While bikes have generally been a “one bike, one cyclist” type of proposition, e-bikes reverse the script using power assist to add additional utility. And a new wave of multi-passenger e-bikes is opening the door to two-man riding, something that has generally not been possible on unassisted pedal bikes.

Of course, you can carry a friend on the rear rack of your pedal bike or maybe drop your girlfriend onto the handlebars of your cruiser. But good luck propelling you both up a hill with just the power of your legs.

With utility and moped style e-bikes, the extra weight (and space) of a passenger is no problem.

Of course, this requires a fairly high horsepower motor, which means you won’t be using a motorcycle taxi service on your Specialized electric road bike. But more powerful e-bikes such as e-cargo bikes, utility bikes, and e-mopeds now make it easier to ditch your car for a bike while carrying a passenger (or two!) With you.

Super73 has just added new 2-seater seats to the company’s lineup, converting their popular S1, S2 and R-Series e-bikes from single-seater to two-seater.

To comfortably carry a passenger, you’ll want to add a pair of rear footrests – or find an electric bike that comes with them pre-installed.

When I reviewed the Ariel Rider D-Class Dual Motor Electric Bike, I hauled my nephews to the long bench seat and included footrests. At the time, the footrests looked a bit weak, but the company responded by switching to massive cast iron footrests on their newer models that look like they can support a circus bear.

Both Ariel Rider Class X and the new Grizzly models offer those large rear footrests, and the Grizzly even has two motors and two batteries to give you extra power and range to climb hills with a passenger on board.

While the Grizzly is a little steeper at $ 2,999 (although it’s worth it for high horsepower dual engines and dual batteries), the entry-level X-Class lets you ride with passenger footrests for $ 1,599, although you want to switch to $ 89 seat for two people to get the most out of those big rear footrests. Even so, for under $ 1,700 you have a mighty, crazy full-suspension electric bike capable of carrying two passengers – that’s a lot of use!

Other famous moped-style e-bikes like those from Juiced Bikes also make it easy to carry passengers, but not right out of the box like the Ariel Rider bikes above.

Scorpion X juice, HyperScorpio and HyperScrambler 2 models all come with footrest attachment points on the rear swingarm. For $ 39 you can add footrests to carry a rear passenger.

The HyperScrambler 2 comes with a long bench seat perfect for two riders, while the Scorpion series can be upgraded to a longer bench seat. Out of the box, Scorpion e-bikes have a shorter single-rider saddle that leaves room for the utility rack behind the rider.

But it’s not just moped-type electric bikes that offer the possibility of two-person riding. Electric cargo bikes and utility bikes are also getting into the action.

Tern team captain Josh Hon once took me for a ride on the rather modest Tern GSD e-bike, showing me how the e-bike without throttle had no problem carrying two adults. Technically, the baby carrier on the back was designed for children, as evidenced by its guards to prevent children from falling, but it held me very well.

Sterne GSD with riders Micah Toll (left) and Josh Hon (right)

Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes offers a pair of passenger-ready electric bikes.

The $ 1,299 RadRunner Electric Utility Bike has a passenger package option that adds a long, padded bench seat, footrests, and rear wheel skirt to ensure that no calves or feet get into the spokes of the wheel.

I personally used the RadRunner to transport my two nephews, turning the RadRunner into a three-person electric bike. But with two adults, my brother and I got on the bike as 2, showing how it easily carries over 350 lbs (160 kg) of riders.

For a little more space, the $ 1,899 RadWagon electric cargo bike offers the option of an even longer rear bench seat, either footrests or running boards and a deck hand attachment that gives the rear passenger a large grip to hold onto.

The growing number of e-bikes for passengers serves to further emphasize the extreme utility and versatility of e-bikes.

While some models are designed for fitness and others for recreation, electric bikes that can carry passengers make it easier for commuters to ditch their cars and save money with an electric bike.

Electric cargo and utility bikes may not be able to completely replace a minivan, but they can certainly help replace many of the same trips that many people take with cars.

And as e-bike adoption rates continue to climb, we’re almost certain to see more interesting utility offerings in the space.

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