Good e-bikes don’t come cheap, and that’s doubly true of good e-cargo bikes, which are built to cope with a greater workload. You can consider under £3,000 price bracket to be moderate pricing for an e-cargo bike – and don’t expect to find too many options below £2,000.
The best e-cargo bikes for under £3,000
Our pick: Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 - €1,899
Our other pick: Mycle Cargo - £2,299
The budget option: Rad Power Radrunner - €1,499
The big basket option: Orbea Katu-E – £2,199
Further reading: The best e-cargo bikes (overall)
With e-cargo bikes, what you’ll typically get for the extra money is more torque, a bigger battery and a more robust build.
You can obviously also expect some sort of cargo carrying contraption or other – usually a rack or box of some kind, or maybe a bench seat or similar for passengers.
Generally, e-cargo bikes will feature a mid-motor rather than a hub one. A mid-motor tends to be smoother and more efficient and will provide more power from a low speed – which is exactly what you want if you’re carrying a load.
Battery sizes will almost certainly be larger too. For a cargo bike you really want a minimum of 400Wh and ideally more.
As for design, this varies considerably. In a sense every bike with a rack or a basket is a cargo bike. However, the ones we’re looking at here are built with the transportation of goods as a central concern, rather than an afterthought.
Longtails – bikes with a longer rear rack – are perhaps the most common type. These provide an obvious means of accommodating a passenger and the extra space can also be used to secure bags or panniers.
Box bikes, or Long Johns, go the other way with the cargo carried out front between the rider and front wheel.
While not literally bikes, you’ll also see e-trikes (often with two wheels at the front) and electric four wheelers. If these operate with a 250W motor and also meet a few other requirements, then they are still considered electrically-assisted pedal cycles (EAPC) in UK law – which means you do not need a licence to ride them and they do not need to be registered, taxed or insured.
The e-cargo bikes below are the best that we’ve had in for review. There are certainly other good ones available, but we can’t vouch for them in quite the same way as the ones we’ve ridden ourselves.
For a bit more information on e-cargo bike design and to see a few of the more expensive options that are beyond the scope of this article, take a look at our overall guide to the best e-cargo bikes.
Best e-cargo bikes under £2,000
It is safe to say there is not a great deal of competition in the sub-£2,000 region. We’re currently only recommending two bikes – and they’re from the same manufacturer.
Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon 4 is an excellent budget load carrier that’ll be plenty of cargo bike for many people.
The bike comes with a surprisingly hefty 672Wh frame-mounted battery. The integrated rear rack can take two child seats, or seat pads for two bigger kids, and you can fit a retaining bar to stop them falling off. You can also get cargo bags, a front basket and any number of other little add-ons.
The rear hub motor’s not powerful enough to haul big loads up big hills – but this might not be an issue where you live. All in all, it’s undeniably a bargain.
It seems fair to say that the look of the Mycle Cargo is reminiscent of the RadWagon. Consider it an indication that this kind of longtail e-cargo bike is a practical and winning design.
We've given Rad Power's offering the nod on the basis of price and the sheer number of accessories available, but it's a close-run thing and the Mycle Cargo wins out in a couple of areas that may well be more important to you.
Firstly, although it's again driven by a rear hub motor, it's a punchier one that will make hauling heavy loads up hills an easier proposition. Secondly, while Mycle are also operating on a direct-to-consumer basis, they're a UK based firm which may (or may not) give you greater peace of mind.
Both are cracking bikes. It's probably worth reading our two reviews if you're trying to weigh one against the other.
The RadWagon’s smaller sibling is, entirely unsurprisingly, cut from similar cloth.
Again, a key part of the appeal is that you get to fit the bike out how you want (for a bit of extra outlay). You can get a padded passenger seat, cargo bags, a front rack and more.
Loaded with a passenger or a great weight of stuff, the RadRunner’s rear motor (which is allied to that same 672Wh battery) will need a bit of help on steep inclines, but on normal road hills and the flat, it’ll be largely unfazed.
There’s not quite the same carrying potential as the RadWagon, or most of the other bikes we’re featuring here, but it’s still capable of carrying up to 54kg.
We won’t pretend there aren’t better options out there for more money, but the RadRunner is certainly fun to ride and represents hard-to-beat value.
Best e-cargo bikes from £2,000 to £3,000
The Orbea Katu-E is specifically designed for front-load carrying with a large basket attached to the frame and there are also mounting points for rear pannier racks.
It’s fitted with a super powerful Bosch Performance line CX drive system and a 400Wh battery with ample stopping power from hydraulic disc brakes.
All in all, it’s a compact and nippy e-cargo bike that will get you up any gradient, even with heavy loads.