Mate, the Indiegogo darling that burst onto the scene in 2016 with an inexpensive and fun folding e-bike, has just shown off a working prototype of its first electric cargo bike. The Mate SUV, as it’s called, targets families looking to replace a car — something that’s not only possible, but preferred in bicycle-friendly cities like Copenhagen, where Mate was founded.
Electric cargo bikes aren’t cheap, unless you compare the price to that of a car. AAA now pegs the average annual cost to own and operate a car at over $10,000 each year in the US. These estimates range from £3,556 in the UK to €7,392 in Europe. Those recurring costs make the Mate SUV a bargain at €6,499 (about $6,900) when it eventually ships in September 2023. The Mate SUV will be manufactured and assembled in Italy and initially sold in the EU and UK.
For that money you get the European standard 250W motor with a 25km/h (16mph) top speed and range up to 100km (62 miles) from what looks like a single battery configuration. The Italian-made Oli Edge motor is mounted mid-drive where it can produce up to 90nM of torque to propel the rider and two small children forward, or whatever you choose to stuff into its 210L of carrying capacity. Hydraulic twin disc brakes help bring everything to a controlled stop.
The Mate SUV is fitted with a Carbon belt drive, instead of a messy chain and derailleur, connected to an Enviolo Heavy Duty hub with internal gears. The bike weighs 49kg (108lbs) before adding accessories like a child seat, off-road tires, and all-weather roof. It comes with integrated front and back lights to make it road-legal, as well an LED lightbar that frames the front box. Rounding out the specs are live location tracking, unspecified “anti-theft protection,” and a USB jack to keep your phone powered.
It’s an interesting electric cargo e-bike from a company that’s undergone a lot of transformation recently via external investment and new management. You can try it out yourself when then Mate SUV roadshow begins in a few months in select European cities.