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EMKA locking technology turns cargo bike into mobile safe

An environmentally friendly, sustainable and mobile world – that is the vision of a company called Urban Mobility. This Bavarian company has developed a special cargo pedelec with a pannier attachment to meet the company’s vision. The “UM CargoBike” is intended to replace bulky delivery vans and ease excessive traffic from the city’s downtown core. However, to ensure the same level of theft protection as a delivery van, Urban Mobility sought support from an expert in locking systems – and it found this expert in EMKA.

Urban Mobility

Few German city centres are not choked with traffic for most of the day. Across the European Union, road traffic will account for one-fifth of emissions in 2022. Among the many cars on the roads are also many delivery vehicles. However, these vehicles are usually an obstacle to traffic, as they often are double-parked to deliver their packages.

Double parking is detrimental not only to the flow of traffic but also to the environment. In order to combat the congestion, entrepreneurs from the mechanical engineering and logistics sectors have joined forces and founded Urban Mobility GmbH. The goal is to develop and produce new mobility concepts for urban areas. Hence, the company based in Mühldorf am Inn, Germany, has developed the UM CargoBike.

Cargo pedelec to relieve downtown traffic

The UM CargoBike is a cargo pedelec. The bike is designed to transport larger quantities and heavier loads in urban areas. The pedelec runs on electricity and can move from A to B using cycle paths and roads. It is intended to serve commercial CEP (courier express parcel) service providers as an alternative to large bulky transport vans. The bike uses a standard transport case with a volume of 2 m³ that stores the parcels safely.

The driver can transport up to 250 kg of goods. A rear door using simple snap locks provides access to the pannier attachment. However, it became apparent relatively quickly that these systems do not meet Urban Mobility’s safety requirements, as the panniers cannot be locked as an additional safety precaution.

That means packages could easily be stolen from the parked bike when a delivery is made. At the same time, using an additional padlock means the delivery person has to spend too much time in everyday business opening and locking the container.

Apart from the electronic parts, such as the integrated lithium-ion battery, Urban Mobility manufactures all components of the CargoBike in-house. After this, however, in order to increase the theft protection of the vehicles and at the same time not to create extra work for the delivery person, those responsible designers were looking for new locks and hinges for the storage doors. As a result, the company contacted EMKA. The world market leader for locking systems, hinges and seals has a tried-and-tested broad portfolio. “Right from the first meeting with EMKA, we could put together the ideal locking solution for our CargoBikes from their extensive selection of individual components,” says Tilmann Rosch, Managing Director of Urban Mobility. “The prototypes arrived very quickly, and we could install them successfully”.

Multiple interlocking system secures transported goods against theft

EMKA used a locking solution for the storage doord and developed an optimised system based on the rod control for multiple interlocking. Three locking points inside the seal are connected with a flat rod made of stainless steel. Each of these points comprises a rod control for multiple interlocking (galvanised) systems in combination with a bearing bush, a righthand side end-stop (black glass-filled polyamide) and a stainless steel cam. The locking points can be opened by operating an L-handle quarter turn (black powder-coated). Since the quarter turn has an integrated lock, this provides increased protection against theft. Furthermore, the three locking points increase the resistance to the effects of violence.

The hinges are 180° hinge type 1056-U59 (die-cast aluminium). Here, Urban Mobility was quickly convinced by the difference in weight compared to stainless steel versions, as the company wanted the design of the CargoBike to be as light as possible. Urban Mobility wants to contribute to creating a more mobile, environmentally friendly and sustainable world. The first step was taken when the company developed the CargoBike. In the future, EMKA wants to continue supporting the manufacturer’s project as a supplier and is therefore offering its locking solution as a combination with other technologies. In addition, the system is compatible with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) locking system, which makes handling easier for the delivery person.