Gurugram-headquartered food delivery and restaurant-discovery platform Zomato has taken a plunge at experimenting with mobility in the food delivery sector as it started delivery via cycles which include mechanical and electric bikes.
In a statement, Zomato announced that with this step it aims to convert 40% of the fleet to power-assisted bikes. At present, the company has over 5,000 cyclists operating across 12 cities in India, with the majority of the fleet pushing the pedal in Delhi NCR.
Zomato has partnered with Mobycy, e-HIRAN, TNT, Yulu and Zoomcar’s PEDL to provide e-cycles to aspiring delivery executives who are allotted shorter order distance — an average of 2.5 km — to ensure faster delivery.
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Mohit Gupta, CEO, Food Delivery business, Zomato, said, “Climate change and environmental challenges are an inalienable reality of the future. With the aggressive geographical expansion of food delivery, our last mile fleet is increasing by 150 delivery partners every day which places the onus of pollution-free and minimal fossil-fuel solutions on us.”
The company believes food delivery via bicycles will not only help reduce environmental damage and create additional employment opportunities but also tackle traffic and parking issues, especially in thinner lanes of the country, where cycles would be able to navigate better.
The delivery fleet on bicycles (whether mechanical or e-cycles) is provided with an ergonomic delivery bag and are diligently trained for the job as well as educated on road safety norms in the Zomato Rider University.
According to a Shared Mobility report by Niti Aayog, the cost of congestion is estimated to be INR 1.47 Lakh Crore annually in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, and vehicular emissions rates are increasing alarmingly.
Considering the huge cost to the environment, the government has targetting to have electric vehicles account for at least 30% of the total new vehicle registrations by 2030.
Bicycle-delivery is the latest in the super-competitive hyperlocal industry which is looking to solve the problem of last-mile delivery and beating congestion delays. Zomato joins the bandwagon of startups like tea provider Chai Point, Walmart-owned ecommerce marketplace Flipkart, Roadrunnr and Swiggy who deliver using ebikes.