Tallinn-based electric cargo bike provider Vok Bikes and tech logistics company Stuart Delivery have partnered to introduce a new on-demand mobility solution to London’s delivery sector.
Vok and Stuart, which conducts millions of deliveries every week across 30 UK cities, have agreed to offer couriers on the Stuart platform use of the Estonian company’s electric cargo bikes through a short-term rental model with no prior financial commitment needed.
Vok’s bike design provides couriers with built-in cargo compartments that allow them to deliver multiple orders at once. They are also weather-resistant, said the company.
The bikes are now available to couriers in Croydon and the surrounding areas of South London, and will be available across London by the end of 2022.
Julien Weyl, head of sustainability, Stuart, UK, said: Accelerating the transition to low emission vehicles is crucial to reducing our emissions, however couriers on our platform own their own vehicles and are often constrained in their ability to switch to using electric vehicles.
“Through partnerships with companies equally committed to sustainable mobility like Vok, we are able to combat this barrier and make it easier for couriers to do so. This will not only contribute to lowering Stuart company emissions but also enable couriers to reduce their own personal carbon footprints too.”
For Stuart, supporting couriers using its platform to adopt more environmentally-friendly transport types is a key part of the company’s strategy to minimise its overall impact on the environment.
In addition to partnering with sustainable mobility providers like Vok, Stuart is also building relationships with charging infrastructure providers as well as financial partners to incentivise and support couriers’ transition process to electric vehicles, which, according to Vok’s research, have proved a 40% higher cost-efficiency compared to deliveries by car.
For Vok, the partnership with Stuart marks the latest stage in the company’s growth. In just 18 months, Vok has moved from the first prototype to operating fleets in its home city of Tallinn, as well as Vilnius. Stuart is the latest name to be added to a list of clients which includes Wolt, recently acquired by DoorDash.
London is the first major city in Vok’s European expansion, fueled by pre-seed funding round the company closed earlier this year. The company is backed by European cleantech founders including Taavi Madiberk and Kristjan Maruste, Estonian VC funds such as Superangel and United Angels VC, Pipedrive’s recently exited co-founders Ragnar Sass, Martin Henk and Martin Tajur and the Atomicos angel programme.
Indrek Petjärv, CEO and co-founder of Vok Bikes, said: “Vok Bikes enables delivery platforms to increase efficiency in the booming and super-competitive delivery market, making hiring couriers easier, enabling better working conditions and leveraging a business model that has a great fit with courier lifestyle.
“We welcome Stuart as an invaluable partner in a mission to make sustainable and efficient last-mile delivery widely available across Europe.”