Again a big fire at Domino pizza; Should we still charge batteries of light electric vehicles inside buildings?

After experiencing the quiet clean city in the Corona period, will people exchange their car for a bicycle or e-bike? That sounds attractive, but how are we going to charge them all?

August 12, 2020
Olivier Coops

How are we going to charge all these electric vehicles? There are hardly any public charging points anymore. For private individuals, this can simply be done at home in the socket in the shed or hallway. But that is considerably more difficult for a company, hotel or sharing-concept. Charging is often expensive, dangerous and above all a lot of hassle.

To date, there are three ways of charging:

  1. With the matching adapter in the socket on the wall or charging station
  2. Battery swapping
  3. An expensive and bulky wireless charging station (also known as a 'docking station')

With the matching adapter in the socket. Most people charge their e-bike battery on mains power in a 230V socket. For safety reasons, for commercial use, this must be a socket outlet specially purchased for this purpose from, for example, Bosch. Until recently, almost everyone took their battery off the bike and took it inside to charge. After a number of incidents with exploded batteries, such as at Domino's where an overheated battery caught fire on August 8, this is no longer allowed at most companies. Now it is a trend to integrate batteries (such as Van Moof) and to charge the bicycle outside. For companies with many e-bikes, this means a jumble of different cables, sometimes in combination with charging stations, that people trip over, lose and corrode.

Swapping batteries or collecting empty e-bikes is the only option for many sharing concepts. It is nice and easy for the user to leave the e-bike everywhere (called 'free floating'), but that does not seem like a sustainable model. For municipalities, bicycles lying around are a ruining the cityscape and for the providers, collection and charging is a huge expense. Parties with deep pockets such as Uber have introduced this without consultation with governments, but are now restricted by municipalities. Basically, municipalities are happy with sub-concepts for light electric transport, but this will have to be organized with designated places for parking and charging “semi free floating”.

Until now, expensive and cumbersome wireless charging stations are the only option for providers who want to charge outside without wires. These charging stations are linked to a specific bicycle model with an integrated charging connection. The company Gobike received a €1.6 million subsidy from the municipality of Rotterdam and subsequently went bankrupt. After that, countless expensive charging stations stood idle because they were only suitable for Gobike.

TILER will introduce its universal loading tile for e-bikes at the end of 2020. TILER believes that its user-friendly, wireless and sustainable solution contributes to a good infrastructure to electrify cities.

Fewer cars, no hanging wires or large expensive charging stations for 1 type of bicycle. Even after the Corona era, let's keep the cities quieter and cleaner together.

Let us know in the comments how you see the future of mobility in cities!

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