Food delivery service Deliveroo has partnered with electric moped rental firm Elmovo to launch a zero-emission scooter hire scheme for its London-based riders.
Under the scheme, riders across central London will be able to rent a fully electric scooter for an hourly rate of £1.83, provided that they commit to a minimum of six hours of rental time. The price includes insurance, taxes and other costs.
An initial pool of 72 Elmovo mopeds were made available to Deliveroo riders this week, with more than 500 already having pre-registered to use the service. They will be stored at Elmovo’s Marylebone rental station, where they will be recharged and maintained at the expense of the scooter rental firm.
Each of the scooters has a 75-mile range and a top speed of 30mph – specifications which Elmovo claims make them ideal for short-distance, inner-city deliveries.
The scheme will be coordinated through the Elmovo app, which enables Deliveroo riders to pre-book scooters up to two weeks in advance, authenticates payment for the service and provides users with safety and maintenance information.
In order to encourage the riders to use best practice when driving, they are required to pay a refundable deposit of £150 when they first join the scheme, and to attend the Marylebone rental station in person for safety training before their first journey.
“Deliveroo wants every meal we deliver to be truly amazing but that is only possible if the delivery is sustainable alongside the great food we offer,” Deliveroo UK and Ireland’s managing director Dan Warne said.
“Electric mopeds and bikes represent an environmentally friendly, neighbourhood-conscious solution to cut emissions and save riders money in the long run.”
Due to the high early uptake of the scheme, Deliveroo has confirmed that it will make Elmovo’s Battersea and Bethnal Green rental stations open to its riders by the end of April. It is yet to reveal whether this move will also result in a larger fleet of mopeds being available.
The move from Deliveroo comes after rival firm Just Eat launched its flagship electric moped scheme to its 28,500 restaurant partners, offering these businesses a 45% discount on electric scooters for food deliveries. As of December 2018, more than 200 zero-emission Eskuta vehicles had been purchased through the initiative – mostly in the Greater London area.
But businesses within the food and drink sector are not alone in incentivising the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in light of recent air pollution warnings and ahead of the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London next Monday (April 8).
Ride-hailing giant Uber, for example, recently added its 15p per-mile “eco-charge” for all journeys taken within London as part of its pledge electrify its entire London fleet of passenger vehicles by 2025. Money raised through the charge will be used to help drivers purchase EVs, with the amount available to each individual set to be determined by the number of work hours they have logged through Uber’s app.
Elsewhere, retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Ikea have begun incorporating e-cargo bikes – a low-carbon last-mile solution also championed by UPS in the US – into their urban delivery fleets in the UK, while waste management firms including Veolia are now using electric bin lorries and street sweepers.