Toyota's Newest "Pick-Up" Is Electric, Has Only Two Wheels and Is Built by DOUZE Cycles

"DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota” cargo bike 8 photos
Photo: Toyota
DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bikeDOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bike
Toyota Motor Corporation sold 10.5 million vehicles globally in 2022, including Lexus and Daihatsu passenger cars, but also Hino Motors buses and heavy-duty vehicles. As you know, Toyota is not a fan of EVs, so it’s no wonder it only sold about 25,000 electric vehicles last year. And none of them was an electric bicycle.
That’s because Toyota doesn’t manufacture this kind of vehicle. It has too few wheels, it’s not powered by an internal combustion engine or by a hybrid system, and it’s not something a Toyota customer would drive.

Hold on, it seems Toyota France disagrees. Starting from September 2023, the 300 Toyota dealers in The Hexagon will also sell the DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bike. The aim is “to promote fresh and sustainable local mobility.

That’s something against Akio Toyoda’s beliefs. He is one of the fiercest critics of electromobility out there. Luckily, the 66-year-old grandson of Toyota empire’s founder is stepping down from the CEO position and will become chairman of the board of directors.

His successor is Lexus' chief branding officer Koji Sato whom Toyota is seeing as someone capable of “promoting change in an era in which the future is unpredictable.” Well, selling an e-bike is surely unpredictable, mister Toyoda.

But don’t worry – or, by all means, feel free to express your disappointment – this electric cargo bike is only available in France. Because it’s built by the local company DOUZE Cycles, “a key French player in the cargo bike market,” according to the chairman of Toyota France Frank Marotte.

DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bike
Photo: Toyota
The French company claims its cargo e-bike is “the first eco-designed range of freight bikes,” meaning almost all the parts are produced locally in France. Furthermore, the molded aluminum frame and the polymer parts are from recycled materials, while each sub-assembly is designed for optimal and easy reparability and also for easy dismantling and recycling.

Oh, by the way, the basis for the you-won’t-remember-its-lengthy-name cargo bike is the DOUZE Cycles Hêta – where “H” is for “hexagon,” obviously. While Hêta is powered either by a BAFANG M500 or a SHIMANO EP8 Cargo electric motor, the variant sold by Toyota dealerships has a 250W Yamaha unit.

The battery is also different: for the Hêta, a customer can choose between a SHIMANO 36 V – 630 Wh or a DLG D1 48 V – 672 Wh, while Toyota’s variant has a Yamaha Crossover 500 Wh battery, providing a maximum of 100 km (62 miles) range with a full charge, which takes four hours.

This is basically the only change because the rest of DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota technical specs are the same as Hêta’s. Just like some Suzuki or Subaru models are nothing else but rebadged Toyota models.

One of the most interesting features of this cargo bike is it can be separated into two parts. In a few minutes, the rear frame can be detached from the front frame. This way, it can be more easily stored and even transported on a suitable bike rack with your car.

You can tell by the huge kickstand that this is a solid bike. Its frame is oversized in order to allow more equipment to be carried on its 850 mm (33.5 in) long platform. It withstands up to 100 kg (220 lbs), while the luggage box has 300 L (10.6 cubic feet) – on par with city cars you see on Paris’s narrow streets!

It can even replace a small passenger car, thanks to an optional box made of expanded polypropylene (EPP) with an aluminum frame. It is fitted with a comfortable bench that can accommodate two children or an adult. Harness belts are height adjustable and fitted with magnetic buckles, while the lowered step is ideal for easy boarding.

DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bike
Photo: Toyota
Though, a question remains: why did Toyota France choose to sell a cargo bike in its dealership network? It seems it’s all about the 'last mile delivery' strategy, for which this cargo e-bike is seen as an effective complement to an electrified van.

So, in the end, here’s your answer: the DOUZE Cycles x La mobilité Toyota cargo bike sort of echoes Toyoda’s opposition to electric cars. Okay, that was sarcasm, even though there is a little grain of truth in it.

The real answer lies in the French government’s program offering incentives of up to €4,000 ($4,350) to people who want to switch their cars for bicycles or e-bikes. Citizens who are unwilling to give up their cars altogether but intend to use e-bikes for daily commuting are eligible for a subsidy of up to €400 ($435).

No word for now regarding the price of this cargo e-bike, but the original DOUZE Hêta has a starting price of €5,890 ($6,400) in France. Paying around €2,000 ($2,170) after incentives for such a useful e-bike seems like a very good deal. And it’s also an original way for Toyota France to lure customers to their showrooms.
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About the author: Oraan Marc
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After graduating college with an automotive degree, Oraan went for a journalism career. 15 years went by and another switch turned him from a petrolhead into an electrohead, so watch his profile for insight into green tech, EVs of all kinds and alternative propulsion systems.
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