Micromobility Charging

1. Problem: Dockless Micromobility Charging  

Micromobility companies have traditionally relied on dockless parking and charging. This results in cluttered sidewalks with increased risk of fire from charging multiple e-scooters and e-bikes at residential locations. Micromobility service providers face challenges charging and maintaining fleets. Companies rely on gig economy workers to scour cities and charge depleted e-vehicles at home overnight. As companies scale, they pile e-scooters and e-bikes in internal combustion engine vehicles to recharge in warehouses. This limits environmental benefits, availability, and potential revenue. This charging ecosystem is expensive so new charging solutions are needed. 


2. Solution: Universal Micromobility Charging Stations

Companies are working to solve these challenges by developing universal micromobility charging stations. GetCharged, Inc. (Charge) provides micromobility stations for riders and service operators to charge e-scooters and e-bikes. Charge is dedicated to building the largest network of electric charging, storage, and service stations for e-vehicles. These stations remove clutter on city sidewalks and reduce hazards for pedestrians. The first Charge docking station was launched in August, 2019 on Broadway between 24th and 25th street. Key features:

— Charge’s docking charging stations are compatible with most e-scooter and e-bike brands. 
— Universal charging stations connected to the grid can fully charge a battery in 3 to 6 hours.
— In addition to charging, docks provide adaptable micromobility vehicle parking and locking.
— Docking charging stations are installed in private garages, lots, and spaces.
— Charge is deploying over 400 locations in NYC and 6,000 across the US and Europe.

Other Micromobility Charging Station Providers: 

— PBSC organizes, secures, and charges e-bikes and e-scooters while reducing operating costs.
— Swiftmile has a solar-powered charging station with digital display for transit details and ads.
— Kuhmute is a modular and universal charging station for micromobility providers and cities. 
— Duckt combines a dockless and docked approach with a unique locking system. 

Universal Battery Swapping 

Universal battery swapping is an alternative approach for micromobility charging. This solution reduces waiting time since batteries can be swapped in a few minutes. The battery swap can be done anywhere with battery swap cabinets taking up less space than public charging. However, universal batteries face challenges for e-mobility company adoption. When battery technology is upgraded, the charging network requires upgrading so this solution prohibitively expensive.  

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the micromobility ecosystem include: 

Charging Service Providers: Companies including Charge, PBSC, Swiftmile, Kuhmute, and Duckt provide innovation micromobility charging solutions. 
Micromobility Service Providers: Companies including Lime, Bolt, Bird, Revel provide e-scooters in various markets that require charging.   
Consumers: City residents become members to micromobility service providers to efficiently travel around neighborhoods. 
Real Estate Owners: Private parking owners and the Department of Transportation in cities become stakeholders to provide sites for micromobility charging stations. 
Utilities: ConEdison in New York and PG&E in California are examples of utilities that must manage the deployment of micromobility charging stations.
Policymakers: City politicians are shaping micromobility charging policy and regulation.


4. Implementation

The micromobility charging service providers take the following key steps to deploy:

1. Meet with public or private real estate owner to gain approval for charging station project.
2. Once interest is confirmed, meet with utility to confirm project feasibility at the location. 
3. Gain approval for charging station installation construction, trenching, and permitting. 
4. Install the micromobility charging station at the desired location. 
5. Operate and maintain the charging station once up and running. 

Sources:

— Charge Unveils First-Of-Its-Kind Micromobility Charging, Docking And Service Station In New York City:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/charge-unveils-first-of-its-kind-micromobility-charging-docking-and-service-station-in-new-york-city-300895817.html
— Charge: https://www.charge.us/    
— Charging stations vs battery swaps: What’s better for micromobility? https://thenextweb.com/news/charging-stations-battery-swaps-whats-better-micromobility-syndication

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