In the UK, charity Sustrans and manufacturer Bosch eBike System have teamed up to introduce free e-bike charging stations. And in very specific areas.
Each country has its own way of promoting the use of electric bicycles. On the other side of the English Channel, Sustrans and Bosch eBike Systems have joined forces to set up an entire network of free charging stations specially developed for connected bicycles. But not just anywhere, but mainly in the countryside.
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, on the other hand, is known for its electric motors and batteries, which power thousands of bicycles around the world.
The goal of this collaboration is simple: to make rural roads more accessible to electric bikes, to encourage users to take longer journeys and explore new places. This initiative could also be beneficial for cycle tourism as it is reassuring for users.
Driving tens of miles through the heart of the British outback without nearby charging points could be reckless. But with terminals on your way, the leg of your itinerary would be much more reassuring. An ideal use case would be, for example, charging the battery during the lunch break.
However, certain conditions must be met in order to be able to use these famous PowerStations, as Sustrans calls them. Certainly free, these terminals are currently only compatible with Bosch batteries. Other accumulator brands could also be included in the future.
A turnkey solution
Conveniently, these sites already provide a charging cable: you just have to put your battery in a specific compartment, lock the compartment with a key provided and wait for it to be fully charged or not. On paper, the idea sounds good and the user experience is intuitive.
According to the press release, the first stations have been placed at key locations on the National Cycle Network: at the Eastside Community Trust on the Bristol and Bash railway line, towards Sherwood Forest and along the Caledonia Way, which crosses Scotland from north to south.
Obviously, in the future it will be necessary to strengthen the mesh of this network to make it more and more relevant in the eyes of cyclists.
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