iFood and Tembici, a Brazilian startup for micromobility technology, announced on Wednesday (10) the expansion of the iFood Pedal program, a project designed and carried out exclusively for the food tech’s delivery partners that makes electric bicycles available for deliveries at a low cost.
The iFood Pedal program currently operates in the capitals of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with 500 e-bikes in each city. With the expansion, the eco-friendly initiative will also reach Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, and Porto Alegre cities, and will make available more than 2,500 e-bikes by 2022, becoming the largest delivery electric bike project in Latin America.
The partnership between iFood and Tembici is in line with the increasingly strong role both companies are playing in the ESG agenda. Electric bicycles are seen as the future of mobility in smarter and more sustainable cities, since they facilitate longer trips, especially for workers on bikes, such as delivery workers. One of the great conveniences of Tembici’s e-bikes is precise that they have assisted pedal, that is, the engine is activated when the bicycle is pedaled, without an accelerator, making the bike lighter.
Tomás Martins and Maurício Villar, cofounders of Tembici, told the startup started operating with e-bikes in September last year, only in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the great receptiveness to the modal was a good surprise. “Last year we saw a significant increase in the use of bikes for bike delivery. The market asks for more efficient solutions for mobility in the city, and the electric bike has proven to be a very powerful asset, especially for logistics solutions,” said Villar.
Moreover, as the focus of the iFood Pedal program is to meet the specific demand of the delivery workers, iFood has improved its technology to delimit the delivery radius for each restaurant and identify which partner is closer, sending the deliverers shorter routes, optimizing their earnings and commuting time.
From a sustainability standpoint, the program encourages clean deliveries – one of iFood‘s goals is to achieve 50% of deliveries in non-polluting modes by 2025. “The project has proven to be sustainable and fully aligned with the operational, environmental, and social impact we wanted to achieve. We understand that this model is here to stay because we have seen consumers and restaurants served more efficiently while the delivery people are more satisfied, with their net earnings up to two percent higher than when using more traditional modes such as motorcycles,” said Fernando Martins, head of innovation and logistics at iFood.
“Promoting delivery by bicycle is directly contributing to smarter and more sustainable cities. In addition to contributing to reducing environmental impacts by reducing carbon emissions, the bicycle has an enormous power of social transformation,” Tembici’s Martins added.
The iFood Pedal completed one year in October and already has more than 13,000 registered delivery couriers and one million orders delivered with both e-bikes and conventional bikes. According to iFood and Tembici, the program avoided the emission of 271 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The two companies do not disclose the amounts invested in the program.
How iFood Pedal works
To make deliveries with iFood Pedal, interested delivery people should access the “iFood Pedal” section in the iFood for Delivery app and register. There are two subscription plans: the bikes can be used for periods of up to four hours a day in São Paulo and up to two hours in Rio de Janeiro, with a monthly (for BRL 34.90) and weekly (for BRL 9.90) plan. If the delivery person needs additional time, a value for the time of use is added. Partner couriers can also use Tembici’s shared traditional bicycles.
The delivery people who join the iFood Pedal program also have personal accident insurance offered at no cost by iFood in partnership with the insurance company MetLife and the pharmaceutical company MDS, which provides discounts on medicines. The insurance is valid during the period when partners are logged into the platform and also on the “return home”, valid for two hours or a trip of up to 30 kilometers from the place of the last delivery.