Innovation That Matters

In Austria, free charging on campus for students with e-bikes

Mobility & Transport

We’ve seen drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles recognized and rewarded in numerous ways already — most elaborately at the Charles Hotel in Massachusetts — and recently we came across an effort that focuses on electric bikes. Specifically, Austria’s Energie Graz recently installed a free e-bike charging station complete with lockers on the campus of the University of Graz. Some 85 percent of students at the University of Graz get to class each day using transportation other than automobile, and electric bikes are a popular choice; in fact, e-bikes are reportedly expected to increase in number in Austria from 2,750 to 400,000 over the next 10 years. With just such eco-minded commuters in mind, Energie Graz in May launched its new locker-equipped power station. Now, on campus, any of the university’s 27,000 students and 3,500 employees can charge up their e-bikes while they work or attend class, with protection to keep their batteries safe. (The university also has regular charging stations that can be used without removing a bike’s battery.) Energie Graz is reportedly planning similar brand butler efforts at hotels, shopping centers and parking garages — including, potentially, staff parking lots at large companies. Energy entrepreneurs the world over: one to be inspired by! (Related: Austrian phone booths repurposed to charge electric vehiclesElectric scooter’s battery lifts out for easy charging anywhereHelping parking operators create a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.) Spotted by: Dietfried Globocnik



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