We’re all over the place today in our weekly roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar. We’ll dive into Tesla’s ‘open’ supercharger network coming to the U.S., as well as Amazon as they utilize e-bikes that look like mini-delivery trucks in the UK and pair up with Grubhub to bring restaurant delivery to Prime members. Also, Uber Eats and Disney have paired up in an unlikely matchup.
Amazon is using electric cargo bikes that look like mini-trucks to make deliveries in the UK (The Verge)
Summary: Amazon has launched its first “micromobility hub” in the UK with the aim to swap “thousands” of polluting delivery trucks with electric cargo bikes — and, in some cases, walking. The project is intended to help Amazon achieve its climate goals to have 50 percent of its deliveries be carbon neutral by 2030.
Starting in the London borough of Hackney, the company says that it will deliver 1 million packages a year using walking and electric cargo bikes, in addition to deliveries that are made with electric vans. Delivery workers on foot and e-bikes will help displace “thousands” of traditional van trips, Amazon said.
The carbon neutral trips will take place within a tenth of London’s ultra low emissions zone, in which vehicles are charged a fee based on the amount of emissions they produce. E-bikes and electric vehicles are exempt from the charge….
My Take: Delivery couriers commented on RSG’s Facebook page and brought up a myriad of issues with this kind of delivery system. Here’s what a few had to say:
Simon mentioned, “Where do you park them? Miami has areas where no street parking is available, are we supposed to park two blocks over and walk? At least a motorcycle can be parked on the sidewalk.”
That’s a good question. Would it be legal to park these on the sidewalk like a standard bicycle or motorcycle? Or would couriers have to park on the street since it’s bigger and takes up more room?
Donna stated, “They’re ridiculous. I guess for busy city streets but I do a lot of highway travel between stops. I do Flex…my Jeep holds more lol.”
I agree. This isn’t the best option for longer delivery routes or for anyone that needs to use a highway to make their deliveries.
And Steven mentioned that it doesn’t solve any kind of storage issue because they seem small and would likely only handle about 30 packages or so.
The only real upside for this kind of transportation is that there wouldn’t be any gas prices associated with it and someone who favors e-bikes would have the opportunity to do deliveries, though their options may be limited due to the size and distance constraints.
Amazon and Grubhub Strike Deal to Bring Restaurant Delivery to Prime Members (Wall Street Journal)
Summary: Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.56%▼ agreed to add Grubhub to its suite of Prime services in the U.S., in a deal aimed at expanding the food-ordering company’s reach by tapping Amazon’s membership program.
Grubhub’s parent, Netherlands-based Just Eat Takeaway.com TKWY -1.67%▼ NV said Amazon has an initial option to take a 2% stake in U.S.-based Grubhub, and U.S. Prime members can have their delivery fees waived from some restaurants. Just Eat said Amazon could bump up its total stake to 15% of Grubhub based on performance terms, which are focused on adding more food orders and customers to its delivery subscription program.
Just Eat will still own Grubhub and will continue exploring a full or partial sale of the business, it said. The deal will renew annually unless either Amazon or Just Eat terminates it, and Just Eat said it is expected to materially add to Grubhub’s business next year.
The deal brings Amazon further into food-related services through its Prime membership program. The online commerce giant has provided grocery benefits to Prime members under its Whole Foods Market division as a way to make its annual subscription program more valuable….
My Take: We’re starting to see more and more partnerships that on the surface don’t seem to make much sense, but it’s just one way to reach more potential customers. I’d be more likely to order from Grubhub if I got delivery included with my Prime membership. And if Grubhub was actually available by me, which I don’t believe it is. But that’s a whole other story.
The point is, these companies are finding ways to build partnerships with each other in ways that will hopefully entice more business for both companies. Do you think it will work?
Disney Bundle Offer Available to Uber Eats Customers, and Uber One Available to Disney+ Users (WDWNT)
Summary: Uber Eats customers can now take advantage of a promotional offer for The Disney Bundle, which includes subscriptions for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.
Uber Eats users in the U.S.A. can receive two complimentary months of The Disney Bundle. This offer is available through August 30, 2022.
My Take: Yet another unlikely partnership, and yet here we are. I would never have thought to pair Uber Eats with the Disney bundle. Again, if I don’t already have the Disney bundle, but had been considering it, I would be very tempted by this offer. Two free months of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ simply by being an Uber Eats customer? Yes, please!
And, of course, that’s how they get you. You sign up for it, then you either forget that you have it and start paying for it once the free trial is up, or you’re hooked and voluntarily continue paying for it because you’ve come to enjoy having Disney at your fingertips.
Also in the news…
Uber car’s license plate numbers earn lottery player $50,000 (UPI)
Thoughts: What a weird story. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself over it a bit. So many lotto players have their set numbers they use each and every time they play. This person randomly decides to use their Uber driver’s license plate numbers and wins $50,000. Unbelievable.
White House confirms Tesla is working on an ‘open’ Supercharger network in North America (Engadget)
Thoughts: It’s only logical that the Tesla supercharger system would be available to all EV users. They may not have come up with that plan at the start, but it only makes sense. It would really be a hindrance if each EV company had to create its own charging system across the U.S. so that EV users could charge their vehicles while out and about or taking long road trips.
What do you think of the partnerships forming? Does it make sense for Amazon and Grubhub to partner up? What about Uber Eats and Disney?
-Paula @ RSG