One very important question of a pedelec-rider is the question "Where do I charge and park my pedelec?".
The common problem of the parking situation in cities that becomes more and more difficult does also regard the pedelec-rider.
Main requirements on a infrastructure of parking, battery swapping and charging for pedelecs are:
- to be close at the end of the ride
- built safe to avoid theft and vandalism
- be independent from weather
- charging stations should be at the parking areas and at local public transportation stops
The options of charging are:
- charge at home with the socket and the own charging set, only possible indoor, lasts 3-6 hours
- charge at public charging stations quickly, lasts 5 – 15 minutes but plugs for charging are still not standardised. There is still the need of standard plugs. EnergyBus is a new standard to improve compatibility and safety of light electric vehicles (LEV). The set of connectors and communication protocol are currently under development. The Germany-based EnergyBus association is the platform to develop and market EnergyBus.
- Battery swapping is possible if the battery is standardised or owned by a operating company like tourist boards, for example the tourist board of the Saale-Orla-Kreis in Germany.
Best practise examples from Japan
The best practise examples of the implementation of pedelecs in the traffic management systems shows Japan. Japan has a very good infrustructure for pedelec riders and combines parking, battery swapping and charging for pedelecs.
Panasonic and Japanese underground parking operator
Since December 2003 the japanese construction company Ginken is operating several underground stations which can rent automatically electrical bicycles as well store private bicycles while the owners go to work, using the public transportation.
Panasonic and FTS a Japanese automated postal locker
Island solutions installed in apartment buildings to be used only by the people living in the same building as an added service to the inhabitants. Fully operated 24 hour operation, successfully implemented proprietary solution.
Panasonic and Japanese railway companies
Since early 2000 Panasonic has set up in cooperation with several local and national railway companies pedelec rental systems which enhance the range of the public transportation system. These systems are either operated totally manual or half automatic. It can be considered as a success at several sites. Often the chosen sites are common target of sales and service persons or scenic spots.
How about the costs?
Charging and battery swapping infrastructure should be adaptive to existing infrastructure to be low cost and easy to grow the network fast.
Maybe reuse existing infrastructure?
In Japan automated parcel deposit boxes have been successfully reused as battery swapping and fast charging stations. Currently DHL is building a parcel station network all around Germany, battery swapping function may make this infrastructure more profitable and accepted.
Best practise examples in Europe
Solar charging station of the company Anton Paar in Austria
The station charges the company's own eZee bike electric bicycle fleet.
Accell Cycle Group established net of public charge points
The proprietary charging network of The Accell bicycle group has widely spread in the Netherlands. Danger may occur due to the usage of the widely spread XLR connector. In the early stage when electric bicycles have been seldom such issue was not critical but with the success of this kind of vehicle it becomes more and more critical day by day. It may result in the need to change the whole infrastructure which becomes very costly.
Flyer Biketech tourism pedelec rental and battery swapping
Since several years proprietary battery change systems work very well at many tourist sites in Switzerland and today as well in the first German areas. A proprietary system works fine in a closed system!
Battery swapping and charging is organized locally like in hotels, restaurants, tourist informations and bicycle stores.