NYC launches pilot program for grid-connected Citi Bike charging stations

The pilot program is funded by Lyft, and Con Edison installed the grid box that allows the bikes to connect to the city’s power grid.

Edric Robinson

May 20, 2024, 8:24 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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Monday marked the official launch of New York City’s first grid-connected charging stations for Citi Bikes, with the aim to eliminate the need for battery swaps.
The pilot program introduces a new way to power up e-bikes directly on the sidewalk.
"Electrification will allow us to test charging bikes on-site instead of manual battery swaps. On-site battery charging has the potential to improve electric Citi Bike availability citywide," said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
The new charging hub is located at 35th Street and 9th Avenue.
The pilot program is funded by Lyft, and Con Edison installed the grid box that allows the bikes to connect to the city’s power grid. This approach is different from the current method, which involves swapping out batteries and taking them to a warehouse for recharging.
“If we get 20% of the station network charging, we estimate that we can reduce nearly 90% of battery swaps happening in the field. That would remove nearly 300,000 van trips to swap batteries today,” said Caroline Samponaro, head of Transit & Micromobility Policy at Lyft.
This pilot includes a similar sidewalk charging station in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Officials note that additional funding and a permitting process will be required to expand the program to more locations.


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