In the UK, charity Sustrans and manufacturer Bosch eBike System have partnered to roll out free e-bike charging stations. And this in very specific areas.
In each country, each has its own method of developing the use of electric bicycles. On the other side of the Channel, Sustrans and Bosch eBike Systems have joined forces to boost a whole network of free charging stations, specially designed for connected cycles. But not just anywhere: in the countryside, especially.
Sustrans is a charity behind the National Cycle Network, a nationwide network of major cycle routes that now has over 20,000 kilometers of trails. Bosch eBike Systems, for its part, is known for its electric motors and batteries that equip thousands of bicycles around the world.
The objective of this collaboration is simple: to make country roads more accessible to electric bikes, in order to encourage users to take longer journeys and explore new places. This initiative could also be favorable to cycle tourism, as it is reassuring for users.
Driving dozens of miles through the heart of the British outback without any nearby charging sockets could be daredevil. But with terminals on your way, the stage of your itinerary would be much more reassuring. Charging your battery during a lunch break, for example, would be an ideal use case.
However, certain conditions must be met to take advantage of these famous PowerStations, as Sustrans calls them. Certainly free, these terminals are only compatible with Bosch batteries for the moment. Other brands of accumulators may also be included in the future.
A turnkey solution
Practical, these sites already provide a charging cable: all you have to do is plug your battery into a specific compartment, lock the compartment with a key provided and wait until it is fully charged, or not. On paper, the idea seems good and the user experience intuitive.
The first few stations were placed at key National Cycle Network locations, the press release explains: at the Eastside Community Trust on the Bristol and Bash railway line, towards Sherwood Forest as well as the along the Caledonia Way which crosses Scotland from North to South.
Obviously, it will be necessary in the future to strengthen the mesh of this network to make it ever more relevant in the eyes of cyclists.
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