BMW unveils last-mile electric cargo bike concept

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With the development of its Dynamic Cargo electrified bike concept, BMW says it is looking to transfer its experience in the automotive sector to concepts for last-mile delivery operations.

The automotive manufacturer notes that although a wide range of cargo bikes are now available, they tend to be wider and longer than normal bicycles due to the requirements for transporting loads. In conjunction with the resulting additional weight of the frame and payload, this leads to varying degrees of restrictions compared with normal bicycles, particularly with regard to agility and handling.

“Our goal was to develop a concept that retains the agility and driving feel of a normal bicycle while adding innovative, safe transport options,” said Jochen Karg, head of vehicle concepts in the BMW Group’s New Technologies and China division. “The Concept Dynamic Cargo is the first dynamic ‘pick-up’ cargo bike that combines driving pleasure with flexible use and increased year-round suitability.”

The key component of the three-wheel vehicle is its front main frame, which connects to the rear section via a pivot axle and tilts in corners. The rear section remains stable through corners without tilting toward the road. This combines with the electrified powertrain – which is activated as soon as the rider starts to pedal and drives the two rear wheels – to make the cargo bike as easy to ride as a standard bicycle.

As well as producing far greater riding stability in all weather conditions compared with two-wheeler designs, BMW claims that the rear wheels, with their rigid, non-pivoting axle mounting, provide the basis for a versatile, pick-up-style transport platform. This is coupled with a range of around 19km and a removable battery pack for easy charging.

The tricycle can be fitted with a selection of modular attachments for carrying cargo, and BMW says the design principle paves the way for many other use cases. The non-pivoting design of the transport platform has the additional benefit that the rider is barely aware of any extra weight being carried, enabling safe, stable transportation of all loads while also ensuring a pleasurable riding experience. The concept is rounded off with the ability to add a modular weather protection system.

BMW has no plans to manufacture the Dynamic Cargo itself but says it is already in discussions with potential licensees.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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