What will the (sub-)urban mobility of the future look like? Which part of it can we already use today? The IAA MOBILITY Show 2021 breaks new ground in many respects and presents an exciting mix of mobility concepts – from the fully electrified Mercedes G-Class to small city vehicles, e-(cargo) bikes and e-scooters. We’ve picked out the 17 most innovative concepts for you and put them in order by adding our 5 key takeaways.
There is an exciting and optimistic mood in the field of micromobility and e-mobility – one thing is certain: even though the IAA MOBILITY must have felt like the first time for car and bike manufacturers alike – the future is not binary, but rather a sensible and balanced mix of mobility solutions. In our highlight article, we give you an initial overview of the most innovative new products, as well as the most exciting solutions and concepts. We want to actively shape urban life and (sub-)urban mobility! And it is not only e-bikes and e-cars that play a central role in this. Also – or especially – what lies in between is of great importance. And so, it is not surprising that e-cargo bikes, SUV eMTBs, SUVs, as well as ZUVs, or Zero-emission Utility Vehicles, and a new generation of lively and compact city vehicles, or as they are called, runabouts, all of which are brimming with innovations, will be at the IAA MOBILITY 2021. One thing is clear: things are moving forward and it doesn’t matter whether on two, three, four or even more wheels. We look ahead with optimism and excitement, and say: Here’s to a bright future!
It’s 5°C outside, it’s just starting to rain and a freezing wind blows in your face as soon as you open the door. Now, that’s just the weather for a 12 km ebike ride to work! Tough luck. And for this very scenario – and of course a thousand others – a new-generation electric runabout is the perfect vehicle. They are called the L7e class: light, four-wheeled motor vehicles that fall somewhere between an e-bike and an e-car and are supposed to be a game changer in micromobility. The Microlino 2.0 offers space for two people and three crates of beer. Cheers! With a length of only 2.5 m, it can be parked at a 90° angle to the road without any problems, and the front door makes it easy to get out through the front afterwards. Thanks to the sunroof, you even get that convertible feeling in good weather! Practical: the little runabout can also be charged with a normal socket. Depending on taste or preferences, the Microlino 2.0 is available in three versions and with three battery sizes that promise a range of 95, 175 or even 230 km. The electric car moves forward at a maximum speed of 90 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 50 km/h in 5 seconds. Interested in one of the little rockets? Production is scheduled to start this year and the prices start at € 12,000.
For more info on the Microlino 2.0, head to microlino-car.com
CUBE Concept Dynamic Cargo Bike inspired by BMW 2022
A behemoth has been announced! This is probably what you get when two Bavarian companies set about to develop a cargo bike – and it looks promising! Thanks to two drive wheels, the power of the Bosch Performance Line CX motor and an axle differential, the e-cargo bike allows you to lean into corners as you normally would, while the rear part with the transport box that holds up to 60 kg of weight remains upright. This should not only ensure a natural ride feel, intuitive handling and comfort, but also bring a large portion of stability and safety to everyday e-cargo biking – it doesn’t matter whether you load it up with shopping, parcels or even two kids! And if you want to transport even more load, you can mount a front carrier that can hold up to 20 kg more and cleverly accommodate 300×400 mm Eurobox containers. In the end, we might have to stop saying that the Bavarians only know how to down a beer or two… If you’d like to pass the time until the concept bike is ready for series production by reading, our e-bike comparison test and the test of the CUBE Cargo Sport Dual hybrid cargo bike are the perfect companions for you.
For more info on the Bavarian cargo bike, head to cube.eu
The inventors of the City Transformer could hardly have come up with a more fitting name for their little runabout. The unusual chassis of the vehicle, which was designed in Israel, allows the four wheels to be extended and retracted, making it possible to either drive the City Transformer with a width of only 100 cm in the city and get it perpendicularly into any parking space, or to fly it in performance mode with a width of 140 cm and a speed of up to 90 km/h over country roads. At the same time, the Transformer is claimed to accelerate from 0 to 50 km/h in 5 seconds, go up to 180 km on a single battery charge and to charge an empty battery to 80% within 30 minutes. Sounds exciting? We think so too! We will keep you posted and are looking forward to the first test of the City Transformer.
For more info on the City Transformer, head to citytransformer.com
Stromer ST2022 Concept-Bike
The Swiss are pushing the pedal to the metal and, after the ST3 at the Eurobike, are releasing the next S-Pedelec with the Pinion C1.9 central gearing and Gates Carbon Drive. The new battery with a capacity of no less than 1,400 Wh is definitely one of the highlights. Wow! With this on board, many of us could commute for a whole week without plugging the bike into the socket even once. The ABS system in the front wheel is supposed to provide extra safety in road traffic, it’s a feature about which we are particularly excited. As usual, Stromer don’t believe in half-measures when it comes to connectivity and offer the complete package of the app, GPS tracking, Smartlock, individual motor settings and more. Are you interested in this golden beauty? Then you’ve got to be patient, the S-Pedelec is scheduled for the next summer. Until then, you have plenty of time to read our big comparison test of the 19 most exciting e-bike concepts of 2021!
For more info on the ST2022 Concept-Bike, head to stromerbike.com
Segway Ninebot e-scooter and e-moped
The Segway is dead – long live the Segway Ninebot! Most of us probably associate the name Segway with the quirky two-wheeled vehicles on which you can jet through the city standing up. Last year, however, production was discontinued and after the takeover of Ninebot, Segway Ninebot has a new and promising product: an electric scooter. The e-scooter, which is available in Germany and Austria in three different versions, is already available from € 2,299 and thus costs less than many e-bikes. Depending on the model, the scooter achieves a range of 75 up to 140 km, and the battery can be removed for easy charging. All models will be available either as a 25 km/h version or in a version up to 45 km/h. In addition to an anti-theft system, the scooters also have a tracking service so that the current location of the e-scooter can be viewed at any time via the Segway Ninebot app. Automatic locking and unlocking of the motor when approaching is also possible. According to the manufacturer, there is room for up to two people on the Segway scooter, and the storage compartment under the saddle has a volume of 27 litres. In addition to the e-scooters, which should be available this year and cost between € 1,799 and € 3,599 depending on the equipment, Segway promises an e-moped that comes at € 1,799, too. We would be very surprised not to see many of the electrically powered scooters cruising through the cities as early as next year!
For more info on the e-scooters and the e-moped, head to segway.com
SCOTT Axis eRide Evo Tour FS
The new and fully equipped SCOTT Axis eRide Evo Tour FS with an aluminium frame is based on the same platform as the Patron eRide mountain bike (see article in our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE) and comes with the new Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor. With long mudguards front and rear, a rack that can carry up to 15 kg, a Supernova light system in the front and rear and 140 mm of suspension travel, it is perfect for everyday use and commuting in all kinds of dirty weather. It’s a shame that a dropper post has been omitted here, which would make life much easier at traffic lights and when riding with a lot of luggage. The FOX AWL also looks a bit out of place with its thin 34 mm stanchions.
For more info on the SCOTT Axis eRide Evo Tour FS, head to scott-sports.com
The Italian start-up company XEV relies on a battery exchange system for the YOYO electric light vehicle. In less than five minutes, its three empty battery packs can be removed from the vehicle, placed in a charging station and three new and full batteries can be installed in the vehicle – without the annoying wait for the charge. In the future, these charging stations are to be installed at many Eni and Agip petrol stations in Italy and, as the next step, all over Europe. The little YOYO runabout can be connected via an app, can cruise along the tarmac at a maximum speed of 80 km/h and measures just 2.5 m in length and 1.5 m in width. Many parts of the vehicle, which according to XEV has a range of 150 km, come from a 3D printer and the customer will be able to customize them. Inside the XEV YOYO, surprisingly, there’s an impression of a lot of space, but the feel and finish of the trim of the Chinese-produced runabout is rather on the mediocre end. The YOYO is priced at € 13,900 and will soon be available on the German market.
For more info on the XEV YOYO, head to xev-global.com
Brekr Model B
Now this looks like fun! The Brekr e-moped offers space for two people and can be ordered either in a version up to 25 km/h or an S-Pedelec version up to 45 km/h. To make sure that other road users notice this almost silent vehicle, a special sound was developed for the Model B – we are almost certain, however, that in addition to increased safety, the fun factor also played a major role! According to the manufacturer, a full charge of the 2,000 Wh battery, which is housed under the saddle and can be removed, is enough for up to 80 km. If that’s not enough for you, grab a second battery for an additional € 1,499 from the online configurator. And while we are on the subject of prices: the Brekr Model B, which is assembled in the Netherlands, costs € 4,499 with the basic equipment. We are looking forward to the first test drive!
For more info on the Brekr Model B, head to brekr.com
Polestar Re:Move cargo bike prototype
Several parties were involved in the Re:Move project and the resulting e-bike: the designer Konstantin Grcic, the electric car manufacturer Polestar, the aluminium manufacturer Hydro and the electric motorbike pioneer CAKE. Well, could that even go wrong? The result is a multifunctional e-cargo bike that is supposed to revolutionise the transport of goods in big cities. The increasing demand for online shopping and door-to-door delivery services requires new mobility solutions and the Re:Move cargo bike wants to be one of them. It can carry up to 180 kg, is only 750 mm wide and thus easily fits on normal bicycle paths without bumping into every oncoming bike. The aluminium chassis has a tilting mechanism that allows the bike to lean into corners, which should improve stability and manoeuvrability. A large battery with 2.2 kWh capacity is installed, which should be enough for many deliveries. Now, that’s something!
For more info on the Polestar Re:Move, head to polestar.com
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG
At Mercedes, the G-Class has been the most iconic off-road vehicle for more than 40 years. Hold that thought An off-road vehicle? Did this section end up in the wrong magazine, otherwise what is an off-road vehicle doing in the highlight article of urban mobility solutions? The answer is as simple as it is obvious. If you take a closer look at the cars on the streets of the megacities, one thing becomes clear rather quickly. In addition to lightweight vehicles that are as compact as possible, e-SUVs continue to play a role in urban areas. How much space these cars will be allowed in the cities of the future remains to be seen, but the fact is: the G-Class, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG, still wants to look good both off-road and in the big cities. Although the basic shape of the all-electric G-Class is the same as that of the combustion engine variant, it has been adapted in many areas. Instead of the radiator grille, the front now features a deep black radiator grille with a luminous Mercedes star. LEDs and light strips are also fitted all over the concept car. Details on the engine power and battery capacity have not yet been revealed, but it should already be clear that the Concept EQG will not be stingy in these areas, either. Sales are scheduled to start in 2024.
For more info on the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG, head to daimler.com
Riese & Müller Multicharger Mixte 750 2022
Didn’t we already feature this bike in our comparison test of cargo bikes? Well, almost! The Riese & Müller Multicharger (to the test) has a sister or brother in the Mixte, depending on the design. The top tube has been pulled down for easier access, other details such as passenger or child transport on the rear seat, the optional front carrier or the RX or GX options have been retained. Almost all wishes can be fulfilled via the online configurator and you can put together a bike that fits perfectly into your everyday life; it starts at € 4,699.
EVOC COMMUTE A.I.R. PRO 18 backpack
Not a vehicle, but still an absolute highlight for all those who are on the move on two wheels: EVOC launches the COMMUTE A.I.R. PRO 18, a backpack with an integrated airbag! EVOC, the backpack and protector manufacturer, has also recognised that the way of getting around in urban areas is changing rapidly and that more and more people are swapping their cars for bikes. The problem is that, unfortunately, the cycling infrastructure is often not prepared for this, and avoidable collisions and falls occur time and again. In addition to the well-known back protector, which protects the spine, an airbag now helps to prevent injuries to the neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum. In the event of a fall, the 18 litre airbag inflates within 0.2 seconds and envelops the head of the rider in a protective cushion of air. Ingenious! However, the sensor technology needs power to work, so the battery has to be charged every 32 hours to be able to provide protection in the event of a fall. A perfect Christmas present? Sure, there might be a snag, though . The backpack, which has a price tag of € 900, will not be available until the spring of next year for the 2022 season.
For more info on the EVOC COMMUTE A.I.R. PRO 18, head to evocsports.com
Nicolai NC-1 Cargo
Nicolai is deeply rooted in the mountain bike scene and has known how to stand out for many years with its top quality aluminium frames manufactured in Germany. Even though the NC-1 Cargo is not the first cargo bike from Nicolai, it comes as something of a surprise. The NC-1 is equipped with the new Bosch Performance Line CX Smart System motor (see review), an integrated and removable PowerTube battery with a capacity of 750 Wh and the nearly maintenance-free Gates Carbon Belt Drive in combination with the Enviolo hub gears. If you need even more range, you can fit a second PowerTube battery. After the comparison test of 9 cargo bikes, we would definitely be happy to get our hands on the Nicolai NC-1 Cargo for a test in our editorial office!
For more info on the Nicolai NC-1, head to nicolai-bicycles.com
Volkswagen ID.LIFE concept
With the ID.LIFE concept, Volkswagen gives a preview of a new vehicle in the small car segment that will join the ID.family and is scheduled for market launch in 2025. The entry price is € 20,000 and is intended to appeal primarily to young people. For example, the electric car is equipped with a video game console and projector, the films and games are displayed on a projection screen that extends from the dashboard. The exterior and interior mirrors will be completely gone – in the future, the cameras and display will take care of that. The only problem is when the electronics fail. According to Volkswagen, both the front and rear seats can be folded down to create either a cinema seating or a 2-metre-long bed. The e-car is powered by a front-wheel drive system that produces 234 hp and accelerates the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h in under 7 seconds. The claimed range is 400 km and the battery is said to have a capacity of 57 kWh. The driving experience is futuristic: Volkswagen promises that essential driving functions can be controlled via a touch control panel on the hexagonal, open-topped steering wheel. Is this the future?
For more info on the Volkswagen ID.LIFE concept, head to volkswagen.co.uk
EOOS cargo bike ZUV (Zero-emissions Utility Vehicle)
An e-cargo bike from a 3D printer? The EOOS design studio makes it a reality. The e-cargo bike is called ZUV, which stands for Zero-emissions Utility Vehicle, and is made from a total of 70 kg of recycled waste. According to the manufacturer, the printing takes around 12 hours and can be done easily locally on-site in a fab or similar, without need for transport. Afterwards, the frame can be fitted with wheels, brakes, etc. by a local bike shop. An ingenious idea, we’d say! The bike is supposed to be strong enough for four people and is also suitable for transporting loads, shopping etc. A completely new concept, compared to the e-cargo bikes from our last comparison test!
For more info on the EOOS ZUV, head to eoosnext.com
WEY Concept Car
Chapeau! The aplomb with which the Chinese car manufacturer WEY presents itself at the IAA MOBILITY 2021 in Munich is impressive. Included in the luggage: their new concept car. The drive components of e-cars require less volume and enable a new use of the vehicle space. How to divide up the space inside the vehicle, which is limited by design, and how to maximise its intended use? The absence of the B-pillar and the ability to rotate the front seats 180° to the rear ensure a large amount of space. Let the car drive autonomously and switch the attention from the road to the passengers, instead. Most people spend the most of theirtime at home, then a lot in the office and thirdly, in their cars. So why not make yourself comfortable and somewhat luxurious in your own vehicle and pop the first bottle of wine open already on the way back home from work? Personally, we have nothing against the idea, not one bit… Unless draught beer on tap could be an option, too.
For more info on the WEY concept car, head to global.wey.com
BMW Concept Bikes: BMW i Vision AMBY Highspeed Pedelec, BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY und BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02
BMW also has great ambitions and is launching a new e-offensive. The supply volume for battery cells is to be almost doubled and ten million fully electric vehicles are to be produced in the next 10 years. In the process, the mobility mix on two wheels is also to play a greater role. After all, the Bavarian carmaker has also realised that the space for cars in big cities is getting tighter and tighter. Let’s kick off with the BMW i Vision AMBY high-speed pedelec, whose e-drive offers three speed levels for different uses. It supports up to 25 km/h on cycle paths, up to 45 km/h on inner-city roads and even up to 60 km/h out of town or on multi-lane roads. Exactly how this will be realised has not yet been decided. It would be conceivable to have an automated speed limit via geofencing technology that recognises where you’re currently riding, which type of road you’re on and automatically adjusts the maximum speed. Of course, the legal framework for this would still have to be drafted depending on the country, which, as we know, can also take a very long time. At the centre of the e-bike sits a huge battery with a capacity of 2,000 Wh, which should guarantee a range of up to 300 km depending on the riding mode and be fully charged within two hours. The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY shows a similar approach and the same speed model, but unlike the i Vision AMBY, it uses throttle to accelerate and is equipped with footrests instead of pedals. The third two-wheeler in the bunch is the BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02, which is supposed to offer an easy and intuitive entry into the motorbike segment and appeal to young riders in particular, running at a maximum of 90 km/h. We are definitely excited about the fleet and can’t wait to have one of the two-wheelers at the editorial office for a test!
For more info on the BMW vehicles, head to bmw.co.uk
Our conclusion of the IAA Mobility
The IAA Mobility 2021 has brought clear facts, trends and developments to light for us and we have summarised our top 5 takeaways for you here.
- Mobility is identity and no longer just a means to an end, which is great! However, we have to be very careful when evaluating it, so that we don’t fall into prejudiced enemy images and camp thinking. The SUV is seen as the big bad city destroyer, and one may be right about that. But why is it that the dad, who alone in a brand-new VW bus, commutes to work through Munich’s city traffic and consumes a similar amount of fuel and space, is perceived as sympathetic and outdoorsy? Sustainability should not be based on image and ideology, but on reality.
- A single form of mobility will never be the panacea. Ultimately, it will come down to a mix of means of transport that satisfies individual needs and will vary from person to person and also depend on the place of residence. On our way to the best compromise between mobility mix and individual needs, we need to be open and certainly experiment for a while. The good thing? We can start here and now. And it is out of question that the e-bike will play a key role in it.
- Georg Honkomp, Chairman of the Board of Europe’s largest two-wheeler purchasing cooperative (ZEG), aptly summarises the current development of e-mobility: “The bicycle industry has achieved what the automotive industry has been struggling to do for years, namely the electrification of an entire vehicle category – two million e-bikes sold in Germany in 2020 and a further strong increase in demand. And all of this without government support programmes, tax subsidies or scrapping premiums, but simply through attractive products that are enthusiastically demanded on the market. In this respect, it is only logical that the bicycle – whether as a piece of sports equipment, means of transport or cargo bike – occupies a significant space at the IAA MOBILITY.” We can agree with that.
- Every brand has put the topics of sustainability and the future on their agendas and strongly integrated them into their communication. The promises were made and do sound great. At the same time, greenwashing, blaming and shaming game is booming. The next few months will show how much truth and real products are behind the sophisticated words of the communication experts.
- Visions and concept cars are good, but it is just as important to relate them to the here and now. What can we change today, what can we use? The good news is: many great and impactful vehicle concepts – from cargo bikes to SUV eMTBs – are already available, help relieve the burden on our cities, the environment and above all, provide a better quality of life. Numerous city runabouts are in their final development stages and will also be available soon. So what are we waiting for? Let’s rethink today and above all let’s remember one thing: we’ve all talked the talk, it’s time to walk the walk!
Words: Philipp Schwab, Robin Schmitt & Benjamin Topf Photos: Benjamin Topf & Manufacturers