WiBotic Partner with re:Charge-e for e-Bike Charging

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re:Charge-e, a partner of WiBotic, a company specialising in wireless power and charging solutions, is a startup developing wireless charging solutions for public e-bike rental programs, addressing the inefficiencies of manual charging processes and aiming to make e-bikes more accessible and profitable in urban environments.

Recently, re:Charge-e has gained attention for its innovative e-bike charging stations, addressing the lack of charging infrastructure for shared e-bikes and scooters in cities. While electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for cars have become more common, public charging options for e-bikes and e-scooters are scarce. The startup, based at the University at Albany’s E-Tec incubator, focuses on developing charging equipment for bike-share e-bikes, targeting markets like Citi Bike in New York City and other cities.

The re:Charge-e team, Julien Bouget and Jeff Olson, recognized a significant challenge facing the public e-bike industry: the need for a time-consuming manual charging processes. In response, they developed small-scale wireless chargers, or universal micromobility chargers, to be integrated into bike racks or docks. This eliminates the need for collecting and swapping batteries, making public e-bikes more efficient and profitable.

The founders, with backgrounds deeply rooted in biking, have piloted their devices in six locations, including Washington D.C. and Seattle, with plans to test them in the Capital Region. The wireless chargers use robust designs and eliminate breakable wires. They aim to profit from electricity sales to users, similar to EV charging models. The duo envisions a global market, emphasizing the environmental and health benefits of increased e-bike usage. As the company expands, they anticipate more people adopting e-bikes as a primary or secondary mode of transportation, contributing to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, re:Charge-e’s wireless charging solution has the potential to revolutionize public e-bike infrastructure and make e-bikes more accessible and convenient for urban commuters. This in turn may boost the general market for public e-bikes as they become easier to maintain. This style of technology may also be adaptable into other forms of e-mobility such as e-scooters, helping those markets to develop further alongside e-bikes. A potential roadblock for this proprietary technology may in fact be the adoption of an industry standard, such as the Wireless Power Consortium’s (WPC) Qi standard for smartphones. The WPC has announced it is working towards releasing a Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) wireless charging standard. This or other industry standards may draw manufacturers and businesses away from proprietary solutions or at least delay progress until standard specifications and certification programs are available.

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