Swobbee enables New York’s delivery drivers to charge e-bikes safely and reliably

In cooperation with Newlab, a leading venture platform for climate technologies and deep tech, the city of New York has launched a pilot project. The aim is to prevent battery fires in micromobility vehicles and increase the safety of delivery drivers through an improved charging infrastructure. Partners in the project include three innovative companies: Swobbee, Popwheels and Swiftmile.

From now on, selected delivery drivers can safely charge their vehicles at various Swobbee stations in the city and exchange empty batteries. The usage data and experience reports collected are intended to help improve the charging infrastructure in New York – and thus the working conditions for delivery drivers who rely on electric micro-mobility vehicles such as e-bikes.

The number of battery fires in such vehicles has risen sharply in New York City in recent years. In 2020 there were around 40, in 2022 already 220 – often caused by improper charging or physical damage. Given the growing popularity of delivery services and the increasing popularity of e-bikes, these fires pose a serious risk to employees. Especially since the approximately 65,000 delivery drivers in New York have to provide their own vehicles for work, which increases the risk of fire due to the use of cheap and inferior batteries.

To counteract this, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Newlab launched a call for pilot projects last year. They were looking for technologies that would make e-bike charging safer and more reliable while meeting the daily needs of delivery riders. As part of this project, Swobbee has now installed the first four battery exchange stations in New York City, which will initially be used by 30 to 60 riders in this first phase. They will be able to swap the UL-certified batteries of their e-bikes there quickly and easily. This not only ensures safe charging, but also reduces waiting times.

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