Danish firm designs the SUV of cargo bikes


This Danish trike is designed for shopping and school runs, and can even fold up a roof and fit an adult in its cargo area. Photo: Mate/dpa

Cargo bikes generally don’t tempt buyers away from four-wheeled SUVs, but one Danish firm appears to be closer than ever with a chunky trike called the Mate SUV.

The makers say the high-tech three-wheeler is a stylish and planet-friendly alternative for those tired of struggling through city traffic and searching for an elusive parking spot.

The Mate has a frame made from 90% recycled aluminium and supports pedal power with a 250W mid-drive motor. It can manage a top speed of 25kph and has a range of 100km.

Calling their bike the “world’s first real alternative” to automobiles, designers say it offers both “the convenience of a car” and “agility of a bike”.

The front cargo area offers modular options, including a tub, roof and seats. Mate said the bike can carry two children, an adult or weekly shopping, including several drink crates.

The makers say 60% of all car trips are under 8km anyway and claim that owning a Mate is cooler and more fun than piloting a regular SUV.

“The Mate SUV has been designed as the perfect alternative to the car, allowing you to easily navigate the city and avoid traffic.

“Whether travelling with your children on the daily school run, your partner, or a friend, the Mate can be relied on for your everyday needs”, claims the website.

Mate says the bike comes with hydraulic brakes and 4G connectivity for live location tracking and anti-theft protection. Owners can check battery range and manage route planning via a smartphone and there is a remote alarm feature.

With a price tag of €6,499 (RM30,400), this is an essential piece of kit along with a massive chain lock if the Mate is left unattended for more than a few minutes.

The Mate SUV is expected to go on sale in September but those interested can reserve one by the end of this month for €49 (RM230). This leads to a discount and the chance to help with final development. – dpa

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