Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Solar powered charging stations for e-bikes and light vehicles

A charging infrastructure for e-bikes and electric scooters to enable commuting and to bring outlying residents into central Austin

Photo of Niccolò Gallarati
2 0

Written by

The electric bicycle and scooter are a means of transport getting popular with a double-digit growth every year.

It is not just a matter of comfort, but an effective answer to the demand for sustainable , short distance mobility.

Traffic, pollution, danger of accidents, stress and little physical exercise can be solved with a policy of incentives towards electric bicycles.

Our STOP&CHARGE solar-powered charging stations makes it possible to charge electric bicycles and other light vehicles with solar energy, in an integrated, turnkey solution.

Several charging stations installed in strategic locations would provide a safe place to lock your e-bike, remotely monitored with videosurveillance, and their battery topped up, all powered day and night thanks to solar power and integrated energy storage.

We designed from scratch an integrated solar-powered, off-grid charging station for light vehicles, using our previous real experience with the 50+ charging stations we installed in Europe.

Our charging station allows 4-5 devices to be charged at the same time, as well as smartphones and portable devices. Our monitoring system gathers over 40 data points every minute, allowing remote control of the charging station, different business models (i.e. free of charge, subscription-based, or funded by user profiling) and a prompt mainentance should a fault occur.

Our STOP&CHARGE charging method is customizable: we can offer either AC outlet or specific charging cables, like fast charging EV charging stations.

The AC outlets are power limited to 250W each to avoid improper use and protected by RCD device for safety. This offers maximum compatibility, and less maintenance costs, but the downside is that the users need to bring their charger with them.

The integrated charging cable removes this downside, and it is safer because no AC current is user accessible. However compatibility would be limited to the charger brands chosen, and cables, despite being reinforced with a steel braid, are more prone to damage than a waterproof electrical outlet.

In the future, when a charging standard (such as EnergyBus) will hopefully emerge, STOP&CHARGE solar charging station can be upgraded, preserving the investment.

Austin is an ideal location for solar power, with more than 5 kWh of solar power per square meter eacy day. See NREL map (https://www.nrel.gov/gis/images/state-level-resource-maps/ghi/Texas-ghi-2017-01.jpg). This means the charging station can be 100% powered by solar power and thus no grid connection is required.

Our architecture is immune to blackouts, which may happen on major weather events, and therefore in such situations it provides a vital service as its storage system can charge hundreds of smartphones as well.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Our proposal leverages the extensive bike lane network of the city of Austin (http://austintexas.gov/bikingresources), as well as the ability to carry your e-bike on MetroRail and buses (https://www.capmetro.org/bring-your-bike/) Commuters from suburbs can leave their car at home. They commute to the central area, where the majority of business are headquartered, straight from home or through MetroRail. They reach the nearest charging station, where they can safely lock and charge their battery.Thanks to the charging network users are guaranteed to complete the journeys on their e-bike or scooter. This service is well suited to Austin as it is a large city, where it takes 19 miles from Lakeline Mall to downtown, and the southern part is with no MetroRail service. The charging stations model would work not only with privately owned vehicles, but also with shared micromobility providers, which are struggling with high operating costs, mainly the daily charging routine.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users
  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We gathered over 60 million data points from our 25 solar charging stations for portable devices installed since 2016, owned by several municipalities and energy companies. The concept of public charging is validated by over 200k charges with peaks of 150 charges per station per day. Very little vandalism has occurred because of the usefulness of the charging station to a broad audience.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are an Italian start up active since 2015 in the public charging station market. We have already 100+ charging stations, 40 customers and 25 charging stations owned by municipalities. Since 2019 we focused on the sustainable mobility market, offering SOLAR, a compact urban charging station for one e-bike, and SHELTER, a bigger charging station that act as a shelter with a bench, and has enough power to charge multiple vehicles.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

https://www.garageeks.com

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

30,000 - 35,000 USD for charging station manufacturing (steel structure and wooden bench will be built in USA by local manufacturer) plus deployment and road works 5,000 USD for monitoring and maintenance 10,000 USD for project coordination, shipping, customs and travel expenses

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We plan to install 2 SHELTER charging station and 2 SOLAR urban charging stations in selected locations. Sunlight exposure is a primary criterion. The integrated advertising areas of the charging stations make them stand and will be used to self-advertise the pilot project.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

All charging stations has real time usage monitoring. Data is collected and displayed in time series graphs, to allow compare results between locations, time of the day, environmental factors like temperature etc...

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The service will self sustain thanks to two possible revenue sources: - selling advertising spaces - cooperation with a shared micro mobility company as they can lower their operating expenses by asking the users to bring the scooters to the charging station instead of paying Juicers to charge them at home As the biggest investment is the charging station itself, which is financed by the pilot project, in order to be financially sustainable the revenues just need to match the maintenance costs.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garageeks Instagram: garageeks

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Niccolò Gallarati
Team

Hi Franklin, thank you for reaching out to us. Of course we will consider a partnership. Everything to bring more sustainable mobility around the world.
Good luck!

Niccolo

View all comments