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Best Electric Cargo Bikes for Easy, Two-Wheeled Hauling

Best Electric Cargo Bikes
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Updated February 15, 2024

Spending far less than you would on a truck or car, sidestepping expensive vehicle insurance, never paying for a drop of gasoline, and casually running your errands or riding with the kids around the neighborhood—these are just a handful of benefits that come with adopting a cargo e-bike. The best electric cargo bikes cruise like a dream while hauling hundreds of pounds of gear or passengers, are genuinely fun to ride, and are an especially practical mode of transportation in these turbulent economic times. 

As someone who has tested and reviewed my share of e-bikes, I know how challenging it can be to realize which e-bike is best-suited for your lifestyle, as well as how awesome it feels when you get your hands on that perfect bike. With that in mind, I’ve researched, compared, and tested out a number of models to find the highest weight capacities for maximum cargo, the most feature-rich bicycles, and all-around best electric cargo bikes available today, as well as tips to help you select the right option for your daily commute.

What to consider when choosing an electric cargo bike

Power and capacity 

Since the entire point of an electric cargo bike is to easily carry a heavy load, look for bikes with a high weight capacity to ensure you’ll be able to carry everything you need, as well as a powerful motor to keep your ride smooth and steady despite the additional cargo. Also, consider the terrain of your area, as some e-bikes effortlessly fly up inclines while others are better-suited for flatter locales. If you need to regularly haul a lot of cargo, seek out bikes that include a throttle, so you can easily get moving from a standstill without needing to pedal too hard, and to help make it up inclines.

Whether you’re interested in carrying people or cargo, a higher weight capacity gives your ride extra versatility for whatever you may need to transport in the future. While a 350 pound weight capacity is great for an extra passenger or lighter loads (be sure to include your own weight when considering the total weight capacity you’ll need from a bike), a 400-450 pound limit will allow you to carry large loads, while anything that lets you pack on 500 pounds of cargo or more is best for heavy-duty hauling.

Range

Cargo bikes are heavier and bulkier than other e-bikes, so they tend to have a relatively limited range. An electric bike’s range refers to how many miles it may be able to travel on a single charge under the best possible conditions.

If you’re buzzing around the neighborhood to pick up kids from school and back, or running errands, this shouldn’t be too big of a concern. However, please note that even electric cargo bikes that boast an extra-long range will certainly come up short when loaded down with a lot of weight because its motor will have to work that much harder to get from point A to point B.

Type

There are also a few types of cargo e-bikes to choose from, and each has its own pluses and minuses. For example, longtail models offer a lengthier rear rack for stowing cargo or passengers behind the rider. Longtail cargo bikes offer plenty of storage space and are often slimmer than other kinds of cargo e-bikes, making them a good pick for homes with limited storage space.

Front box cargo bikes include a sizable, low-slung, box-like container on its front end that effortlessly holds a large number of items, extra-large or inconveniently-shaped objects, or multiple passengers. Although these tend to have the most room for storage, they are also normally the largest and heaviest types of cargo bikes.

While most electric cargo bikes fall into one of the above categories, there are interesting outliers available such as compact, foldable, and tricycle-like e-bikes to consider, too.

Features

In addition to extra accessories that will help make your unique commute easier, such as additional storage compartments or a cargo net, some handy features worth searching for include premium brakes for extra stopping power, models with enhanced suspension for a smoother ride, a lockable battery pack that cannot be removed from your bike without a key, and safety features such as blinkers, reflectors, and a bell.

Also, if your cargo e-bike doesn’t include an anti-theft device, I highly recommend investing in one of this year’s best bike locks to keep your new ride safe and secure for years to come.

Comfort

It’s not easy to identify a comfy e-bike at a glance, but comfort-focused features such as a height-adjustable seat and handlebar stem, a design that promotes an upright and relaxed posture, and shock-absorbing tires will all come together for a comprehensively cozier ride.

Our top picks of the best electric cargo bikes

Best value electric cargo bike: RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bike

Best value electric cargo bike
RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bike

RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bike

Anyone looking to get the biggest bang for their buck will appreciate the good range, powerful, incline-dominating motor, and sturdy construction of this sub $2,000 cargo e-bike. (It also made our list of the best electric bikes—and RadWagon made our list for the best folding electric bikes.) The RadWagon 4 sports above average features across the board, and its ability to carry 350 pounds of equipment, trio of stylish color options, convenient throttle assist (with a max speed of 20mph), and a shock-absorbing design gives this model more value than you may expect at this relatively low price point. 

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 350 pounds
  • Max range: 45 miles
  • Weight: 76.7 pounds
  • Colors: Orange, white, black
  • Price: $1,999

What we like:

  • Especially responsive brakes
  • Easy to adjust for all body types
  • Stable and smooth ride

What we don’t like:

  • Its 350 pound weight capacity is solid, but it’s far from the most powerful electric cargo bike out there

The bottom line:

The zippy RadWagon 4 is an especially affordable electric cargo bike, and if you want to cruise around while getting your errands done, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.

Get it here: RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bike


Best family electric cargo bike: Bunch The Original 3.0

Best family electric cargo bike
Bunch The Original 3.0

Bunch The Original 3.0

Although there are many electric cargo bikes that offer substantial seating for kids, nothing compares to the spacious cargo area of Bunch’s The Original 3.0. Its innovative design features a pair of benches and four seat belts, which gives up to four little kids plenty of area to safely stretch out in the boxy compartment. While kids will appreciate the cozy seating arrangement, adults will like how easily it holds pets and a sizable amount of cargo, as well as its stable, tricycle-like design, strong motor that effortlessly chugs along even with a full cart of kids, and its rugged components.

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 350 pounds
  • Max range: 35 miles
  • Weight: 152 pounds
  • Colors: Honey woodgrain, cool black, classic sedona woodgrain, sleek white, custom designs
  • Price: $4,999

What we like:

  • Huge capacity for bulky items and passengers
  • Dependably stable tricycle design
  • Responsive braking system

What we don’t like:

  • Bulky and heavy

The bottom line:

Between how it easily carries up to four small kids or a considerable amount of cargo, and how smoothly it rides, The Original 3.0 is an excellent fit for family outings.

Get it here: Bunch The Original 3.0


Best budget electric cargo bike: Specialized Bikes Haul ST

Best budget electric cargo bike
Specialized Bikes Haul ST

Specialized Bikes Haul ST

The Haul ST’s high weight capacity of nearly 420 pounds, easily adjustable components that ensure anyone can be seated comfortably, and great 60-mile range makes this electric cargo bike a steal at under $3,000. While it’s a versatile cargo bike right out of the box, Specialized Bikes offers plenty of supplemental accessories to fine-tune your ride for hauling gear or passengers. In addition, I’m particularly impressed at how this workhorse powers up inclines and is a breeze to maneuver, compared to other cargo bikes in its weight class—which is why it also made our list for the best electric commuter bikes.

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 419 pounds
  • Max range: 60 miles
  • Weight: 77 pounds
  • Colors: Gloss white, satin black, sage green
  • Price: $2,800

What we like:

  • Powerful engine soars with cargo, passengers, and effortlessly takes inclines
  • Highly adjustable seat and handlebars to easily fit all riders
  • Plenty of storage accessories to choose from

What we don’t like:

  • Any complaints would be nit-picking! 
  • While it is an exceptional value for its price point, it may not be considered a “budget” option by everyone

The bottom line:

Between its remarkably powerful engine, long range, and handy accessory packs, the Haul ST is remarkably versatile, especially considering its low price point.

Get it here: Specialized Bikes Haul ST


Best electric cargo bike for versatility: Trek Fetch+ 4

Best electric cargo bike for versatility
Fetch+ 4

For those looking for a cargo e-bike capable of hauling anything life throws your way, the mighty Trek Fetch+ 4 and its incredible weight capacity of over 550 pounds is well worth your consideration. The ability to effortlessly carry up to four kids or a whole lot of cargo aside, this beast of an e-bike includes an impressively powerful motor, excellent brakes, and an especially stable and smooth ride as one of the best fat tire electric bikes available today. While many front box cargo bikes skimp on the accessories, I was pleased to see that Trek offers a range of handy storage and seating accessories that allow owners to fully customize this powerhouse of a bike.

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 551 pounds
  • Max range: 86 miles
  • Weight: 165.35 pounds
  • Colors: Lava, Dnister black
  • Price: $8,499.99

What we like:

  • Capable of hauling extreme loads
  • Spacious storage compartment
  • Rugged construction

What we don’t like:

  • Expensive
  • No throttle

The bottom line:

Whether you’re making a big purchase at the hardware store or picking up a few kids from school, the Trek Fetch+ 4 is ready for anything.

Get it here: Trek Fetch+ 4


Best compact electric cargo bike: Aventon Abound Ebike

Best compact electric cargo bike
Aventon - Abound Ebike w/ up to 50 mile Max Operating Range and 20 MPH Max Speed - One size - Sage

Aventon - Abound Ebike w/ up to 50 mile Max Operating Range and 20 MPH Max Speed - One size - Sage

While there’s a lot to like about electric cargo bikes, many are just too big to store in small areas. The Abound Ebike’s slim profile makes it easy to stow in a cramped garage or shed. Despite its slender outline, this model has a hefty weight capacity of 440 pounds, as well as a number of novel features rarely seen in other cargo bikes, such as an integrated storage bag, footboards to keep passengers comfortable, and a bright, backlit LCD display. Some other things about this capable bike that caught my attention are its powerful motor, convenient and zippy throttle, and useful range of over 80 miles per charge. Shopping tip: Aventon also made our list of the best cheap electric bikes

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 440 pounds
  • Max range: 50 miles
  • Weight: 81 pounds
  • Colors: Sage, polaris
  • Price: $1,799

What we like:

  • Inexpensive
  • Powerful motor
  • Fast and genuinely fun to ride

What we don’t like:

  • Honestly, no complaints

The bottom line:

Anyone who needs a cargo bike, but is low on space, will appreciate its slim frame and convenient telescoping handle for easy storage.

Get it here: Aventon Abound Ebike


Best small-wheel electric cargo bike: Lectric XPedition Cargo eBike

Best small-wheel electric cargo bike
XPedition Cargo eBike

While I appreciate the shock-absorbing properties of oversized fat tires, the Lectric XPedition Cargo eBike is easily the best option for anyone hoping for an electric cargo bike with smaller wheels. Its rugged, puncture-resistant tires aside, it’s noteworthy that this model has a range of up to 150 miles, can carry 450 pounds, and is priced under $1,500; as long as you don’t mind a much bumpier ride than what you’d experience with bigger tires, its peppy throttle, responsive brakes, and ability to cruise right up inclines is absolutely worth the low price.

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 450 pounds
  • Max range: 75 miles (single battery) 150 miles (dual battery)
  • Weight: 68 pounds
  • Colors: White
  • Price: $1,487

What we like:

  • High top speed of 28mph
  • Extremely large range for a cargo bike
  • Smaller, puncture-resistant tires

What we don’t like:

  • Its smaller wheels are great, but you’ll feel every bump in the road

The bottom line:

With a 150-mile maximum range, high weight capacity of 450 pounds, and an especially sturdy construction, it’s the best small-wheel electric cargo bike out there.

Get it here: Lectric XPedition Cargo eBike


Best performance folder electric cargo bike: Tern HSD P5i

Best performance folder electric cargo bike
Tern HSD P5i

While you can’t expect a cargo bike capable of carting nearly 400 pounds to fit neatly under your desk, the Tern HSD P5i’s fully retractable handlebar stem gives adopters much more leeway for finding a spot to store their new e-bike. The HSD P5i’s pair of vibrant color options grabbed my attention, but its practically silent operation, dependably smooth and stable ride, and huge array of optional accessories kept it. 

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 396.8 pounds
  • Max range: 76 miles
  • Weight: 61.5 pounds
  • Colors: Sea breeze, dragon fruit
  • Price: $4,599

What we like:

  • Compact stem folds and unfolds in seconds
  • Its Gates Carbon Belt drive is practically maintenance-free
  • Especially comfortable to ride

What we don’t like:

  • Its brakes are excellent, but comparatively noisy for this otherwise silent bike

The bottom line:

Since electric cargo bikes are generally bulky and heavier than others, a collapsable stem is a great space-saving feature for this premium cruiser.

Get it here: Tern HSD P5i


Best longtail electric cargo bike: Velotric Packer 1

Best longtail electric cargo bike
Velotric Packer 1

Velotric Packer 1

There are plenty of longtail electric cargo bikes, but the Velotric Packer 1 is the only one out there that integrates “Apple Find My,” so iPhone owners can instantly track down their ride anywhere in the world via its item-tracking companion app. Since the Packer 1 can also hold over 400 pounds, sports a built-in waterproof storage bag, a powerful motor that soars over most terrain types at a top speed of 25mph, and a big collection of optional accessories to fully customize your bike, there’s a lot here for Android owners to like, too.

Specifications:

  • Payload capacity: 440 pounds
  • Max range: 52 miles
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Colors: Sky blue, indigo gray
  • Price: $1,999

What we like:

  • Comfortably seats two or three passengers
  • High weight capacity
  • Integrated “Apple Find My” tracking feature

What we don’t like:

  • No noteworthy complaints

The bottom line:

The Velotric Packer 1 is surprisingly versatile due to its powerful motor, array of useful accessories for cargo and passengers, and is impressively swift despite its additional length.

Get it here: Velotric Packer 1


How we chose the best electric cargo bikes

I kept several important factors in mind as I compared, researched, and test-rode a number of models to select the best electric cargo bikes on the market today. Some of the most important aspects that determined which e-bikes made the list include cargo capacity, range per charge, comfort and convenience, durability, additional features, warranty, and price.

What type of electric cargo bike is best for me?

Named after their signature extended rear racks, longtail bikes are well suited for carrying passengers or cargo behind the rider. These tend to be slimmer, easier to turn, and faster than front boxes, take up far less room for storage, and are easy to outfit with an array of accessories made for the average bike. On the other hand, drivers aren’t able to watch over their cargo or passengers while riding, the longtail itself does not offer nearly as much storage space as a front box bike, and many longtail buyers will need to invest in extra accessories such as a cargo net, basket, or extra padded seat to get the most out of their cargo bike.

A front box bicycle is easily identified by the large crate-like box attached to the front of the bike. They can stow more than the average cargo bike due to their large, low-slung box, and are especially handy for carrying multiple passengers, bulky or unwieldy items, and extra-heavy loads. On the other hand, front box bikes are much heavier and bulkier than longtails, tend to be pricier than their longtail counterparts, and require much more space to store.

Both longtail and front box-type cargo bikes have their perks and negatives, however it is up to you to decide which option is best-suited for hauling your cargo and passengers around safely and effectively.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is an electric cargo bike worth it?

If you need an efficient way to transport bulky items, pets, or a passenger or two, a quality electric cargo bike is certainly worth the investment because you’ll save on gas and get some extra exercise during your daily commute, plus, these bikes are far more affordable than a car or truck.

There are a few potential downsides, however. These specialized e-bikes are pricier than the average bicycle, and tend to be both heavier and feature a shorter range than other electric bikes.

If you make regular rides to pick up and drop off kids from school, pick up groceries in your neighborhood, or find yourself needing to move a lot of items across town on a regular basis, an electric cargo bike is a worthwhile mode of transportation. If you’re curious about e-bikes in general, read our in-depth guide to what an electric bike is and how to choose an electric bike.

What is the lightest electric cargo bike?

Although electric cargo bikes excel at carrying substantial loads of gear and people, the tradeoff is that these models tend to be heavier and bulkier than other electric bicycles. The average cargo e-bike is over 70 pounds, however the Tern HSD P5i is the lightweight champion of this list, weighing in at just 61.5 pounds. If you love the idea of an electric bike that easily holds almost 400 pounds, yet is significantly lighter than most cargo bikes, the HSD P5i may be for you. 

Are there different types of electric cargo bikes?

While all electric cargo bikes will carry you and a large load around your area, there are a few notable design differences between them, and these are the two most common variants:

Longtail: Named after the bike’s long rear rack, these bikes are made to stow cargo and seat passengers behind the rider. 

Front loader: Noted for the large box or bucket-like container affixed to the front of the bike, these are great for hauling big and awkwardly shaped items, kids, and pets, and the ability to keep its contents within the rider’s line of sight at all times is a handy perk.

Of course, there are a few electric cargo bikes made differently such as hefty, yet stable tricycle-like models, but most are either longtails or front loaders.

How fast does an average cargo e-bike go?

Electric cargo bikes prioritize carrying heavy loads and stability over speedier e-bikes, and outside of a few exceptions, most have a top speed of between 15 and 20mph. However, there are certainly exceptions. If you need an extra-speedy e-bike, look for a “Class-3” model, as these electric bicycles can reach a top speed of 28mph.

Note that the laws regarding Class-3 e-bikes vary between states and countries, so please research if your area requires anyone riding a Class-3 bike to have a license, wear a helmet, or whether or not these speedy bicycles are legal to ride at all. For more info, see our explainer on how fast electric bikes go.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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