As we say in our guide to the best e-cargo bikes, they’re great if you need to carry a passenger. We hadn’t envisaged this particular scenario though. Isabelle Plumereau’s 'Corbicyclette' is an e-cargo hearse. (Corbillard is French for hearse.)
She reckons an electric bike is ideal for the job on the basis that it allows for a “slow, silent, quiet procession,” that is in keeping with the tempo of walking mourners.
The front of the, um, cargo compartment opens wide. A series of rollers within then allow for the coffin to be slid in or out. (Needless to say, there are robust stoppers to prevent the horror scenario of shedding her load should she for some reason need to brake heavily.)
"I am as attached to the form as to the substance," said Plumerau. "For me, it is very important to accompany the families by giving them meaning in the ceremony – but also by giving them beauty, because beauty is what will also bring comfort."
It does sound like a mellow way of going about things. On the Le Ciel et La Terre website, the service is described thus:
“With the Corbicyclette, people are once again at the heart of funeral ceremonies. Because some days, you have to be able and know how to take your time, Corbicyclette makes its way gently to the final resting place.
“We follow it, we accompany it, we surround it, in a gentle procession, on foot, bicycle, roller skates... For a goodbye full of tenderness and poetry, the Corbicyclette offers sensitivity on the way to mourning.”