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Uber Eats prepares for transition to e-bikes, EVs

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga
Johannesburg, 09 Jun 2023

Uber Eats has committed to eliminate carbon emissions on all its food deliveries globally by 2040, by supporting its couriers and delivery drivers to transition to e-bikes, e-scooters or electric vehicles (EVs).

This, as globally, countries race to establish zero-emission vehicle policies and incentives to increase rollout, generate interest and make EVs more affordable for the general public.

According to the United Nations, more than 70 countries, including the biggest polluters – China, the US and European Union – have set a net-zero target, covering about 76% of global emissions.

Furthermore, over 3 000 businesses and financial institutions worldwide are working with the Science-Based Targets Initiative to reduce their emissions in line with climate science.

In a blog post, Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber SVP of delivery, notes the e-hailing company aims to be the first global delivery tech platform to support the transition to more sustainable packaging − not only for Uber Eats merchants, but for the broader restaurant delivery ecosystem.

“In Europe and around the world, we’ll invest in partnerships and incentives to help couriers transition to e-bikes, EVs and other emission-free modes,” says Gore-Coty.

Uber is currently engaging with governments across Africa, urging the creation of a favourable regulatory environment to help accelerate the rollout of EVs on the continent.

According to Gore-Coty, Uber has more than 890 000 merchants in over 30 countries, alongside millions of couriers and drivers.

Uber says to address single-use plastic waste and its effects on the environment, it aims to help restaurants transition to more sustainable packaging in every city where it does business by 2030, through a combination of discounts, incentives and advocacy.

As the motorbike delivery economy grows, boosted by the growth of e-commerce, more online retailers are opting to adopt green scooters or EVs for their last mile delivery.

Last June, Woolworths became the first South African retailer to embark on an extensive rollout of electric panel vans to deliver customers’ online purchases in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban.

Faithful to Nature, an online local retailer of natural and sustainable products, is also testing a carbon-neutral delivery service, introducing EV cargo vans to its express delivery service in Cape Town.

Bolt South Africa previously told ITWeb it is looking at using electric scooters and EVs in the local market.

In July 2020, Bolt received official approval from the UK's Department for Transport to trial e-scooters in cities across the country.