergy winners and awards ceremony. The winners and a choice of outstanding products will be presented at the ExtraEnergy exibition area.


Radkutsche mit Siegel
2014 winner Radkutsche

During the test on April 27th there is also a press and experts‘ day in Tanna. The test bikes and the ExtraEnergy test universe will be presented to the expert public. For requests and registration please contact:

The Bikes

(unfortunately this blog has no gallery function at the moment, so all bikes come one after another):

Velovo Armadillo
Velove Armadillo four wheeler
Hartje i-sy with GoSwiss Drive.
PedalPower eHarry 850x500
PedalPower with Brose motor.
radkutsche RAPIDmaster_schraeg_matt-RGB-8bit_klein-3f785960-450x264
Radkutsche Rapid, S-Version with ezee motor.
Riese und Müller Load Touring mit Bosch Performance Antrieb


TrioBike Cargo with BionX motor.
Urban Arrow Family with Bosch Motor


urbanwheelz cargo-850x500
Urban Wheelz with Bafang motor.
E_Trike VSC Bikes-weiß-m.-Ladefläche-705x415
E-Trike von VSC Bikes mit ERZMO Antrieb









Bakfiets Cruiser Long mit Shimano Steps Antrieb

More e-Rad Hafen on Cargo Pedelecs

Most read

Eurobike 2014 – Merkel Wants E-Bikes to Replace Trucks for Local Freight

In 2013 chancellor Merkel visited the Eurobike – it was election time. Lobbying and industry organizations were happy, they saw it as a recognition of the growing political importance of cycling. This year she was not there and none of the same organizations seem to be bothered. Strange enough, as this is a clear step backwards – there was no important federal politician at the Eurobike 2014. This should bother the bike scene.

Merkel as a cargo bike lobbyist?

Nevertheless Merkel was still present, a prominent „statement of Merkel“ was wandering through Eurobike halls – many international colleagues at the Eurobike seemed convinced that in Germany big investments would pave the way to carbon free inner-city transports on cargo bikes in the near future. And that Merkel herself was behind this. Now we were puzzled, that sounded unbelievable!

A very interesting lesson in media dynamics

Now how did that come to be? And what does it mean? Let’s go step by step: On 8th July the Green Party, namely parliamentarian Matthias Gastel asked the government a set of questions about cycling policy and potentials of ebikes and cargo bikes (this is called „kleine Anfrage“ – a parliamentarian right of all parties in the parliament). The government then has two weeks to answer.

The various page long answer (dated 30th July) of the government named many advantages of shifting traffic from cars to bikes and listed several projects that are funded by the government and, among many other things, said that they saw a big potential of cargo bikes in city deliveries : Die Bundesregierung ist der Auffassung, dass es noch ein großes, bislang nicht genutztes Potenzial für Lastenfahrräder – auch mit elektrischer Unterstützung –insbesondere im Liefer- sowie im Service- und Dienstleistungsverkehr vor allem in den Kommunen gibt.“ (Which means: The German government believes that there is a large potantial of cargo bikes, also with electric assistance – that is not used until now. In particular in the delivery and service sector in cities.“)

It is nice that they say that, but it really means nothing new in terms of actual measures that the government will or might take.

The Bundestags press service then published the answer on 11.8.2014 headlining catchy: Lastenfahrräder haben großes Potenzial (cargo bikes have a big potential). Still nothing much of a relevant press information.

Bloomberg gives it the spin

Now see what headline Bloooberg made out of it -the very same day: „Merkel Wants E-Bikes to Replace Trucks for Local Freight„, 11.8.2014. WHOOMP there it is! That is a very loose interpretaion of the facts, but the author in the following explains the background with links to the original documents (of course with a language barrier that hardly anyone will cross).

Then this made it’s way to the international media as an example below a picture of an article in the dutch „De Financiële Telegraaf“. Actually using a photo of Merkels 2013 visit at the Eurobike. Reading the dutch article as a final result, you may well think there is a cargo bike wave on the rise.

All in all a showcase how media gets a lot out of nearly nothing and how people receive it.


Zeitungsmeldung aus Holland; Foto: Jorrit Kreek

Now to keep this nice media hype gooing we should really find a journalist of a big German agency to ask Angela Merkel about „this Bloomberg headline“ that was published some weeks ago….

Note: The Green party who asked the question only reacted to the answer two weeks later. Not referring to any of the english reception that had happend before: see the Greens press statement here, 26.8.2014. The German press didn’t pick up the issue at all.

Note 2: Thanks Arne for giving the hints to figure this all out :-)!

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