Can cargo bike deliveries save our cities from traffic congestion?
Thomas Vulliez, head of MATE, believes that the current all-to-familiar hassle can be tackled dramatically by vehicles with smaller footprints and higher efficiency.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 08, 2022
Over 60% of our car rides are short or very short, mainly under 5 miles, contributing to traffic congestion. Copenhagen-based e-bike company MATE aims to help improve this all-to-familiar current situation in the cities with the launch of MATE SUV.
— It challenges the traditional way of moving from one place to another, CEO Thomas Vulliez explains. Instead of reaching for your car keys, it is easier on the environment and our health to ride this, allowing you to run errands, pick up kids from after sports or school, and carry loads of goods that might need a car otherwise.
Founded in 2016, the brand met its success with the sleek and foldable MATE bike and has also found its own niche thanks to partnerships with the likes of Moncler, Palm Angels, and, most recently, Luisa Via Roma, garnering customers from 80+ countries. The new MATE SUV, Vulliez continues, is made of 90% recycled aluminium and comes with several special features.
— It has a powerful mid-drive motor and torque sensor that can tackle any elevation with ease and a LED bar, that allows for optimum visibility, he shares. The so-called Wing-technology makes it child’s play to load as well as provide barrier-free access for children. It can hold up to 210 litres, equivalent to, for example, two children, one adult, four crates of drink, or a big contrabass. It also features dual disc brakes and has a range of up to 100 km. And, it does not have an uncomfortable tilt when you make sharp turns.
How will your sector transform, now and onwards?
— Reports say that deliveries in urban environments are 1,61 times faster than by delivery van, and with the growing number of cities closing down their inner circles from traffic, cargo bike deliveries will be at the forefront. Currently, one or two people travel per car, which is designed for 4-5 people, taking up space on roads, in cities and in parking. This can be tackled dramatically by vehicles with smaller footprints and higher efficiency.
According to Vulliez, MATE also finds inspiration from Denmark — its home market, where 50% of the population are active cyclists — and Scandinavia.
— Those markets are mature, we are ahead of the rest of the world. But, the fun part is finding the refined solution to the way we move in cities which gives anyone across the world a fun ride but also provides a practical solution. Another place for inspiration is to observe the industry of mobility, fashion and lifestyle in general. We look at biking as a lifestyle choice and one that needs to suit personal expression. The changing times and choices of people are experimental and forever evolving. There’s so much we learn from the way we move that is understood and replicated in our daily lives, he says, continuing,
— The mobility industry is gaining momentum and every day there is a new solution and new perspective. E-mobility on the other hand is creating waves all over the universe — we have found ways to reach the moon and Mars in sustainable rockets. The micro-mobility industry provides growth factors for all small players such as us — we propel a movement of people and look at product in a way that is created by the contribution of the customer who handle an e-bike in their every day.
To get more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter here