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iFood and Tembici launch electric bikes project for delivery partners in São Paulo

In the coming months, there will be more than 500 e-bikes in operation in SP with exclusive access via iFood delivery partners

Photo: Midori de Lucca/ iFood Pedal
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  • The project includes three pillars: exclusive electric bikes, the rest stop, and an online training content on safety and road awareness;
  • The firms said they will gradually expand the service.
  • To have the e-bike, the courier has to purchase Tembici’s plan.

iFood and Tembici, a micromobility provider in Latin America, launched an electric bike project for iFood’s delivery partners. The project is called “iFood Pedal”. It is rolling out as of Today and aims to make cities in Brazil more sustainable by having iFood delivery partners use Tembici e-bikes.

To LABS, iFood and Tembici told they have been collaborating on this project for more than a year. “Our news announcement is focused on the launch of the first-phase pilot program to better address the needs of food-delivery people who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation”, they said.  

The iFood Pedal project expands the possibility of using the bikes, since the delivery partners in the pilot program will have the right to use the bikes from Bike Sampa, a bicycle-sharing project in São Paulo, in addition to the electric ones available at the iFood Pedal Support Point.

The plan is not offered for free. At first, it can be purchased through a credit card and, in the coming months, other forms of payment will be included. iFood’s team said delivery personnel will have access to shared electric bikes from Tembici for more affordable prices, which will be picked up and returned at the iFood Pedal Support Point.

Bike couriers will pay an amount of BRL 9.90 per week, which will entitle them to use Bike Sampa’s mechanical bikes. In order to use the electric bikes, there is an additional daily fee of BRL 2. Delivery partners are entitled to two trips of up to four hours, respecting the four-hour interval between them. If this time is exceeded, there is a charge of BRL 5 for every additional hour.

To access the plan, participants must access “iFood Pedal” in the iFood App for deliverers. After completing the registration, selection and payment of the plan, the delivery person is already free to use all the benefits, the company said.

The couriers are not required to use the offered plans, though.”The iFood Pedal project was developed with the aim of contributing to the city’s cycling and valuing the work of delivery people who use the app and the bicycle as a means of generating income”, iFood said.

Photo: iFood Pedal/Midori de Lucca

The first-phase pilot of the iFood Pedal project in São Paulo includes a flexible plan for the use of Tembici’s bikes, rest stop and an online education course designed to improve people’s safety and well-being, developed by the NGO Instituto Aromeizaero called Pedal Responsa.

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The courier rest stop is a support point, to check in/return e-bikes, eat, rest, and have access to masks, alcohol gel, helmets and bags. By the coming months, there will be more than 500 e-bikes in operation in São Paulo with exclusive access via iFood delivery partners. Then, iFood and Tembici plan to expand the service in 2021.

The new program promises to have a massive impact in creating less car traffic and emissions in Brazil, as iFood serves more than 200,000 restaurants in over 1,000 cities, the company said.

Photo: iFood Pedal/Midori de Lucca

The firms told LABS that as they gather more data and feedback from the participants, they will be able to make a decision on upcoming locations for rest stops. “The space is ample and all safety and hygiene measures have been taken, with the distribution of gel alcohol totems and constant reinforcement of the need for social distance”, they said.

Also, according to iFood, delivery couriers move from their homes by means of their own bicycles or other forms of public transport to regions such as Pinheiros, where the first Support Point will be located and which offers easy access to other regions with a greater offer of orders.

“We did several rounds of research with bike couriers and our goal here is to improve the experience and safety of bicycle deliverers. The first 60 days will be very important for us to identify adjustment needs”, iFood said.

Photo: iFood Pedal/Midori de Lucca

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Tembici’s e-bikes have a speed limit of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), a battery range of 60 km (37 miles). “In the logistics area, there is a dedicated team developing initiatives that meet the needs of couriers. It is part of our daily routine to exercise active listening, to bring partners with great expertise and, thus, to create effective solutions for bicycle deliverers”, said Roberto Gandolfo, VP of iFood Logistics.

Photo: iFood Pedal/Midori de Lucca

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Those who join iFood Pedal will have access to the Responsa Pedal course. This digital educational course developed by Aro aims to address the e-bikes’ care and courier responsibilities, in addition to covering other topics, such as health, coronavirus prevention and customer communication. After an online course evaluation, participants receive a training certificate and a kit containing a power bank, a squeeze to refill with water, a windbreaker and a UV protection shirt. 

Photo: iFood Pedal/Midori de Lucca

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To LABS, firms said the potential is for this project to reach up to a thousand electric bikes in São Paulo and all the next decisions will be made based on the learnings during the pilot.

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“We have long identified the need to develop a project like this. We saw this audience of delivery bikers growing rapidly in our customer base and realized it was necessary to create something that really met their needs. In speaking with iFood, there was a desire to encourage delivery by bicycle,” said Tomás Martins, CEO and co-founder of Tembici.