An Electric Van Juggernaut: ElectraMeccanica, Tevva Merge
DoorDash reverifies workers, Home Depot delivery stats, fastest growing restaurant segments
If your fleet has been looking for new delivery vehicles, but you’ve been disappointed that the options just aren’t posh enough - you’re in luck! Two British and American EV startups are merging, meaning that the best of Ol’ Blighty’s electric vans are about to be headed stateside. Oh, behave!
Tevva & ElectraMeccanica Team Up on Electric Vans
DoorDash to Reverify Workers
Chart Time | Home Depot vs At-Home Delivery
Fastest Growing Restaurant Segments
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VEHICLES | ElectraMeccanica, Tevva Merge in Bid for EV Van Dominance
Arizona-based ElectraMeccanica announced it was merging with the UK’s Tevva, in a bid to combine the two EV upstarts into a van and truck manufacturing giant. While Tevva recently began delivering vehicles to British customers, it’s capacity limited to 3,500 units per year. Adding on ElectraMeccanica’s Mesa-based factory means the company can manufacture an additional 10,000 by 2026, servicing the American and EU markets as well, while tapping in to new U.S. government incentives.
The Big Picture: Both companies have had a rocky few years. While Tevva managed to secure a few marquee customers, including Royal Mail, it’s been dogged by missed payments to suppliers and cuts to headcount. ElectraMeccanica on the other hand found itself with plenty of cash, but no vehicle: its three-wheeled Solo vehicles (including a cute pizza delivery variant) were recalled due to mysterious electrical issues. This tie-up takes the best assets of both businesses, and pushes them head first into the fast growing electric van segment. The medium duty vehicle has a gross payload of 2942 kg (6486 lbs,) charges in 5 hours, and has a range of 227 km (141 mi) plus a higher performing hydrogen-electric variant. For those bemoaning the loss of ElectraMeccanica as a micro-vehicle player, fear not: a policy update out of NYC could revive the market for tiny cargo machines as well. The city just announced it was expanding the maximum size of four-wheeled bikes (think cargo bicycles) from 3 feet to 4 feet wide.
3PD | Halt Citizen, Identify Yourself!
DoorDash is rolling out an update to its worker platform, adding worker re-verification in a bid to ensure deliverers are who they say they are. Active Dashers will receive in-app requests to re-verify their identities, whereby they’ll need to take a selfie that matches their previously provided ID photo. Verification and compliance is handled by Persona, with the companies also monitoring how many devices have been used for logins, if contact details have been changed, and if account information has been used before.
The Big Picture: Trust and safety is a key concern for any large, consumer-facing brand. When there’s no central office or dispatching center to check in to, it can be a bit tricky to ensure that John Smith isn’t really Jane Doe. While white collar workers have made the news for holding down multiple jobs that they’ve outsourced to other laborers, those same issues plague the gig economy. While it can be especially nerve-racking if your Uber or Lyft driver doesn’t match the photo on the app, it’s a problem as well if DoorDash doesn’t truly know who’s dropping off your drumsticks.
CHART TIME | In-Store Paint Pickup?
Mega-retailer Home Depot released its Q2 results this morning, beating its EPS by one cent, while seeing sales contract 2% YoY. With the company expecting a continued cooling of revenue amid low home sales, it authorized a $15 billion share repurchase program. But what about delivery, you ask… Screwdrivers and work gloves are certainly conducive to drop-off, cacti and bathtubs a bit less so; as such, Home Depot’s online sales mix tends to sit around a lowly 15%. Of the orders that are placed online - about half tend to be picked up in store, as opposed to delivered to the consumer. Charted above is “percent of online orders fulfilled through a store” - take it with a grain of contractor-grade salt, HD doesn’t break this out every quarter, and likes to use ambiguities like “more than” or the dreaded tilde, to slightly blur its statistics.
RESTAURANTS | Fastest Growing Categories
Nation’s Restaurant News has new data, breaking down which restaurant categories are growing fastest in 2023. As usual, the dining industry has given its accolades to absolutely delicious sounding acronyms like FSR Midscale (yum!) and LSR Other (come on kids, who’s hungry?!) Without spoiling the whole list, we’ll reveal that the fastest growing category was LSR (limited service restaurant) Salad / Healthful, which saw a 17.4% YoY rise in sales, to $4.4 billion.
The Big Picture: Coming in at number two was FSR (full service restaurant) Global, up 14.9%, followed by LSR Other, up 14.7% — suggesting that Americans are hungry for basically anything that isn’t another hamburger or chicken sandwich. In that hot, hot salad (ok, hopefully not literally hot) and health food category — we’ve got quick-growing chains like Tropical Smoothie Cafe (sales up 15.6% YoY,) Smoothie King (+7%,) Jamba (+6%,) Sweetgreen (+38.3%,) Chicken Salad Chick (+11%,) and many more. Salads, smoothies, and grain bowls are particularly conducive to deliverability — might the growth of these two industries be intertwined?
A Few Good Links
GoPuff lowers prices 30% for FAM membership users. DoorDash ordered to pay millions for spamming Australians. Analysis of the Shipt + Babylist ad campaign. Starship robots come to Kansas. Wendy’s unveils new store design, emphasizes kiosk ordering and digital order pickup. GEM launches low-speed road nav app, useful for urban delivery vehicles. Defiant Bonchon franchisee ordered to close. Domino’s turns to deep discounting to revive sales. Boston Market’s slow death (wishing the best to affected workers hurt by careless management.) Friend of the newsletter Matt Newberg talks restaurant supply management with Zitti CEO Dante DiCicco. Today in great land use: long shuttered KFC to be replace by a… double drive-thru Starbucks! Delivery-oriented Wow Bao turns to Walmart to boost retail presence, awareness. Cardboard packaging recycling rate is either 93% or 69%. How UPS uses AI to reduce staffing needs.
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