From cargo police scooters to smaller e-bike motors, urban mobility has its place at the Munich motor show

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. mobility / moʊˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n.) – the ability to move easily from one position to another

    Electric wheelchairs improved the mobility of people with walking disabilities.

  2. urban / ˈɜr bən / (adj.) – relating to towns or cities and the people living in them

    Heavy traffic is a major urban problem.

  3. dramatically / drəˈmæt ɪk li / (adv.) – in a great and sudden way

    Our sales dramatically improved because of social media ads.

  4. off-the-shelf / ˈɔf ðəˈʃɛlf / (adj.) – (of a product) readily available and does not need to be specially designed

    Many shops offer off-the-shelf software for the computers they sell.

  5. exhibitor / ɪɡˈzɪb ɪt ɚ / (n.) – a person or company that is showing something, such as a product or an artwork, to the public

    The exhibitors displayed their painting collections in the gallery.


Read the text below.

Munich’s cycle paths are busier than usual in the city center. During the motor show, called IAA Mobility, people can test ride all kinds of bikes from the companies who make them.

Motor shows are evolving and now include more means of transport, such as electric bikes, cargo bikes, scooters, and pretty much anything that’s not a car. And there’s a name for it: urban mobility, or electromobility.

“The e-bike market has grown really dramatically and is changing so fast. One of the really interesting things is just how fast the pace of technology development is,” says James Attwood, acting magazine editor, Autocar.

“Originally, what we saw was a lot of Chinese firms coming over with relatively simple things, lots of common motors and parts. But what’s happened in recent years is that a lot more big tech firms started getting involved. And Bosch is huge in the e-bike motor world. And so you’re seeing this mix of smaller firms using off-the-shelf electric parts and battery parts, but now there’s a real push to think about how you can do this better and integrate them.”

Bosch didn’t miss the opportunity to present its latest tech at IAA. The motor is designed for ‘sporty riders,’ Bosch says, which is a good compromise in terms of size, weight and performance for gravel bikes, for example.

Munich’s motor show is not only in the city center but also in a more traditional convention center, where urban mobility exhibitors include Gaius Automotive, a Taiwan-based company that pivoted from electric cars to cargo scooters.

“Cargo e-bikes is a really, really fast-growing market because it just means you can put these huge loads on and you can cart around loads of stuff. And previously you would have had to do that all just using your legs. But when you’ve got an electric motor just offering some assistance, it really transforms the way you can design bikes and how much you can carry with them,” says Attwood.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Would you consider using an e-bike or other forms of electric mobility for your daily commute? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • How do you think the availability of different types of bikes, including e-bikes, scooters, and cargo bikes, contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Describe the urban mobility in your area. What are the good points (ex. roads are big)? What aspects do you think need improvement (ex. not enough sidewalks)? Discuss.
  • What are the pros and cons of having more means of transport, including electric bikes, cargo bikes, and scooters? Discuss.