Today Arcimoto and HyreCar, which allows people to rent cars they can drive for ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, announced that the Deliverator will be available to rent in Los Angeles starting this summer.
The Deliverator features a 102 city mile range, can go up to 75 mph and has 20-plus cubic feet of cargo space. Because of its narrow footprint, it can be nimble and temporarily park in spaces where full-sized car can’t fit.
Gig workers in LA who want to get into grocery, restaurant or other delivery will be able to rent a Deliverator through the HyreCar platform starting this summer. Prices weren’t mentioned in the press announcement emailed to The Spoon, but a screengrab on the HyreCar website shows that renting a Toyota Prius for the day costs $35. A delivery driver would need to do the math to make sure they’d make enough revenue to make the Deliverator rental worth it.
Depending on the actual economics, adding the Deliverator seems like a smart play for HyreCar. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant increased restaurant delivery and record-setting grocery e-commerce. So there is more of a demand for delivery drivers than ever, and providing a small, zippy vechicle that can practically park anywhere could actually help speed up service.
The pandemic is accelerating the adoption of a lot of different delivery technologies. Postmates’ rover robot is now rolling around Los Angeles, making food deliveries. Refraction’s autonomous REV-1 is doing restaurant and grocery delivery in Ann Arbor, MI. And Nuro’s pod-like low-speed vehicle is now testing in California.
Getting Arcimotos into action to make deliveries is actually easier than some of these solutions because there is a person driving the vehicle rather than an AI. So there aren’t self-driving regulatory hurdles to overcome.
We’re looking forward to see how people take to the Deliverator’s not-quite–a-full-size-car option down in LA, and whether the program will expand to other cities. The program could wind up being a real homestar runner.