Electric bikes could be the solution to many of our urban transportation problems: E-bikes are fun to ride, 10 to 20 times more efficient than a car, and accessible to people with physical limitations who can’t ride regular bikes as easily.
But one of the main challenges to the e-bike industry is space. Americans are so used to packing their cars and SUVs full of kids, groceries, and gear that switching to a small bike seems almost impossible.
Not so with a new generation of cargo bikes aiming to swap out vehicles for eco-friendly electric bicycles. We’ve written about cargo bikes that can haul multiple children in the past, and the latest two-wheeled product to spark our interest is the CERO One cargo bike out of Los Angeles.
Created by Kiyoshi Iwai, an environmentalist and surfer in Los Angeles, this compact electric cargo bike was designed to move both people and goods using a modular cargo rack system that has 12 different configurations. Three sturdy aluminum baskets mount on both front and read racks, and the rear rack is also prepped for a Yepp Maxi Child Seat. In total, the bike can haul 300 pounds, all without the large front or rear boxes common on other cargo bikes.
That much weight would be near impossible to pedal, so the CERO One utilizes a pedal assist electric motor that allows you to ride faster—up to 20 mph—with less effort. A new-generation Shimano 504Wh battery keeps the CERO One moving up to 93 miles on a single charge. Of course, that’s in ideal circumstances, but even in the bike’s fastest modes (or with very heavy loads) CERO reports that you should be able to travel at least 44 miles before needing to plug in again.
You can charge the bike with the included wall plug and overall, it takes two and half hours to charge about 80 percent and five hours to recharge to 100 percent. Standard bike features like bright front and rear lights, reflective decals, and puncture-resistant tires make the CERO One competitive with other electric bikes on the market, and an integrated steel frame lock helps protect your investment.
That’s important because the CERO One doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at $3,399 which is comparable to many other electric assist bikes. But hey, that’s way less expensive than a car.