A persistent challenge for cities with shared electric scooters and bikes is improper parking. The lack of common knowledge about micromobility parking rules and the shortage of dedicated parking spaces have resulted in cluttered public areas and blocked accessways.
We’ve introduced industry-exclusive charging docks to address this issue — a solution for parking, charging, and sharing electric scooters and bikes.
Why charging docks?
We developed charging docks as a sustainable and safe solution for decluttering streets, and we’re aiming to:
- promote overall better parking habits;
- reduce our CO2 footprint;
- increase the availability of charged vehicles in busy areas.
To see if we’ve reached these goals, we’ll share the results of a recently concluded case study.
A closer look at Bolt charging docks
Our charging docks are built in-house and can hold up to ten vehicles. They’re suitable for all Bolt scooter and bike models and are compatible with other brands.
Since we designed the docks for outdoor use, making them weather and vandalism-proof was essential — their frames are made of rigid steel and have no accessible cables.
For electrical safety, the charging docks use exclusively low voltage and charge the vehicles by safe physical contact only after the user has docked the vehicle. When installing the docks, we anchored them to the ground and fitted them with safety sensors for 24/7 monitoring.
Choosing the right location
A recent study has shown that the most common reasons for misparking scooters were not knowing or understanding parking rules.
Bolt’s charging docks solve this problem by clearly indicating where to park. Their location is thus crucial in having a more significant impact.
We’ve installed the docks on both public and private land in high-demand spots where users usually mispark scooters and e-bikes, i.e.:
- City centres;
- Train and bus stations;
- Supermarkets and shopping centres;
- Mobility hubs;
- Business areas;
Using a dock is straightforward — a rider pushes the two-wheeler into the charging socket, automatically ending their ride. And once the scooter’s docked, charging begins.
What have we achieved?
Cities and local media have already recognised this innovative solution.
Better parking habits
In the cities where we installed the docks, they promoted correct parking by clearly indicating where to park vehicles properly.
In Setubal, between June and October 2022, more than 25,000 rides started and finished in a Bolt charging dock.
And, as observed by our local teams, there was a knock-on effect — more scooters and e-bikes were parked correctly nearby.
Reducing our environmental footprint
Data from Tallinn, Estonia, shows that by eliminating 50-60 battery swap operations per day, our charging docks helped reduce our operational footprint by over 400 kg CO2/month.
Optimised charging processes
Charging docks allowed us to collaborate with Fusebox, a provider of flexible energy consumption services in the Nordics and Baltics, to implement sustainable charging processes by using off-peak electricity.
With Fusebox, we can postpone the charging process until an above-average amount of CO2-free electricity generated from renewables is available in the grids.
The pilot has shown that we can save 9,600 tonnes of CO2 over the next five years with Fusebox’s help.
Conclusions and lessons learned
Charging docks are only one of many possible fixes for the parking issue. Others include user education, dedicated operational teams’ efforts (Bolt patrol), technical solutions, and enforcement in close collaboration with local authorities.
Yet, the first tests of the charging docks showed promising results and gave us valuable insights.
First, premium locations for charging docks have the uttermost importance. The top ten locations represent 70% of total dock usage.
Second, we reduced our carbon footprint (even with a partially deployed network) by eliminating our teams’ need to manually swap low batteries using vans.
In summary, charging docks are a sustainable and proven solution for addressing improper parking.
We’re ready to bring charging docks to other cities across Europe. We’re also open to implementing our other solutions and helping municipalities make their urban spaces more liveable.
Interested? Get in touch with us at [email protected].