• btc = $51 781.00 841.13 (1.65 %)

  • eth = $3 039.98 95.15 (3.23 %)

  • ton = $2.10 0.00 (0.22 %)

  • btc = $51 781.00 841.13 (1.65 %)

  • eth = $3 039.98 95.15 (3.23 %)

  • ton = $2.10 0.00 (0.22 %)

11 Apr, 2023
2 min time to read

Uber's buy-back program could address the problem of unsafe, cheaply made e-bikes used by food delivery workers after deadly battery fires in New York City.

In response to a concerning rise in e-bike fires that have resulted in at least 12 deaths in New York City, Uber has announced that it will fund an e-bike buy-back program for delivery workers. The aim of the program is to remove fire-prone batteries from the streets. Additionally, Uber has pledged to support an extra fee on food deliveries to help workers afford safer options.

The company is partnering with e-bike firm Zoomo and non-profit organization, the Equitable Commute Project, on two different trade-in programs. Delivery workers can trade in older e-bikes for credit towards a new e-bike, access rent-to-own pricing models, priority repairs, and services. While the amount of credit is still being finalized, Zoomo plans to offer at least $200 for an old e-bike.

Equitable Commute Project will also pilot a trade-in program with local bike shops that will offer a discounted UL-certified e-bike in exchange for a non-compliant device. UL, a private company known for certifying the safety of everyday products, has certified these safer batteries.

Most delivery workers are low-income immigrant men and depend on e-bikes to earn a living. According to a study conducted by WXY Studios and commissioned by Uber, over 65,000 of New York’s food delivery workers rely on e-bikes, many of which run on cheaper lithium-ion batteries linked to fires and injuries. However, UL-certified batteries tend to be more expensive than uncertified ones, which can cost delivery workers $1,000 or more, and they earn an average of just $7.09 an hour.

To address the issue, Uber is donating $100,000 to the FDNY Foundation to be used for an e-bike safety education campaign. Uber has not disclosed how much it will spend on the buy-back program, but Mayor Eric Adams has praised the company for “stepping up to the plate to help in a major way.” Adams recently announced that all ride-hail vehicles operating in the city will have to be electric by 2030.