Electric bike company Bolt Bikes has just launched in Sydney and Melbourne but hands off – it's for gig workers

Mina Nada and Michael Johnson, Bolt Bikes founders. Image: Supplied.
  • E-bike company Bolt Bikes has launched in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as in San Francisco and London.
  • The company however isn’t targeting a consumer market, instead primarily offering electric bikes to couriers like food delivery drivers and businesses.
  • The bikes are provided under a subscription service for $79 a week.

Another electric bike company has launched in Australia but this time it’s different.

Bolt Bikes provides smart e-bikes specifically with businesses in mind. Partnered with Deliveroo, its specifically got fast-growing food delivery services, like Uber Eats and DoorDash in its sights.

It operates under a subscription service, where you can rent a bike from $79 a week or you rent to own it from $99 a week, with the e-bike company claiming it is the world’s first light electric vehicle solution for delivery drivers and businesses. It’s an interesting strategy, completely bypassing the consumer market and going straight for the burgeoning gig economy.

Bolt Bikes claims its EV’s “have up to 30% more earning potential, enabling them to make more deliveries per shift.” Unlike scooters or motorbikes, you don’t need a driver’s licence, insurance, or registration, with the platform, providing a lock, a rear rack for deliveries as well as front and back integrated lights for safety.

The focus isn’t shocking considering the company was founded by former Deliveroo executive Mina Nada, and his former colleague at consultancy company Bain & Co, Michael Johnson. Nada saw the need to create “a better vehicle solution for the delivery sector”, according to the Bolt website. The duo purchased their first 10 bikes in 2017 and as the business clicked up a gear, they decided to leave their old jobs behind and work on Bolt full time.

“Being in the food delivery industry since its inception, we saw that light electric vehicles were the real future of ‘last mile’ logistics, yet no-one was offering the right vehicle, financing or maintenance solution,” Nada said in a statement issued to Business Insider Australia. “We are proud to be serving the real needs of delivery couriers while building the logistics infrastructure of the future.”

The company operates out of Sydney and Melbourne but has also launched in London, while US delivery service Postmates has also been trialling the Bolt Bikes in San Francisco since June, TechCrunch reported.

Deliveroo Australia head of operations Jodi Ingham said in a statement “We’re proud to be partnering with Bolt to give our network of riders access to a sustainable and affordable transport solution, giving higher earning potential and a more reliable solution in an industry experiencing exponential growth.”

“Bolt Bikes has introduced the first accessible, commercial Light Electric Vehicle, with low upfront costs plus free support and maintenance services. It’s a win-win-win for our riders, our customers and our restaurant partners.”

Bolt has plans to increase its fleet to ten times its current size by 2020. It currently has a team of 20, with the intention of expanding across more cities in Australia, USA and UK.

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