Beyond Cape Town, Ross adds it will take five to 10 years to get the infrastructure for e-vehicles right in South Africa.
“It’s a national move that the country is [going] towards, and it’s just going to be a slow process. It’s not just for us, I mean, this needs to happen. And we are just all blessed to be a part of the consultation process.”
The regulations around e-bikes means it lowers the barriers of entry for riders and therefore opens up opportunities for employment, because you don’t need a driver’s license.
WhileyouhavetolearntherulesoftheroadwithGreenRiders, it’s still faster and easier, says Ross.
“And obviously that then feeds into the petrol price. Because even if you do go through the whole process and the cost of getting a motorbike, and your motorbike license, you’re not paying 50 to
100 rand per day on petrol ($3-$6). This is a very ugly industry, in that the driver gets squeezed; the aggregator is always going to charge the maximum fees possible.”
Core to Green Riders is not just making a difference to the planet, but to its people.
“We insure all our e-bikes for the riders that don’t insure it. And when you have a certain number of bikes in your policy, it’s actually not that expensive. You get that economy of scale.”
He adds that it’s just the right thing to do, for human safety and long-term viability.
According to Ross, they have sourced the best batteries in the market, for the longest life on the road.
Green Riders has partnered with accreditation facilitators and are in talks with others, as hosting providers for learnerships.
Ross explains that after this, there’s still need for upward mobility. Recruiting individuals and access to
a market is where they want to come in, to provide an e-bike that can be paid off at a rate the banks approve. He explains that this is a way for self-reliance, as they can acquire a bike, pay it off, and perhaps buy another one.
The workshops for the drivers can be in administration or technical applications like bike assembling.
“So it’s not mandatory, but we find the people who want to do more, asked to learn more, and then they’re able to do more and are able to learn more. So it’s just the right cycle.”
Another benefit to the workers is that Green Riders has created an integrated management system for accepting orders, so riders don’t have to minimize each app they get an order from, and can streamline
their acceptance of orders. This can improve their key performance indicators.
An integrated management system also benefits restaurants, because they have one tablet that they can accept orders from, instead of multiple devices, ringing often at the same time.
“And they don’t speak to one another so you end up having delays on your food. So it’s also good for the restaurant. And we found a lot of interest in this.”
The service has been going through development for months. Ross says April 1 saw the restaurant Ciao Pizza and another called The Charcoal Oven and Grill in Cape Townutilizethesystemwithgreatsuccess. Another bonus for the riders – a full charge on an e-bike to travel 90km-150km costs only R5.24 of electricity. That’s less than $1. It costs approximately $24 (R384) to go the same distance with petrol.