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Charge and lock station aims to solve scooter share problems

Metro Mobility’s ChargeLock features a patent pending cable design that incorporates charging and locking in a single connector.

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Metro Mobility's ChargeLock station also aims to keep sidewalks tidy
Metro Mobility's ChargeLock station also aims to keep sidewalks tidy

A Cambridge, Massachusetts-based start-up is addressing the challenges that cities and operators often face when implementing shared scooter programmes.

 

The ChargeLock scooter charging station from Metro Mobility features a patent pending cable design that incorporates charging and locking in a single connector. It claims to vastly reduce charging and redistribution costs while keeping sidewalks organised.

 

Addressing cities’ concerns

 

The dockless rental model that allows users to leave scooters wherever they end their ride can sometimes lead to vehicles being left blocking sidewalks, being thrown into rivers, and ultimately angering local residents. In addition, programme operators continue to deal with the challenges and substantial overhead costs that result from daily redistribution and charging.

 

With ChargeLock stations users can be incentivised to complete their ride at one of these locations, and simply securing the ChargeLock cable to the scooter ends their rental, locks the vehicle, and begins charging.

 

Metro Mobility says the stations are easy to install and can be quickly scaled to create what the company calls a “dock-light” network, satisfying operators’ desire for flexibility, and cities’ and residents’ demands for organisation.

“It is inefficient for individuals to be driving across town every night to collect and charge scooters.”

As the environmental impact of scooter share has come into question due to short vehicle life and redistribution emissions, Metro Mobility’s solution also aims to build more sustainability into programmes. It says the added security of locking substantially increases vehicle life by reducing vandalism and theft, and decreases the cost and impact of continually manufacturing new scooters.

 

The ChargeLock system also ensures that scooters are always charging when not in use, eliminating the need for the vehicles to be collected and charged individually each night.

 

“We believe in the power of micromobility to change the world, but certain issues need to be addressed to make scooter share an economically and environmentally sustainable model,” said Metro Mobility founder Gabe Montague. “It is inefficient for individuals to be driving across town every night to collect and charge scooters, and while cities want to offer alternative transportation to their residents, having scooters blocking sidewalks is leading many to ban them entirely.

 

"We want to make micromobility a long-term viable option for every municipality.”

 

According to Metro Mobility, the first ChargeLock stations are due to be installed this spring. They can be tied into the power grid or equipped with a master battery that is swapped when necessary, allowing for flexible and even temporary station placement.

 

The company is currently testing additional designs that utilise solar power which they expect to have in production in late 2020.

 

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