Delivery with electric bicycle arrives in new capitals

iFood Pedal, the first electric bicycle rental service for delivery people, has been expanding for a year to four more Brazilian capitals.

More than one million orders on the iFood app have already been delivered through this sustainable modal, which now reaches Recife, Salvador, Brasília and Porto Alegre

In October 2021, the iFood Pedal completes a year full of climbing. The world's first electric bicycle rental service exclusively for delivery people will now cross the borders of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which already have a total of 500 electric bicycles, and make another 2,000 available in four other capitals – Recife, Salvador, Brasília and Porto Alegre – throughout 2022.

In partnership with Tembici, a leading micromobility company, the project will now be the largest in Latin America to offer electric bicycles for delivery. In the first year of iFood Pedal, over one million orders were delivered by bicycle, avoiding the emission of 271 tons of CO2 – and contributing to iFood's goal of making half of its deliveries using non-polluting modes until 2025.

The new cities were chosen according to the demands that appeared in research and conversations with delivery people. It was in this way, in fact, that the project was born.

"O iFood Pedal it was co-created with delivery partners and proved sustainable and fully aligned with the operational, environmental and social impact we wanted to achieve”, says Fernando Martins, head of innovation and logistics at iFood. “This model is here to stay because we saw consumers and restaurants being served more efficiently, and delivery drivers satisfied with making greater profits in less time.”

Sustainable mode

David Anastacia, 38 years old, has been an iFood delivery partner for four years. He says he started making deliveries with his own bicycle and decided to test the iFood Pedal in March 2021, after his skinny one broke.

“Before, I worked two days to rest for one. Now, with electric, I can work at longer intervals. It’s much lighter, more agile, and doesn’t get very tiring,” says David, who usually travels through São Paulo neighborhoods such as Itaim, Vila Olímpia and Brooklin. “With the money I made from the electric bike, I was able to buy another bike, to take turns.”

This gain in agility is possible because of the assisted pedal, which activates the electric motor when the bicycle is pedaled, making it lighter – and allowing the delivery person to reach a speed of 25 km/h. In parallel, the artificial intelligence behind the iFood platform designates shorter routes for bicycle couriers.

Support for delivery people

When he became unemployed, Luís Fabiano Pinheiro, 42 years old, saw delivery as an opportunity to generate income during the Covid-19 pandemic. “I had already seen bicycles circulating along Avenida Paulista. As soon as I joined iFood, I registered.”

As he doesn't have a motorbike, he opted for an electric bike as it was an affordable way to start working in the area at the beginning of 2021. “I don't have the drive anymore, no”, jokes the delivery man, who works between the Jardins and Pinheiros, in São Paulo. “With it I make more deliveries because I cover distances faster. Today I can pay all my bills and I’m saving up to buy a motorcycle one day.”

At iFood Pedal, delivery drivers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro can use the electric bicycle for four hours and have support points at pick-up locations, where protective equipment, water filters, bathrooms, microwaves, cell phone charging points and rest spaces are available.

In addition, partners also have access to Pedal Responsa, a partnership with the Aromeiazero Institute to offer online training and awareness courses about the care and responsibilities that delivery drivers need to have in their work – especially during the pandemic.

Those who work in São Paulo also have time at Girando Ideias, an iFood Pedal action in the capital of São Paulo to promote meetings and dynamics with discussions on how to improve the daily lives of delivery people. The activities are led by mentors focused on dialogue and active listening.

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