In the lively hub of Soweto, local company SHOVeBIKE is gearing up to introduce its innovative collection and delivery service via electric bikes. This logistics startup plans to offer last-mile, small-scale deliveries using e-bikes and trailers. “With Africa’s expanding youthful population, many of whom rely on walking or public transportation for their daily commutes, the potential for the future of bikeshare is enormous,” says SHOVeBIKE CEO Zakhele Mhlanga. He emphasises that with the right policies, infrastructure, and resources, a more bike-friendly Africa could significantly reduce emissions, traffic congestion, and road accidents and enhance the quality of life for all Africans as reported by Joburg Newsroom.
SHOVeBIKE’s Business Development Manager, Raymond Rampolokeng, explains that the e-bike features a 70kg front load bin and a 170kg trailer, currently not requiring a license. Training is available for all SHOVeBIKE riders.
“Our riders have been diligently honing their skills and gaining experience on our cargo e-bikes. Their dedication and readiness have been truly remarkable as they prepare to hit the streets of Soweto with confidence,” Mhlanga remarks.
The e-bike is user-friendly efficient, and offers an affordable means of providing collection and delivery services. Its design allows it to travel on pathways, walkways, and corridors for added convenience.
SHOVeBIKE is also in the process of developing an app for use with the e-bike. “The app will enable us to track the e-bikes’ usage, schedule maintenance, and pinpoint the locations where they are dropped off and last used for collections,” according to Rampolokeng.
The company recently unveiled the prototype at the Smarter Mobility Africa Summit held from October 1-3, 2023, at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, where Deputy President Paul Mashatile delivered the keynote address.
“E-bikes have the potential to transform the growth of cycling in our car-oriented societies by making cycling accessible for a wider range of people, regardless of origin, age, gender, or physical ability,” notes Rampolokeng.
SHOVeBIKE is eagerly awaiting the official launch of its new service, particularly in Soweto, with plans to expand throughout the City of Johannesburg. They also intend to seek donor funding to acquire nine e-bikes and ten push bikes to cover expenses, provide rider training, and address other technical requirements.
“We’re excited to take this next step, and we can’t wait to share the streets of Soweto with you. We’re on a mission, and the proof of concept and township-level demonstration has been received with great enthusiasm. We’re not just delivering packages; we’re delivering change one pedal at a time. Join us as we ride towards a greener, more vibrant future for all,” concludes Rampolokeng.
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Photo: Facebook / @ Shovebike