Defining an Electric Cargo Bike
Ecargo bikes are specifically designed to carry large, heavy loads and people. Riders love their versatility for transporting one or more children, carrying cargo, or having another adult passenger hop on. Powerful and functional, these ebikes help our customers take care of life and replace car trips. Electric cargo bikes are also used as delivery vehicles for food, packages and more.
Ecargo Design and Styles
Long-tail ecargo bikes feature a sturdy, low and long frame design specifically with a longer, rear rack base for cargo or passengers. These frames are typically designed as mid-step to provide a lower standover height for rider accessibility and stability while stopped or biking with heavier loads. The longer frame and smaller-diameter wheels creates a lower center of gravity, while also providing increased stability.
Moped-style utility ebikes are typically designed with a step-through frame, a utility ebike is capable of handling an adult passenger on the back, child bike seat, or a platform packed with gear. The step-through design provides easy rider accessibility and balance, a lower center of gravity, and additional stability to help ride with an adult passenger.
Bakfiets or front-loading box-style ecargo bikes that are popular in Europe and gaining popularity in North America. They are known for their large passenger basket at the front of the bike that can fit multiple small children or cargo. (Rad Power Bikes does not currently offer a front-loading model.)
By design, cargo electric bikes come with chargeable batteries, motors, and controllers to provide pedal assist of various levels of additional power riding with heavy loads. In North America, cargo or utility ebikes can also come with a throttle to fully power the bike with no pedaling needed from the rider. These bikes typically come with gears to shift your pedaling cadence, but there are some single speed ecargo bike options available.
Frame designs and materials are built to be durable and handle more payload capacity than other ebikes or traditional bicycles. Payload capacities for electric cargo bikes typically start at 300lbs with the exception of Bakfiets-style ebikes where basket payload capacities typically start around 200lbs.
These ebikes typically come with smaller diameter wheels to provide a lower-center of balance with the frame while also providing increased stability while riding on uneven terrains or climbing hills. (Keep in mind: smaller wheels doesn’t mean these ebikes go slower.)
Benefits and Considerations
The primary feature of a cargo ebike is the ability to carry cargo, gear, or passengers. Payload capacity, electric power for heavier loads, and the ability to customize your ecargo bike with baskets, bags, child seats, passenger protection, and more, are key features our customers tell us they consider when choosing an ecargo or utility electric bike. Another consideration is affordability, quality and price point. Our customers want to ensure they are choosing a quality ebike that fits their needs at a price they can afford.
Our RadWagon, mid-step long-tail ride is known as a family hauler. It’s also designed to carry heavier loads of gear. The 500 watt motor powers this 350lb payload capacity bike with a battery range of 45+ miles per charge (depending on your use of battery power, terrain and hill-climbing). It comes with five levels of pedal assist to add power to your pedaling up to 20mph and a half-twist throttle to give you a boost as you’re getting started with heavier loads or to cresting a big hill on your route.
The RadRunner moped-style utility ebike is an innovative leader in this category with 300+ accessory combinations to customize your ride experience for passengers, cargo, comfort, and style. This model also comes with a 500 watt motor powering 300lbs of payload capacity with a battery range of 45+ miles per charge.
Similar to standard bicycles or other ebikes, these models both come with 7-speed gearing to dial in your pedal cadence with your route and pedal assist power.
If you are considering a cargo electric bike to carry kids, teens or even adults, both of our models are designed specifically for this purpose. We have a Family & Passenger ebike category which provides all the information you’d need to consider an ebike and accessories for this purpose. Beyond cargo ebikes, most standard Rad Power Bikes models are compatible with a child seat for younger, smaller kids.
Our people-carrying models are both fully-customizable for passenger safety and comfort like a water-resistant protective cover to keep kids dry on a RadWagon during bad-weather rides to school. The RadRunner moped-style ebike fits a child bike seat on the rear rack or comfort saddle, passenger bar, and foot pegs so you can head out in style with your best friend.
Carrying Cargo and Gear
The more carrying flexibility your ebike has, the more it’s possible to integrate it into your daily life and potentially replace car or transit trips while having fun and being able to travel with big, heavy loads. Our customers tell us they can carry their twin children, a week's worth of groceries, pets, stacks of pizza, remodeling supplies, band gear, and even surfboards. The variety of cargo carrying possibilities are astounding. Carrying big, heavy loads requires a sturdy ebike frame as a base plus custom accessories like baskets, bags, and platforms.
Our On-Bike Storage accessory category includes products that bolt onto your bike to hold cargo. This includes racks, platforms, baskets, plastic storage containers and drink holders. Customers can then choose to add a variety of water-proof bags to attach to directly to racks or place in baskets.
Larger, heavier cargo items like a guitar and amp, a mini fridge, or a bunch of boxes going to the post office can be strapped to platforms, baskets and racks with cargo straps and cargo nets. We also offer custom-carriers for pets and insulated bags for food delivery or your own picnic.
Our Help Center website has an in-depth article covering Carrying Cargo: Payload Capacity and Accessories.
Featured Customer & Media Reviews
“Ditching four wheels for a bicycle can be a challenge. What do you do in inclement weather? What about hauling groceries? And what about date night? The RadWagon checks off all these boxes and does it on the cheap. It is the ebike that might replace your car.”
Men’s Journal, RadWagon
“I got the RadWagon as a Mother's Day gift. It is the most amazing present I could have ever received. The family and I go everywhere on it - school, summer camp farmer’s markets, grocery stores, parks, friend’s houses, etc. The opportunities are endless! I am losing weight and teaching my kids about an active lifestyle thanks to this company.”
Jamie Trotty, RadWagon
“Great handling, low center of gravity, plenty of power and range even when loaded up. Best quality electric assist cargo bike for the money on the market. We love it.”
Matt R., RadWagon
“Rad Runner Plus a big plus. Love it cargo bin a plus multiple gears added a rear cargo bag two side bags perfect for shopping”
“Awesome Cargo Bike. I can carry everything I need to, and it has enough range for me to go into town, zip around, and come back home on one charge.
Matthew W., RadWagon
"I conserve my battery when I do Uber Eats so that way I can knock out 4 to 5 trips before having to recharge. Overall I am extremely happy knowing I can workout and get paid to do so."
Tim C., RadRunner
"Best Affordable Electric Utility Bike"
Electric Bike Review, RadRunner 2