E-BIKES to revolutionize deliveries ekasi

​In the hustle and bustle of Soweto, local company SHOVeBIKE is just about ready to launch its collection and delivery business through a first-ever electric bike service. 

The logistics start-up aims to provide last-mile small-scale collection and deliveries on an e-bike and trailer. 

“With the continent’s growing young population, the majority of whom walk or use public transport for their commutes, the potential for the future of bikeshare is enormous,” says SHOVeBIKE CEO Zakhele Mhlanga. 

He notes that with the right policies, infrastructure and resources, an Africa that is more cycling-friendly would not only significantly reduce emissions, congestion and road fatalities but also improve the quality of life of all Africans.

Business Development Manager for SHOVeBIKE, Raymond Rampolokeng says the e-bike has a 70kg front load bin and a 170kg trailer, which doesn’t need a licence as yet.Anyone who can ride a bike and remembers the nostalgia of an old school bicycle will take a liking to the e-bike. Training is also provided for all SHOVeBIKE riders.

“Our riders have been hard at work, fine-tuning their skills and rider experience on our cargo e-bikes. Their dedication and preparation have been nothing short of remarkable as they get ready to hit the streets of Soweto with confidence,” says Mhlanga.

He says that the e-bike is easy to master and an efficient and affordable way to act as a delivery and collection service. The bicycles structure also allows for it to travel on passages, walk ways and corridors for convenience. The company is working on an app to use with the e-bike.

“The app will allow us to see when and where the bicycles are in use as well as when maintenance is required and also pin points the location of where the bicycles has been dropped off and last used for collection,” says Rampolokeng.

He says the company has successfully launched the prototype at the Smarter Mobility Africa Summit held on 1-3 October 2023 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand where Deputy President Paul Mashatile delivered the keynote address. “E-bikes could be transformative to the growth of cycling in our current car-oriented societies as they unlock cycling for many more journeys by a wider range of people regardless of origin, age, gender or physical ability,” says Rampolokeng.

He says SHOVeBIKE cannot wait to officially launch its new service especially in Soweto, with the hopes of expanding throughout the City of Johannesburg. ​It also intends applying for donor funding to acquire nine e-bikes and 10 push bikes to offset overheads, train riders and 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 achieved with great fanfare and this gives us hope. 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,” says Rampolokeng.

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