NEW YORK (PIX11) — There’s a new partnership to help New York City delivery workers with access to affordable and safe e-bikes and lithium-ion batteries.
Uber is teaming up with Zoomo to offer discounts or store credits toward a new or certified refurbished e-bike for people who trade in their old bike. The exact dollar amount is still being worked out. Without a discount, the cost of new e-bike at Zoomo is around $2,400. A certified refurbished one is $1,500.
It comes amid an increase in the number of lithium-ion battery fires in New York City. According to stats provided by the FDNY, there have been 59 lithium-ion battery fires in New York City so far in 2023, with five people killed. In 2022, there were 220 fires, with six deaths. That’s a jump from 2020, when there were 44 fires all year and zero deaths.
The president of the city’s Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) said the partnership is “just a goodwill gesture.” Andrew Ansbro told PIX11 News that app-based delivery companies like Uber Eats and Grubhub should purchase a fleet of e-bikes and UL-tested batteries and provide them to delivery workers. “FedEx doesn’t make you buy your own vehicle. Amazon doesn’t make you buy your own vehicle,” Ansbro said.
The UFA also brought up another concern to PIX11 News. Ansbro said lithium-ion batteries are even more hazardous to firefighters than standard fires. He wants the city to invest in equipment to decontaminate the firefighters’ gear immediately after any lithium-ion battery fire.
The e-bike trade-in program with Zoomo should be up and running in a few weeks.