Tembici secures a BRL 29 million green credit line to expand the supply of bicycles
Photo: Tembici/Courtesy

Electric, cost-efficient and sustainable: the e-bike protagonism in the cities

New needs and a changing perspective on mobility within large cities have put electric bicycles on the rise

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For a long time, the car culture has been so dominant in people’s daily lives that there seemed to be no more sustainable alternatives to the urban crisis related to traffic in large cities. However, the new needs and reflections that have begun to emerge in recent years added to the supply of bicycles, including the much-desired electric ones, are changing the people’s perspective on the places where they live and how they get around.

According to data from Aliança Bike, a Brazilian association of companies in the bicycle industry, between January and October 2021 alone, more than 35,000 electric bikes were sold in Brazil. Even before, in 2020, we at Tembici already offered this option in our fleet and we observed a high demand for use with a 66% growth in the number of trips, comparing January to August 2021.

We are in an economic period that also makes us think more about our daily commute. It is possible to save up to 90% in monthly transport costs when leaving the combustion-powered vehicle behind, especially for short trips. Thus, the bicycle stands out even more as a sustainable and economical commuting facilitator for cities.

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According to The Economist, in the Netherlands, the world’s most bicycle-friendly country, one out of every three bicycles purchased is electric, reaching about 40% of the population. And its benefits are more than known. When it comes to CO2 emissions, an electric bicycle emits 23 times less carbon than most cars.

Besides all the environmental issues, this is an extremely democratic modal, which expands the possibilities of use, both for regular cyclists and new ones. The e-bike we have here at Tembici, for example, has pedal assistance that drives the motor, requiring less strain from the user – ideal for longer trips and with different kinds of topography.

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Still on the subject of expanding the user-profiles and the usability of e-bikes, some time ago we noticed a gradual change in behavior, with more intense use of the bicycles by a part of the users, including for delivery jobs.

Based on this analysis, added to the increase in bike delivery during the pandemic, we started a partnership with iFood in 2020, the iFood Pedal program, which through a special subscription plan includes access to e-bikes, assistance stations, and driving awareness courses, attracts more and more people interested in the so-called green deliveries.

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In the first three months of 2022, more than 1 million orders were delivered by bicycle, a milestone of something that is here to stay. And in this scenario, the e-bike becomes a key piece of mobility in the big cities. With more users biking and opting for micro-modals or intermodality, issues such as pollution caused by combustion vehicles and traffic jams are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel and, maybe, can be overcome.

By 2022, our goal at Tembici is for 50% of our fleet to be made up of e-bikes, so that this use becomes increasingly larger. Investing in bicycles, with a special look at this e-bikes trend, from commuting to healthy habits to delivery, is no doubt a path towards smarter and more sustainable cities.