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This is why e-bikes for delivery are becoming more popular

Source: Snackkoerier (Dennis van Asselt)

Food delivery drivers on bicycles are becoming more common on the streets. Especially the E-bike is growing in popularity at the expense of mopeds. Electric bicycles are equally fast (especially in the city centers), they save the environment, are healthier for the courier, better for the company image and cheaper in the purchase, maintenance, fuel, and insurance.

The pink Foodora drivers, the orange dressed Takeaway.com employees, the mint-green cyclers of Deliveroo, and the black cyclers from UberEats: it’s a colorful sight on the streets around dinner time. Takeaway.com brought an E-bike delivery service to life in 2016, for those who don’t have their own delivery service. The online platform is currently active in six large cities in the Netherlands: Groningen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag, and Eindhoven. By choosing E-bikes to do their deliveries, drivers from Takeaway.com are on their destination faster. Also durability plays an important part in this. In general: if you go for a green look as a company, it makes sense that you choose a means of transport that enhances this image, a bicycle, whether or not electrical.

Whoever owns a cafeteria in Rotterdam, and considers to exchange their regular bicycle for an E-bike, is in luck. As of this year, you can apply for a subsidy containing 50 percent of its purchase value, to a maximum of €1000.

The advantages of delivering with an E-bike

Another argument cafe-holders use to use E-bikes instead of mopeds is that drivers aren’t burdened with paid parking or over-full parking lots. The extra advantage: there is no helmet or drivers’ license required for riding a delivery bicycle, indifference to the use of a moped. That was the most important reason for Quick’n Tasty from Groningen to trade their moped in for an E-bike. Not everyone has a drivers’ license. By choosing an E-bike, owner Chris Sluiter could pick anyone as a driver. It often lowers payroll costs as well. By choosing an (electrical) bicycle, you can also pick younger employees to do the job. Another plus by using E-bikes: there are more flexible to use because you can maneuver better with them as a driver. Besides, it’s cheaper to insure.

Insurance

Insurance is important when you want to home-deliver. If done by E-bike or moped, there are certain risks for the driver. They’re more vulnerable in traffic. Official statics of the number of accidents that involve delivery drivers are unknown, but it’s in the news regularly. As for insurance, you should contact a professional insurance advisor. Or contact your colleagues who also have a delivery service for advice.

Special E-bikes

Some companies develop E-bikes specifically meant for delivery services. As an entrepreneur, you pay more for this kind of bikes as you would in a regular bicycle store, but they are made for delivery. They are more stable, have wider tires, and specific adjustments of the brake system. Thereby, you can also purchase delivery boxes along with these bicycles, which the bicycle is mounted for. Such a purchase, with everything included, costs around €2000.

You can also lease E-bikes and mopeds for an all-in price. With leasing, you pay a monthly amount during the set period. This could be appealing for restaurants who just started their delivery service so that they can first grow their business. Just mind the conditions you’re agreeing to. Is the agreed price indeed all-in, so damage, repairs, insurance, and theft included? Otherwise, you could be in for some unpleasant surprises.

DeliverEbike GEN2 McCain delivery bicycle - Ebike4Delivery

Some companies develop E-bikes specifically meant for delivery services, such as the company Ebike4Delivery.

Try-out

When starting a delivery service, its best to start with a few bicycles first. When your market area too big, you could consider a small delivery car. If you’re already in possession of a delivery car, its wise to start using that first. That way you can lower your investment for that (and for the whole delivery service as well), and start delivering during lunch breaks as well. The big advantage is, that larger orders will be placed which means more revenue for you. Another advantage of using a delivery car compared to a moped is that damage and insurance are cheaper.

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