iFood, the Brazilian delivery behemoth, announced today the launch of its own electric motorcycle, called EVS Work iFood, developed in partnership with Voltz Motors exclusively for the platform’s delivery partners, who will be able to buy the model at a discounted price of BRL 9,999.90 (around $2,099.99). According to the food-tech company, the electric motorcycle can generate savings of up to 70% in maintenance and running costs, besides being a less polluting mobility solution. The electric motorcycle reaches up to 85 kilometers per hour and has an autonomy of 100 to 180 kilometers with two batteries.
To make the project viable, iFood has partnered with the bank BV to offer a financing line with more affordable conditions to acquire electric motorcycles. In addition, BV will subsidize the amount of BRL 2,000 for the first 300 motorcycles financed, subject to credit and user approval.
The biggest appeal of the electric motorcycle, according to the company, is the savings generated in the long term by switching from a fuel-based mode of transport to an electric one. iFood reported having done tests with 30 delivery drivers and found that a delivery person who covers 3,000 kilometers per month has a monthly cost of about BRL 610 with fuel. By replacing the combustion-based motorcycle with an electric one, this cost, which changes according to the fuel price variation, would reduce up to 60%, according to the food tech company, if the delivery driver chooses to use the battery sharing system developed by iFood.
The shared battery system was built in partnership with Ipiranga and is available through subscription plans that range from BRL 129 per month for those drivers who run up to 2,000 kilometers to BRL 319 for unlimited mileage and battery exchanges. For delivery drivers who do not want to subscribe to the shared battery system, the electric motorcycle comes with a battery charger that can be recharged at any power outlet.
The project is being implemented on a pilot basis in São Paulo city, with 100 quick battery change stations being installed in neighborhoods such as Lapa, República Consolação, Pinheiros, Jardins, Paulista, Aclimação, Moema, and Itaim Bibi, among others. Through the shared battery system, the users don’t own the battery, but they use it as a service (Battery as a Service) in a network of quick-change stations. At the moment, there are already 33 exchange stations installed at 19 gas stations in São Paulo.
With the launch of EVS Work iFood, iFood targets a contingent of more than 200,000 partner drivers on the delivery platform. “This is just the beginning of an effective change in the delivery segment. It’s an opportunity for delivery partners to have access to electric motorcycles at a lower acquisition cost that is more economical for them over time while generating an effective impact on the reduction of carbon emissions in the environment,” said Claudia Storch, director of logistics at iFood.
Furthermore, the initiative is part of iFood‘s ESG efforts, which aim to make its operations carbon neutral. “Our goal is to ensure that 50% of iFood deliveries are made by vehicles that do not use fossil fuels by 2025,” said André Borges, head of sustainability at the company.
iFood and XPRIZE team up to drive innovation in sustainable packaging
iFood also teamed up with XPRIZE, a U.S. company focused on prize competitions aimed to boost initiatives that can benefit humanity, to jointly finance the XPRIZE Circular Food Packaging, an award focused on research and development of flexible, biodegradable packages such as eco-friendly bags or films, that, as a result, reduce fossil-fuel emissions. The qualifying projects to be considered should be sustainable on a large scale, and safe for human consumption and for the environment.
According to iFood CEO Fabrício Bloisi, who is a member of XPRIZE’s innovation board, the food tech, as an investor of this XPRIZE competition for technological development, will seek to attract potential prize sponsors, so the final collective of companies funding the challenge may invest up to $20 million in order to make the competition feasible.
Once fundraised, the total prize will amount to $10 million for the teams selected by third-party judges based on the prize guidelines. The first-place winner will receive $6 million, the one ranked second will receive $2 million, and the third-place winner will receive $1 million. Also, the competition will secure $1 million for the so-called Milestone Prizes, to be awarded to support scaling solutions for participants that have accomplished goals throughout the competition.
This partnership is one of the core pillars of iFood Regenera, a strategic move aimed to create a positive environmental impact, including the eradication of plastic pollution. “The ESG agenda has been and will be increasingly addressed by the world’s most creative companies. Many companies have already concluded, and others are just starting to realize that they must play a role beyond their businesses, acting directly to create innovative solutions to address the world’s most important challenges,” said Bloisi.