Global car manufacturer Toyota France has taken its first step into micromobility by launching an e-cargo bike in partnership with the French producer Douze Cycles.
The Douze Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo e-bike targets both the last-mile delivery sector and individuals, with an alternative to the car for urban environments.
With a loading space in front of the driver, the e-bike has the capacity to transport up to 100 kg of goods around the city and features a Yamaha 250 Watts motor for pedal-assist, plus a 100-km battery.
Goods can be put either directly on the floor of the platform or in an adapted large box with up to 300 liters in capacity. In addition, the frame is designed to accommodate a tow hitch, which further increases the capacity.
For individuals, the model can transport up to three children or one adult with adjustable seats and safety belts. They are carried in a cocoon made from a polypropylene and aluminium frame.
Frank Marotte, President and CEO of Toyota France told Zag Daily that the company led the hybrid route 25 years ago with the first-generation Prius.
“Hybrid, of which Toyota has become the world leader, is now at the heart of the brand’s multi-technology strategy that meets the specific mobility needs of each consumer,” said Marotte. “Soft and local mobility is one of these needs.
“It is therefore quite naturally, on the basis of a common vision, that we have entered into this partnership with Douze Cycles, a key French player in the cargo bike market. Because of Toyota’s history in France, it seemed extremely important to us that our partner had a production site on the national territory.”
Toyota France Brand Manager Matthieu Piccon told Zag that the pilot project is part of the company’s diversification strategy.
“We aim to become a mobility company,” said Piccon. “We have targeted this niche market as it is very complementary to our own when it comes to moving around in low-emission zones and traffic restrictions in the city centre, which affects our urban customers.”
The initiative aims to seize the growing interest in electric bikes following French government incentives to decarbonise transport. France will pay up to €4,000 to its citizens that swap old polluting cars with electric bicycles.
Thomas Coulbeaut, Founder and President of Douze Cycles, told Zag: “For Douze Cycles, it is a great opportunity and the beginning of a great adventure to partner with a car manufacturer for the first time. With Toyota France, we share the same vision and want to build tomorrow’s mobility together.”
Toyota and Douze have yet to announce the pricing of the e-bike, which is expected to enter the market in September 2023.
From the outset, this cargo bike project incorporates an analysis of the life cycle of previous bicycles from the Douze Cycles brand.
It offers the lowest center of gravity in its category and an adjustable stem and seat tube, being suitable for cyclists whose height is between 1.55 and 1.95 metres.
Steering pulleys are integrated into the bike. The system allows a 75° turn on each side of the zero point for optimal manoeuvrability.
The 500 Wh battery is removable and can be fully charged in four hours from a standard power outlet. Depending on usage, the range can be up to 100 kilometres on a single charge.
Douze Cycles x La mobilité Toyota is equipped with two new generation Tektro M750 four-piston hydraulically operated disc brakes and Schwalbe Pick-Up tires, which are specifically designed for cargo bikes.
The model also contains Busch & Müller IQ-XS Friendly LED lighting technology, which provides cyclists with vision and visibility comparable to that of motorists.