If you order a Domino’s pizza for delivery later this year in several cities across the U.S., the chances that it will arrive by e-bike—not by a car stuck in traffic—are pretty high.
The national pizza chain recently announced a partnership with Rad Power Bikes, a Seattle-based electric cycle startup, in which Rad will provide Domino’s franchise owners with e-bikes to replace vehicle deliveries. Through the exclusive partnership, Domino’s franchise owners will have the option to purchase a custom-outfitted e-bike for up to $1,400. Switching from vehicle deliveries is not mandatory, but according to Brian Rinckenberger, commercial sales director for Rad Power Bikes, it’s likely to be an appealing option for Domino’s franchises as e-bikes could help speed up delivery times and create opportunities to have more people making deliveries at once.
That is what played out when Domino’s tested out making deliveries by e-bike in Houston, Miami, and New York City earlier this year. According to Rinckenberger, stores saw improvements in overall delivery time and service, as e-bikes are able to skirt around congested vehicle traffic lanes and can be parked much more easily.
The connection between the pizza giant and Rad Power Bikes predates even the pilot e-bike test this year. When Greg Keller, a Domino’s franchise owner in Seattle, was looking for a more efficient transportation option several years ago, he visited the Rad storefront to inquire about the bikes, and has been using them ever since. “We have been able to save money, provide better service, increase hiring, and maintain a happy workforce,” he said in a statement. Seattle is a popular testing ground (perhaps because of its notorious hills) for e-bike delivery: Last fall, UPS also launched a pilot program to test out delivering packages by e-bikes.
Now that the Domino’s partnership is going national, Rad has created a custom delivery bike just for pizza delivery. Its frame will be one of Rad’s popular commuter e-bikes, but it will come equipped with soft-sided, insulated cargo attachments at the front and back of the bike that can hold up to 12 large pizzas, as well as drinks, sides, and dipping cups. The bikes can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour and have a range of 45 miles per charge so delivery riders can make several stops before having to re-up the battery.
This is not the first corporate partnership Rad Power Bikes has inked: It provides electric tricycles to Spud, a food delivery service in Vancouver that wanted to replace car trips, and to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, which uses them as a more sustainable way to transport equipment. “That’s exactly why we started building e-bikes—to help people and businesses get out of their cars,” Rinckenberger says.