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Most food delivery riders work 12-hour shifts Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: With delivery bikes becoming an increasing presence on UAE roads, the question of whether they should go green has become a subject of public debate.

Whether its food orders, grocery or other kinds of online shopping, residents in the UAE heavily depend on delivery bikes for their daily needs.

An estimated 12,000 delivery bikes ply on the roads every day in the UAE, raising questions of their CO2 emissions and impact on the environment.

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Adam Ridgway, CEO of One Motto, who claim to be the UAE's first approved electric bike company Image Credit: Supplied

Adam Ridgway, CEO of environmental company One Moto, which claims to be the UAE’s first approved electric bikes company, says if the UAE’s 12,000 delivery bikes alone switched to electric, over 16,000 tonnes of CO2 could be reduced.

He said One Moto’s statistics state that motorbikes can emit 416 per cent more hydro carbons than cars, over 3,000 per cent more nitrogen oxides and over 8,000 per cent higher levels of carbon monoxide.

“Motorbikes produce less CO2 but they produce a lot more hydro carbons. Unfortunately, CO2 is the one that is more widely marketed and known, whereas nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons are not discussed as much,” Ridgway said. “Around 40 per cent of the potential clients we’ve spoken to have a mandate for sustainability. Some of them have actually created jobs and positions within their organisations.”

Switching to electric bikes is also a matter of convenience, those in its favour contend.

According to them, electric bikes are not only cost efficient, but time efficient as well.

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An example of the One Motto bike which can go 150-km on one charge Image Credit: Supplied

Talabat’s Chief Operating Officer Toon Gyssels said the food delivery company finds the issue of sustainability extremely important.

“At Talabat, we take corporate responsibility with the utmost care and respect, and are currently exploring new avenues of moving towards a more sustainable fleet. We believe that electric-powered fleets will undoubtedly be the way of the future, and this is underscored by our commitment at Expo 2020, as the Official Food Delivery App, of delivering our customers great food by e-scooter.”

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One Motto's bikes were approved last July and began registering vehicles in October, so far they have sold between 135 and 140 bikes Image Credit: Supplied

Prakhar Mishra, logistics manager of another delivery company Zomato, said, “Zomato is keen to explore deliveries through e-bikes in the UAE. We have already partnered with several e-scooter suppliers to fulfill deliveries for our India business. Owing to the fact they are easy to manoeuvre (especially in areas with heavy traffic), require very little parking space (lesser time spent on finding and parking a vehicle as well as saving cost), can travel long distances, we have seen better overall operational as well as cost metrics from e-bike deliveries.”

He said, “Electric delivery bikes hold the potential to be the next big thing in the last mile ecosystem, which is right now moving towards the era of micro-mobility. E-bikes are cost-effective, energy-efficient, powered by alternative-fuel, have a lesser impact on traffic and now have the range and power to travel long distances. All of these features clubbed with the fact that there are several health benefits (as compared to a car or a motorbike) is the reason why the e-bike market is expected to shape-up the last-mile space in food-tech across the globe.”