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An Open Letter To The Food Delivery Industry From Director Of Sinnis International Daqi Fan.

To our hospitality partners,

We’ve seen unprecedented growth in food delivery services over the past year, and changing perspectives. Though it was a year of hardship for us all, many turned to takeaways and grocery pickups as a source of relief and comfort in times of isolation. Delivery networks have had to keep up with the pace, scaling at a phenomenal rate. Now, companies are looking at electric vehicles as a viable way to recoup scaling costs and build efficiencies into networks.

This is the year delivery riders go electric.

At Sinnis International, UK distributor of NIU electric Scooters, we saw a tipping point in the market last year. Despite many consumer dealerships closing their doors, unit sales of these smart, electric vehicles grew by 60% year-on-year to-date. We attribute this rise to the influx of interest we’ve seen from businesses looking to dip their toes into the water with NIU’s N-Cargo delivery mopeds and scooters. Many initial trials are now past the post, with some of the biggest names in food delivery soon to announce their switch to electric scooters.

Real-world variables aside, estimations consistently put electric mopeds at 75% cheaper to run than their petrol alternatives or more. One of our dealerships, Urban eBikes provides a handy calculator on their site based on the average UK electricity cost to charge two battery cells. As an example, if your average delivery scooter does around 50 miles in one evening, the running cost-per-shift reduces dramatically, from £3 with a typical petrol scooter to only 46p with an electric delivery moped. Multiply this by 5 nights/week over 48 weeks of deliveries, even for a small five-scooter fleet, that’s a saving of £1,662 over the first year.

Partly, the reservations concerning electric mopeds highlight a lack of range, but as batteries are able to power us further and faster, it’s become a non-issue, at least in urban contexts where riders rarely do over 60 miles in a single night. Processes need to be established to ensure batteries are kept at optimal charge levels, but higher-end models like NIU’s NQiGT Cargo can do up to 77 miles on a single charge – more than enough for a busy city shift.

Heightened awareness from consumers is also forcing businesses to rethink the sustainability of their delivery logistics. Social responsibility is rising up the agenda, with 79% of consumers changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, and environmental impact. COVID-19 has exacerbated concerns, with 67% of consumers saying they will be more cautious about the scarcity of natural resources after the pandemic. Startup delivery businesses such as Weezy and Gousto are leading the way in these areas, but larger corporates are not far behind, with Deliveroo offering eBikes as a greener option to riders.

Throughout the next year, we’ll be announcing the leading food delivery companies who have already committed to making that electric switch. The delivery sector is changing and we’re excited to support businesses looking to change with it, becoming more cost-efficient, sustainable, and scalable for our urban future. At Sinnis International, we’ve long been leaders in the small-capacity scooters and motorcycle market but it’s always been my philosophy to get behind innovation rather than fight against it. The transition to more sustainable transportation will be gradual but the growth indicated by this year’s sales data shows the hospitality sector is more open than you would think to moving faster than others.

Thank you for your time,

Daqi Fan

Director, Sinnis International and UK distributor of NIU Electric Scooters.