BlogCitiesUltra-lightweight charging and docking for electric bikes
December 9, 2021

Ultra-lightweight charging and docking for electric bikes

By Fifteen
Roll out more stations with a smaller budget, keeping your city clean and your public electric bike system charged.

Traditional docking infrastructure for bikes can be expensive to implement - it can also mean intrusive roadworks. Above all, it takes up a lot of space, especially when there are no bikes at the station.

Virtual stations are a solution to the problem, but they aren’t secure like traditional docks are, which can lead to vandalism and costly repairs, not to mention disorderly bikes (making your city look untidy).

We’ve engineered ultra-lightweight docking infrastructure that keeps bikes safe and secure, but also to optimise the use of public space.  

And it’s tried and tested in cities across France.

Smart station

This smart station is the most compact charging station in active use. Weighing in at 60kg, it is heavy enough to withstand significant external force, but also light enough to remain portable.

This is especially useful for the launch of a new system - because user mobility patterns will not always gravitate to where you imagine your future mobility hubs to be.

station edock fifteen.jpg
Height and length under one meter, and only 24 cm wide

It requires no major roadworks, and installation can be done in under 60 minutes. Stations are secured to the ground with four anchors of 400-500mm, with 4 nut sleeve anchors, or with a concrete foundation.

This - combined with the inexpensive nature of the station itself - means that cities can roll out more stations with the same budget - meaning that the reliance on virtual stations (that don’t charge bikes) is reduced.

Patented inter-bike charging technology

We designed a system where bikes lock together at the frame using electromagnets, keeping bikes safe and secure from vandalism.

The electromagnetic locks also allow energy to pass from the station, through each bike, to recharge the batteries of the ones at the end of the station. Because users will take these bikes first, an algorithm ensures that they are charged first.

Electric current passes safely through the frames of the bikes through electromagnets.

The power of three

The station can be powered in 3 different ways.

  1. Grid: Stations can be powered through a grid connection. It can take some time to organize the setup with energy companies -  but this is a favourite for cities and operators that know where they need their station to be.  
  2. Cable: Because energy companies can be slow to establish grid connections, we can also charge bikes from a standard plug socket - a great choice for temporary stations or stations that haven’t found their definite location.
  • Battery: Inside the chassis, the station can be configured to hold a battery. For temporary stations, this could be an ideal option.

Take only the space you need

When the bikes are at the station, the electromagnetic locking mechanism makes sure that the bikes are kept neat and tidy - looking attractive for users, and keeping cities happy.

Make the most of every metre. Give space back to pedestrians.

When the bikes aren’t there, there are no empty docks - no obstacles for pedestrians to dodge, and more space for other modes of transport. In this respect, they are the perfect fit for busy town centres and multimodal hubs.

This way, your stations take only as much space as you need, and ebb and flow with demand. Because of the light installation, moving a station from one area to the next is simple and inexpensive.

Limit vandalism

Whilst multiple dock stations are robust, they can leave most of a bike exposed.

On the other hand, with a compact station, the bikes are secured close together - making each one less isolated - and making them far more difficult to vandalise. This will be crucial when it comes to operational costs.

Getting ready to launch or upgrade your bike-sharing scheme?

With a range of hardware and software solutions to suit sharing or long-term leasing, we can tailor our schemes to your needs

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