The project: how the electric motorcycle was developed for delivery drivers

Tested on the streets, the electric motorcycle was adapted to provide more comfort and safety for professionals

A goal of iFood Regenerates is that by 2025 at least half of deliveries will be made using non-polluting means of transport. To get there, an important iFood strategy is to invest in electric motorcycles.

In March 2022, in São Paulo (SP), we started selling the electric motorcycle. By December, the forecast is that ten thousand of these vehicles will be on the road. In this way, iFood wants to reach 2025 with half of its deliveries made by non-polluting vehicles.

“Our environmental commitment led us to look for alternatives to the traditional motorcycle. We already had electric bicycles, scooters, the ADA robot and the drones. But, when we look at the goal of reducing pollutant gas emissions, motorcycles play an important role, as they are our main means of delivery”, says Fernando Martins, head of logistics at iFood.

Just over a year has passed since the idea of offering an affordable electric motorcycle option to delivery partners came up until they hit the streets of São Paulo (SP) — and we'll tell you here how this project was developed by iFood in partnership with the manufacturer Voltz, which will produce the new motorcycles in Manaus (AM).

Looking for a national partner

When thinking about the goal of reducing the emission of polluting gases, we began looking for a national partner to manufacture an electric motorcycle for use by those who deliver. “We wanted a product developed here because we want to encourage the use of electric vehicles in Brazil”, says Fernando.

The idea was to find a manufacturer capable of providing an affordable electric motorcycle with a good range. “These are our two main concerns regarding electric vehicles. Since we started researching suppliers in 2018, we have seen models that cost around R$ 30 thousand, with a range of up to 100 km”, explains Leilane Melo, coordinator of innovation and future of logistics at iFood. 

The chosen partner was Voltz, with whom iFood signed a contract in March 2021. “We were surprised by the Voltz model, which, in addition to being very beautiful, delivered numbers that were much more similar to what we wanted to offer to delivery people”, says Fernando. “In addition, they already had partnerships with gas stations for charging points and with financial agents to offer credit for the purchase of the motorcycle.”

The electric motorcycle is tested in practice

If everything looked good on paper, it was time to put the electric motorcycle to work. After approving the model to transport the cargo, the couriers will test 30 red motorcycles between June and October 2021.

Tests showed that some adjustments still needed to be made. “We made changes to adapt the bike for those who spend many hours working”, explains Lucas Vitale, Voltz purchasing manager dedicated to this partnership with iFood. At the rear, for example, Voltz developed a trunk support that can hold up to 20 kg and made adjustments to the scale and suspension to facilitate load adjustment. 

“It took six months of testing, collecting suggestions. In the end, we managed to evolve the model to deliver a complete motorcycle in 2022”, says Lucas. “This is a robust, automatic, silent and does not vibrate motorcycle, which brings more comfort and safety to delivery people.”

But what about autonomy?

Once the adjustments were made, the motorcycle developed by Voltz reached a range of 100 to 180 km. “There is no motorcycle on the market with more autonomy than this one”, points out Leilane. “The average battery change is once a day.”

The batteries in this model are removable, so you can recharge at any outlet. Therefore, one option we will offer to delivery drivers is to purchase the electric motorcycle without the battery. Additionally, sign up for an iFood subscription plan to be able to change the battery at authorized points during work. “The exchange takes a minute”, comments Lucas. “It will be the first time that we sell the motorcycle without a battery, to democratize access.”

The subscription plan costs R$ 129 per month for up to 2,000 km, R$ 219 for up to 4,000 km and R$ 319 for unlimited use for one month. The price of the motorcycle, without batteries, is R$ 9,999.90.

Launch and own store

After testing and adjusting, we will sell electric motorcycles to iFood couriers in a special Voltz store in São Paulo (SP). We will create this store in partnership with the Brazilian company to be a point to serve professionals. 

There, delivery partners will find more information about the motorcycle and the conditions for purchase, they will be able to take a test drive and, in the future, maintain the motorcycle. “We negotiated better payment terms with the partner bank, with reduced rates to make purchasing easier for our delivery drivers”, adds Fernando.

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