More than just cutesy front baskets and simple rear racks, bicycle cargo hauling has become serious business. Joining big-load tools like the Velove Armadillo, the German-designed Carla Cargo electric bicycle trailer upgrades your bike for loads up to 330 lb (150 kg) and 53 cu ft (1.5 cu m). Not only can it power those loads behind your bike, but it also unhitches and rolls as a powered hand truck.
We've seen electric bike trailers before, including the Rollout Brouhaha and Ridekick, but the Carla trailer presents big, next-level cargo-hauling muscle. Even when it's not strapped down with a big, ol' 53-cu ft load of boxes, its sheer size is immediately apparent from the three-wheeled configuration and 63 x 23.6-in (160 x 60-cm) bed.
We don't even want to think about the calf pains that would be involved with towing a Carla trailer via pedaling alone, and that's okay because we don't have to. Designed to work with both regular bicycles and electric bikes, the trailer pulls its own weight.
The e-drive system offers a power-start function (up to 1 mph/6 km/h) to get the heavy load rolling from stop. A crank sensor on the cyclist's bike tracks pedaling, adjusting motor output accordingly, just like a pedelec bike. The front wheel-mounted motor provides 250 watts of continuous power, supporting speeds up to 14 mph (23 km/h). So all that cargo rolls along smoothly without weighing the cyclist down like a school bus strapped to a strongman.
The swappable 11 Ah lithium battery offers up to 25 miles (40 km) of range. There's also a 15 Ah (37 mi/60 km) battery upgrade available.
The Carla Cargo trailer rides on 20-in wheels with Schwalbe Big Apple Plus tires. Stopping power is provided by an overrun brake system with dual discs, and there's also a manual parking brake. Unlike other bike trailers that secure to the bike's rear hub, this 88-lb (40-kg) trailer clamps to the seat post via a tow bar.
A bicycle trailer may be smaller and more versatile than a motor vehicle trailer, but there are still plenty of places where you can't tow a trailer or even ride a bike. When you arrive at such a place, say a shopping mall, you don't necessarily have to pull over and start unloading. The Carla trailer detaches from the bicycle and works as a powered hand truck so you can keep right on rolling to and through the front door. It includes a handle, thumb throttle and brake and rolls at speeds up to 1 mph.
The fully loaded Carla Cargo electric trailer starts at around €4,000 (approx. US$4,550), before taxes and shipping. Weekend gear-hauling warriors might balk at that price, but the trailer is designed more for business use. Carla sees it as a solution for organizations like parcel services, community agricultural groups, and food and beverage vendors. Plus, Carla offers DIY plans (German) for those that want to save some money. Accessories like an aluminum cargo box and protective tarp are also available.
And if 330 lb and 53 cu ft sound too limited, Carla Cargo has also recently played around with a setup of its trailer hitched to a Radkutsche Musketier cargo e-trike, a combination that offers 882 lb (400 kg) and 141 cu ft (4 cu m) of pedal-assisted hauling potential.
Watch the Carla Cargo trailer do its thing in the video below.
Source: Carla Cargo