The home delivery market worldwide has been given a boost as many nations have implemented a range of movement restrictions ranging from issuing strong social distancing guidelines to stay-at-home orders to full lockdowns. It appears the social distancing practices will also give a much needed boost to firms using e-bikes in the last-mile/home delivery industry.
The coronavirus-induced global economic slowdown will most likely result in businesses adopting a more cautious approach when it comes to spending. They will be looking to cut operational costs significantly. One area where quick wins can be found is in the logistics and last-mile delivery space. This is where e-bikes come in and can slash opex costs for businesses. The social distancing and the need to ensure contactless interactions during this pandemic has resulted in a surge in demand for online shopping and delivery services as people avoid crowded places.
Recently, we looked at how one start up in Namibia has pivoted to home deliveries as the coronavirus-induced slowdown has decimated the tourism business there. This April, London-based e-bike passenger and cargo service provider Pedal Me has added home delivery services. Some of the partners already using Pedal Me for home deliveries include Coleman Coffee, Dunns Bakery, Furanxo (wine and food shop), The Butchery Ltd, East London Liquor Company, and Feedr for Fresh food hampers plus pre-prepped meals.
— Pursuit Books (@Pursuitbooks) April 15, 2020
Deloitte’s Discover the Future 2020 Predictions for UK Technology, Media and Telecommunications summarizes the appeal of e-bikes. The battery assistance makes pedaling a whole lot easier for longer. Average speeds on e-bikes can be up to 50% higher compared with standard bikes. The battery assistance also makes acceleration on take-off much easier after stops. Riders also get a power boost when going uphill, carrying heavy loads, facing headwinds, and in the case when a rider may encounter a combination of all of these at the same time. All of these coupled with realtime tracking via apps make e-bikes, and especially the cargo versions, perfect for the home deliver industry. 130 million e-bikes are expected to be sold between 2020 and 2023.
Here @BlackPrinceHub we are supporting @lambeth_council direct response to #COVIDー19 by hosting the North Lambeth care package and distribution centre for 2000+ familes and individuals within our community #lambethtogether pic.twitter.com/5IKTe6f5sK
— Black Prince Trust (@BlackPrinceHub) April 11, 2020
Pedal Me’s cargo e-bikes are from Netherlands-based Urban Arrow. Urban Arrow’s cargo bikes come in several options, with ranges of up to 80 km in eco mode and 40 km in turbo mode depending on the bike, the weight of the cargo, as well as the rider’s weight. The bikes use Bosch motors and have 500 Wh batteries. Dual battery options are also available. We certainly hope that the recent surge in demand for delivery services can be sustained once the stay-at-home orders are relaxed. This could lead to wider adoption of e-bikes in delivery services on certain routes, replacing diesel vans where possible.
Featured image from related story, courtesy E-Bikes4Africa: E-Bikes4Africa’s SunCycles Ramp Up Delivery Service To Weather The Coronavirus Storm