Tiny Electric Trucks Are Coming to a Bike Lane Near You


27 points by PaulHoule on 2024-05-15 | 17 comments

Automated Summary

The City of New York has introduced Cargi B, its first e-cargo bike, as a prototype for delivering packages in a more eco-friendly and space-saving way. The bike, which has a Richard Scarry-esque appearance, can carry a significant amount of weight and is exempt from the new rules allowing e-cargo bikes to operate in the city, which limit their speed to 15 miles per hour and forbid idling on sidewalks. These rules also permit e-cargo bikes to be up to 16 feet long, seven feet high, and four feet wide. The aim of these changes is to reduce the number of trucks on the road and alleviate traffic congestion. Moreover, the new rules are expected to help delivery companies avoid the congestion pricing fees that will be implemented in June 2021. While cyclists have expressed concerns about sharing space with e-cargo bikes, which are much larger than traditional bicycles, the city's transportation commissioner and advocates believe that the new rules will improve delivery efficiency and reduce traffic and pollution.


JohnFen on 2024-05-15

Oh, no. e-Bikes and the like have already made many bike lanes unfriendly and occasionally dangerous for bicycles. I hope this sort of thing doesn't make bike lanes basically unusable as bike lanes.

MarkusWandel on 2024-05-15

It does appear that these things only have pedals to legally qualify as a bicycle of some sort. And yes, the fat tire, 100lb+ behemoths, often ridden in a way that suggest the rider is not an experienced go-fast cyclist, are a menace on the bike paths, never mind actual micro trucks.

jrussino on 2024-05-15

I get the sentiment, but I really hate to see pushback against something like e-Bikes. If anything, we need more light transportation like e-bikes and cargo bikes and electric scooters. If these things are causing problems for pedestrians and non-electric cyclists, the problem isn't with their adoption but with the lack of good infrastructure to support all of these. In places like the Netherlands these things coexist without any problems and it's way better for everybody.

JohnFen on 2024-05-15

> I really hate to see pushback against something like e-Bikes.

I'm not against e-bikes. But I'd say about 80% of the ones I encounter on bike paths pose a real risk to everyone else because the people riding them don't know how to behave.

They ride far too fast, they don't warn bicyclists or pedestrians when they're passing, and they tend to be overly aggressive. I personally know of two instances where e-bikes have sent people to the hospital. Basically, they're bringing car driving habits to the bike paths.

It's not about the e-bikes. It's about people using them without giving a thought to sharing the path.

If the situation continues, it will encourage bicyclists to stop using their bikes for daily commutes and get back into cars.

> the problem isn't with their adoption but with the lack of good infrastructure to support all of these.

I don't think this is it where I live. We have excellent biking infrastructure. You can get to and from most places without even sharing a road with a car. I don't know how the infrastructure could better support the coexistence of e-bikes and bicycles, short of making an entirely new set of paths for them to keep them and nonmotorized vehicles and pedestrians separate, like we do for bikes and cars.

beefnugs on 2024-05-16

Well it is not this yet, so lets get a few more bikes out there for now:


tdeck on 2024-05-15

They're going to get blocked by the full-size trucks that are already parked there!

mberlove on 2024-05-15

It's not a poor idea, but to work it would require further revamping of roadways. The bike lanes in most major areas are unlikely to support this well (given proximity to traffic, breaks in the lanes, etc).

It may end up moot -- the article reads a bit on the speculative side, and this project might fall the way of many startups of "good idea, bad implementation," but I'm willing to eat my words in the future on this.

heisgone on 2024-05-15

Maybe we should require a plate for commercial use of the bike lane and use the money to fund more bike lanes.

peterpost2 on 2024-05-15

This has been working in bike friendly cities in Europe for close to a decade for now. Perfect for the last mile transport, here in Sweden 90% of my packages get delivered with them.

tsss on 2024-05-15

Such a pointless exercise of regulation dodging. We should have more cargo per driver and not less.

zardo on 2024-05-15

Using the cheap cadence sensing pedal assist seems like a bad idea for a heavy cargo bike.

xhkkffbf on 2024-05-15

I like how the existence of pedals is all it takes to use the bike lane. The rider may only contribute a tiny fraction of what it takes to move the rig, but somehow it's seen as a "bike".

kjkjadksj on 2024-05-15

Doesn’t matter if its really an electric moped either in terms of speed. No enforcement happens on the bike path.

chung8123 on 2024-05-15

In some states they are allowed on the sidewalks as well.

cut3 on 2024-05-15

Awww like little american rickshaws, so adorable. I wonder how long until I can get one in an uber :)

PaulHoule on 2024-05-15

When I visited NYC last month I was amazed at how the city had been transformed by e-Bikes and delivery services. If same-day delivery is going to be a thing in NYC you really need that kind of vehicle.

chung8123 on 2024-05-15

Disclaimer: I didn't get through the paywall.

I wonder if this will force the thought about a separate road/area for e-bikes and the like. E-bikes and even gas bikes are pretty dangerous in my city and they ride on the sidewalks as well. Their only saving grace is not a ton of people walk.