Brazil-based delivery service iFood announced today it has launched an electric bike program for its couriers in partnership with mobility company Tembici, according to a press release sent to The Spoon. The program has launched in first-pilot phase, and will provide e-bikes, manual bikes (courtesy of Bike Sampa), and other amenities to couriers working for the iFood delivery service.
The program will be available for a flat weekly fee of R$9.90 (~$1.76 USD). That includes 24/7 access to manual bicycles through Bike Samba’s Bike Itaú app. Bike withdrawals are limited to four-hour time blocks.
Couriers that want more bells ’n’ whistles as well as access to electric bikes will pay a little more. Access to electric bikes costs an extra R$2 (~$0.36 USD) per day. That fee includes up to two trips per day lasting up to four hours each, with a four-hour interval between them. (An additional R$5 charge is included for each hour.) Today’s press release notes that bikes can go 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and have a battery range of 60 km (37 miles) as well as a pedal assistance feature.
In addition to bikes, the program will also provide what it calls an “iFood Pedal Support Point,” which is a physical location at which couriers can check out and return the bikes. The facility will also provide restrooms, water and coffee, a cell phone-charging station, and a dining area. Couriers also get masks, hand sanitizer, and other safety and hygiene items. Use of the facility costs an additional R$2 per day, separate from the fees mentioned above.
Finally, couriers that join iFood Pedal will have access to the program’s Responsa Pedal digital education course.
Providing delivery workers with more bike access seems an obvious way to fulfill more deliveries in a place like São Paulo, which is Latin America’s most densely populated city. The addition of the e-bike option could also speed up delivery times, allowing workers to complete more orders within their given timeframe and make more money.
We had similar thoughts back in 2018 when Uber bought e-bike service Jump — though that story ended with Uber offloading Jump to Lime in May of this year. That said, Uber never formally integrated the e-bike service with its Eats business.
On the other hand, iFood is merely partnering with Tembici, not buying it, and the new program may turn out to be a much more financially sustainable endeavor that makes mobility easier for more couriers.
Since the iFood Pedal program is in pilot stage, its availability is currently limited to a select number of couriers in São Paulo. iFood said that by the end of this year, the project plans to have more than 500 bicycles on the streets of that city.