A good example in this sense is the most recent addition to the Rad Power Bikes lineup. In true Rad Power Bikes fashion, the RadRunner 3 Plus is an upgrade to an existing model: the latest spin on the flagship model the Seattle-based company got started with many years ago. The 3 Plus makes the RadRunner more versatile and more customizable, effectively the ideal candidate for the do-it-all car replacement.
As a driver, you’re probably scoffing at the idea that an electric bicycle could ever be as good as your daily for your daily needs. You know what they say, though: don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Plus, switching to an e-bike makes sense, if only for shorter trips, in crowded urban areas where congestion and pollution are serious problems.
The RadRunner 3 Plus is better than a cargo bike, which Rad Power Bikes also offers, the RadWagon, because it can be that and other things. It “raises the bar for what you can expect from an electric utility bike,” walking that fine line between a quality product with maximum versatility and a mid-entry price. Ultimately, that’s the biggest achievement of this bike company, after its ability to constantly adapt its offering based on customer feedback and their own experience.
The RadRunner 3 Plus comes with a redesigned step-through aluminum frame that supports a higher cargo capacity, of 350 lbs (159 kg). The rear rack is slightly extended, to make room for more cargo or a more comfortable, plush passenger seat, and you also get more mounting points for extra accessories, and a pannier-mounting rail.
Power comes from a 750 W rear hub motor that’s also been tweaked to handle hills with 10% more efficiency, and a 250 W motor for the EU model. Either version of the bike has 5 levels of pedal-assist, and a torque button that offers a good, quick start from zero. The semi-integrated battery is a 672-Wh lithium one, removable so you can charge it inside without having to bring the entire bike in.
The range is estimated at 25 to 45 miles (40 to 72 km) per charge, and double that with the second battery, but you should take these estimates with a grain of salt. The actual range is highly dependent on a variety of factors, from the rider’s weight or the amount of cargo, to weather conditions, riding modes, and terrain.
With the RadRunner 3 Plus, the company is introducing a new set of accessories, starting with the Rad trailer, which is exactly what its name implies. Compatible with all current models, this trailer adds an extra, 100-lb (45.3-kg) cargo capacity to any e-bike, and can also double as a pet carrier, if you combine it with the pet insert. Both are priced separately, of course, so budget wisely and according to your needs: the bike itself starts at US$2,499 / €2,499.