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Transportation transportation Battery

The e-bike Mamachari is Japan’s moms favorite smart idea

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by: Sharai Hoekema
the e bike mamachari is japan s moms favorite smart idea

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where biking is encouraged and a widespread activity, you will surely have witnessed the forced versatility of this mode of transportation. Entire households can fit on the small frame of this iron horse; pets, several children, suitcases and boxes included. Those skilled in biking can juggle umbrellas, smartphones and backpacks seemingly without difficulties, while still somehow paying attention to the surrounding traffic as well.

Now, if you are even luckier to have visited Japan in recent years, you might recognise the term Mamachari. Loosely translated at ‘mom-bikes’, this ingenious piece of engineering has taken the notion of bike-travel and combined it with all the much needed features that make our daily life a lot easier. 

Still ‘just an e-bike’, but much more than that

While the Mamachari, that are a common sight in virtually all regions in the Asian country, might appear to be a no-frills, purely functional object at a first glance; those who dare to look closer will be stunned by its possibilities. Without any real difficulties, it can be transformed into a grocery getter, an easy commuter bike, a pizza delivery service or a taxi ride for your kids to school. 

Various western manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon and introduced their own version of the iconic Japanese bicycle. Take the Cero One. This self-proclaimed cargo bike is uncompromising in its ambition to match and possibly even improve the mom-bike. Yet it has paid significant attention to the design as well. Most people will not even discern this cargo bike from the regular ones driving down the street.

Equipped with handy baskets and rackets

The large rear wheel does not only make for a cool look, it also supports the extra weight that the bike can carry. This extra weight can be stored in a wide collection of modular baskets and rackets, adding up to some 12 pieces in total that are designed to fit any kind of carry-on luggage. When this heavy load gets too much, you will be happy to find out that the built-in electric motor can take you on a trip of up to 93 miles.

As for its purpose? Japanese designer Kiyoshi Iwai claims that “[the] goal was to design and build a modern version of the Japanese Mamachari, a practical utility bike that could be used by almost anyone as a replacement for a car in their daily lives.” 

Cycling towards a better environment

So, in short, the goal is to find a sustainable car replacement. While some people might be hesitant to go for a grocery run on their two-wheeler, anticipating the heavy bags on the return trip, the Cero One wants to take away those concerns. It wants to replace the car and other polluting means of transportation for daily chores such as picking up the kids, delivering pizzas or mail, or commuting to work. 

Or, as Iwai puts it: “The CERO One allows urban dwellers to do almost anything they'd do in a car, but more quickly and efficiently. A powerful electric motor and wide range of accessories make the bike perfect for getting around town as well as carrying almost anything, whether that's groceries, pizza for delivery or precious cargo.”

Biking for a more sustainable way of living

And even though it has an electric motor, it technically still is a bike - meaning that it will be better for your health as well. Biking is a stress-relieving, fun way of getting around. It allows you to enjoy the outdoors whilst working on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient exercise. You can take part in bike races, or even enjoy the very therapeutic activity of bike repairs. Even more importantly, when taking your kids to school on a bike, you will teach them that it is not normal to be chauffeured around by car everywhere they go. 

These values of sustainability, health and exercise will become more and more valuable in years to come. Why not get a head start by finding your own smart utility bike? Mamachari is not just an object. It is a way of living, a statement that shares your values with the world. Whether you are a mom, a dad, or a young professional making his way through town: it will make your life better.

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