Biking is easy on Hayden Island. The island is flat, there’s lots to see along the river, and the Vancouver Waterfront is directly across the bridge.
From the Expo Center Max train you reach Hayden Island on the pedestrian path along the bridge over North Portland Harbor.
Here’s a Google tour of Hayden Island, a Virtual Tour with Beacons and Barcodes, and a VR Walking Tour of the island. There was a proposed 30ft wide bike path around the island but that would have essentially demolished current homes on the waterfront, an idea that was deemed untenable since it would make 500+ island residents homeless.
Too bad Hayden Island doesn’t have a bike shop. And what if you don’t have a bike?
Bikesharing systems make bikes available for shared use. Some are run by cities, while others are owned and operated by private businesses. Some require bikes to return to a hub dock while “dockless” bikes can be left most anywhere – they’re GPS tracked.
Curbed and CityLab have bikeshare studies. Shared electric bikes and scooters could zip you to the grocery or the Max train. Portland has installed 149 bike corrals, converting one car parking space into 12 bike spaces, all of them at the request of nearby retailers.
Jump electric bikes average six trips daily in San Francisco with the average bike trip is just over a half mile. Let’s say the average fee is $2.50 X 6 trips ($15/day) x 30 days ($450/month). A rental bike might pay for itself in a few months.
Bike Sharing in North Portland
Currently, no bike sharing is available on Hayden Island, Kenton, or Vancouver. If you park a Nike Bike on the Island, an extra $10 fee will be charged to your account since it is out of Biketown’s “service” area. If Bike Town is not coming to North Portland, then a joint operation/maintenance contract with the Portland e-Bike Store or Cynergy, which currently rent e-bikes, may make sense.
Biketown PDX began operation on July 19, 2016. Planned operator Alta Bike Share would later be sold to Motivate. The system is owned by Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and operated by Motivate, with Nike as the title sponsor. In 2017, there were 35 million bike-share trips in the USA. Up 25 percent since 2016.
UPDATE: Transportation commissioners sent a letter in late May to five companies hoping to operate in the city to set out some ground rules. Portland sent the letter to Skip, Spin, LimeBike, Bird and Goat, which solidifyies Portland’s intention to allow private companies to test dockless e-scooters this summer.
Lyft will likely acquire Biketown operator Motivate for $250 million. In 2017, 80 percent of the bikeshare trips in the United States were on Motivate-operated systems. Motivate uses SOBI locks with bikes designed by Ben Serotta.
How does that shake out?
Motivate currently uses pedal bikes in Portland and was expected to move to the electrified Jump Bike. But the electric Jump Bike was acquired by Uber, Lyft’s main rival, for $200 million, in April and spun off as an independent company. That (tentative) deal also included the critical SOBI lock mechanism that Motivate currently uses on ALL its bikes. Lyft bikes will soon be dockless.
That means Portland’s bike share system may be managed by Lyft but Motivate may soon depend on Jump e-bikes and bike lock technology owned by Uber. Not an ideal situation.
– Lyft/Motive, will use their current Ford pedal bikes, move to dockless bikes, and dockless scooters. Motivate will move to dockless bikes, using a spoke lock that resembles what’s used on OfO and Lime.
– Uber/Jump, as a standalone Bike/Scooter company, would use their own Jump ebikes. Uber invested in Lime for scooter sharing.
– Other e-bikes and scooters may offer extended (dockless) coverage in Portland, including Bird, Skip, Spin and Goat and could go with something like the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter which are used by Bird and Spin.
I rode the Bird scooter on July 26th. It is pretty slick. Easy to use.
1. Download the app from https://www.bird.co/
2. Scan or input (a) your drivers license number, (b) a credit card number, and (c) scan the scooter’s bar code on its handle bar.
3. It automatically unlocked the scooter. Ready to go.
You give it a kick with your feet, get going then twist the throttle. It topped out at 15 mph, a speed that seemed just right. I’m 69 yrs old, and it didn’t take me a minute to master. My ride lasted 8 minutes and I travelled .8 miles (about the distance to the Max Line from Hayden Island). It cost me $2.05.
When I was done with the ride I clicked the “lock” button on the phone app, and it was ready for someone else. The scooter was on Killingsworth and Interstate. I found it using the app map. Bird uses the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter ($500 on Amazon). I weigh 300 lbs, and it worked okay for me.
Goat encourages private ownership of scooters, using their $1000 scooters and software. Once connected to the GOAT Mobile App,users may leave your GOAT Scooter in a high foot traffic area around your city to generate revenue. Kickstarter pricing for GOAT scooters will range from $595 to $999 (retail $1,199). Once your GOATs are in operation (estimated delivery November 2018), your scooter is connected to your GOAT for Business account and made available on the GOAT Mobile App (iOS & Android), so anyone in your city can instantly find, reserve, ride and pay for your GOAT through the GOAT Mobile App.
Each rider is charged $1 when they unlock your GOAT and then $.15/minute that it is used. Once the ride is finished, their payment is collected by GOAT and transferred, minus a 15% GOAT network fee and payment processing, to your GOAT for Business account.
Lime says that it broke even in just the second week after launch in San Francisco. Daily trips per vehicle hit 9.3 as of mid-April, daily revenue per scooter rose to $27.70, and daily cost per scooter was at $14.30.
Portland Bureau of Transportation has begun issuing permits for the city’s three-month electronic scooter pilot program, which will put as many as 2500 scooters on the street. Those companies to get city contracts MAY include LimeBike, Bird, Goat, Skip and Spin.
None are available on Hayden Island, according to their apps on my phone. Goat does have a plan that lets you be an owner, which means that Hotels on the island could run their own program, using Goat scooters and their app. Oregon Vehicle Code prohibits people using electric scooter on the sidewalk and in crosswalks. In addition, people using electric scooters are required to wear a bicycle helmet.
The problem with Portland’s Nike bike sharing system is that the service area is not available north of Killingsworth. Coverage only extends east from the dense downtown area. Park a Biketown bike OUTSIDE their service area, in Kenton or Hayden Island, and it will cost you an extra $10 parking fee.
Bike sharing simply doesn’t serve Hayden Island, Kenton, Bridgeton, Delta Park, Expo Center, PIR, PDX or Vancouver.
Dockless bikes don’t have to be returned to a hub. Their integrated GPS trackers enable anyone to “see” where in the city a bike is available to rent. They can then unlock the bike and leave it almost anywhere (within city limits) for someone else to “discover” and ride.
In Chicago, only bikes with lock-to technology will be allowed. Lock-to bikes will secure the bike to an immovable object. The attempt is to reduce bike clutter around sidewalks.
Uber Bike by JUMP would be independent of Motivate/Lyft. Uber’s Social Bicycles has become a service of JUMP Bikes and currently Motivate depends on SOBI locking hardware and software for Biketown’s U-Bolt locking system and most other Motivate bikeshare cities.
Electrified Jumpbikes cost about $2/30min and $.07/min after that, about the same cost as pedal bikes. Clearly, Uber expects Jump/Uber electric bikes to largely replace the pedal bikes using Biketown currently uses. Uber will deploy their electric JUMP bikes in Seattle after the city completes bike-share regulations.
San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency may limit scooter rentals to five companies and put a 1,250-scooter cap on the total number of that can be offered to customers within city limits for at least six months. Portland could require something similar on scooters.
San Franciscans can locate the nearest Jump bike straight from the Uber app, making it easier to plan out the first and last mile of trips. Jump was bought by Uber for some $200 million in April, 2018. Lyft also plans to seek permits to run an electric scooter service in San Francisco.
JUMP’s electric bikes operate in San Francisco and Washington D.C., and plans to launch in Sacramento and Providence, Rhode Island later this year. The Mapbox SDK for iOS and Android is powering the app riders use to locate bikes. Bike technicians have a real-time, birds-eye-view and can track repair status. The goal is to build an efficient turn-by-turn solution.
Bike Portland.org is the go-to site for biking news and information around Portland. Seattle Bike Blog and Geekwire have more on Seattle bike sharing. There are 10K dockless bikes in Seattle — out of 44K nationwide.
Seattle’s Dockless Bikes
Last July, the city of Seattle allowed three companies—Ofo, LimeBike, and Spin—to deploy up to 4,000 bikes each in a six-month trial, in return for a deluge of data about their customers and operations.
A recent report by the Seattle Department of Transportation said that the bike-sharing program has led to 10,000 bikes in the city, which have been ridden 468,000 times from July 2017 to the end of the year. Spin has about 2K, while OfO and Lime have about 4K each. A key requirement of U/W, which all three companies agreed to, was to set up geo-fences to force bikes to be parked only in permitted areas.
Seattle’s new Spin, OfO and LimeBike work in almost exactly the same fashion. Walk up to a bike and use its app to scan the QR code on its seat. An audible wheel-unlocking confirms that you can ride, and then you are automatically charged $1 for every 30-minute interval you’re using the bike. The wheel lock includes a GPS tracker. You can park it most anywhere. You don’t have to return it to a hub.
Bike Hubs versus Dockless Bikes
Dockless bike and scooter sharing systems are transforming how people get around because they’re more flexible and convenient than traditional, kiosk-based systems like Biketown. You can park them (most) anywhere.
Limebike, Ofo and Spin operate in Seattle. They’re dockless bikes, so bikes can be picked up and dropped off anywhere it’s legal to park. Spin and LimeBike charge $1 per 30 minutes of riding. Park anywhere. GPS tracks the bikes. Ofo started the “dockless” trend with Mobike right behind.
PBOT likes to say that Biketown is dockless since kiosks aren’t needed; but it’s not – the parking restrictions and small service area require you to bring the bike back to a hub to avoid a $2 fee and never leave it outside the small service area to avoid a $20 fee.
Ofo, Mobike, Limebike, Spin, and Jump are entirely private operators that own their equipment. That equipment is self-locking and free-floating (though Jump requires users to lock to public bike racks or sign poles). Dockless bikes are also vastly cheaper, compared to most docked equipment. Bike hubs are expensive and inconvenient. An app shows where the nearest dockless bike is parked. It could be anywhere.
Portland’s Alta Bike Share got bike share rolling in the United States, but was tied to Canada’s Bixi, which ultimately went bankrupt. Alta Bike Share became Motivate, while Alta Planning is a separate bike share planning and services business.
Motivate’s JUMP Bikes use the same locking mechanism as Biketown’s non-electric bikes. The bikes come equipped with U-locks that riders must secure to a stationary object. That keeps them from getting dumped where people are trying to walk and allows users to park the bikes at any bike rack or utility pole.
Niketown’s SOBI lock enables a practical solution to bike sharing and includes a heavy duty U-bolt to prevent theft. But their bikes “want” to be parked at a bike station.
Alternative Bikesharing with Solar charging and Free WiFi
Alternative bikeshare websites like Spinlister let you provide a bike and make money from it. But currently, a renter has to come to a residence to rent a bike. Bike sharing hubs would improve the experience for both renters and providers by renting your bike parked at a central hub.
– Goat encourages private ownership of scooters, using their $600 scooters and software. Users may leave your GOAT Scooter anywhere around your city. Goat takes 15% off the top.
– Swiftmile uses solar-powered eBike hubs. No connection to the electric power grid necessary. Riders locate and rent a bike through the Swiftapp.
– The Genze electric bike ($1900) also comes equipped with a companion app that allows riders to track rides, monitor battery life, and run diagnostics.
– Vulog is deploying a “white box” solution for electric scooter operators around the world.
Vancouver BC provides FREE WI-FI at 600 bike sharing hubs around the city. It uses Tanaza cloud management to control and monitor hundreds of hotspots from one computer. The firmware is flashed onto commodity hotspots like Ubiquiti and Portland-based Open Mesh. For LTE backhaul, a 501C can provide truly unlimited LTE data plans for $15/month.
Fiber to the Bike Hub could provide free/inexpensive broadband wireless. Dozens of neighborhood locations would benefit. Mobile broadband or fixed. Cheaper than fiber to the home. Bike hubs could also eliminate the unwanted bike clutter that “dockless” bikes and scooters create while lowering operational costs by providing local charge stations.
XG Communities will organize and streamline the application and deployment processes for small cells in Portland. In Sacramento, XG will receive 35% of the revenue for all new leases. Sacramento charges $150 per month per location for operators to deploy their small cells. That’s a potential revenue stream for bike hubs.
Limebike partners with Segway on their scooters and lets users “re-balance” bike distribution by providing a free ride to anyone willing to bring back an isolated bike. Electric scooters typically cost $1/unlock + $0.15/min to ride (that’s about $9/hr).
Lime Juicers pick up scooters at night, charge the battery, then redeploy the Lime-S out in the community. Lime says Juicers can earn up to $30+ per hour and $100+ per night collecting, charging and redistributing the electric scooters.
The Cellular Connection
What often gets overlooked is the cellular cost. The US cellular system is backwards compared to China’s. The MOST cost/effective business model is T-Mobile’s NarrowBand IoT which will cost as low as $6 per year for 12 MB. Currently the SOBI lock can’t be powered solely by their little solar panel because older cellular technology for GPS tracking uses too much juice (and costs too much to run). NarrowBand IOT, which uses just a sliver of spectrum, is probably a better match for bike sharing. Less costly, less juice, longer range.
T-Mobile will support both NB-IoT and LTE M in 2018. Narrow Band IOT (NB-IOT) makes GPS tracking more affordable and battery efficient. In 2018, T-Mobile’s 600 MHz towers, with NB-IoT, may create a larger tracking footprint more cost/effectively than AT&T’s LTE-M system which uses more bandwidth and battery power.
Is NB-IOT vitally important? Probably not. But it’s probably cheaper and better then current solutions used by Biketown.
Bike Share Unicorns
Ofo launched in 2015 with 20,000 bikes in Beijing. It now operates more than 10 million bicycles in more than 250 cities globally. Ofo has raised more than $2 billion in venture capital from Alibaba and other investors, reaching a valuation of $3 billion in August. The company launched its bikes in the US last fall, starting in Seattle. Mobike is backed by tech giant Tencent, while Ofo is backed by e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba. In April, Chinese location-based services firm Meituan Dianping agreed to buy Mobike for US$3.7 billion.
LimeBike has raised over $60 million in funding and is valued at $225 million. Limebike incentives users to “re-balance” bike distribution by providing a free ride to anyone willing to bring back an isolated bike.
Social Bicycles, now officially known as Jump Bikes, closed a $10 million Series A round and was later bought by Uber. Each JUMP bike has a 250-watt electric motor which powers the front tire. JUMP employees swap out the battery packs every three days. Spin out of San Francisco, is one of the smaller players in the booming bikeshare sector, with $8 million in funding from lead investor Grishin Robotics and 500,000 rides clocked in its 24 markets. It appears to be moving towards e-scooters.
Dockless: The Way to Go
You could park a dockless bike almost anywhere. Biketown charges $20 if you leave one of their bikes on Hayden Island or the Expo Center. With a dockless system, Hayden Island commuters might leave the bike at Expo, and make it available for day trippers exploring the Columbia River. By 5-6 pm, many bikes would likely be available again at Expo for the return home to Hayden Island.
Dockless bikes and scooters could get you to the Max train for a buck. If a bike’s home station is at the Max Expo stop, the ride might be free (and visa-versa). Pricing could be adjusted so bikes end up back where they started.
The Dockless Model
The key to Mobike’s dockless system, the world’s largest bike sharing system, is their Bluetooth lock which includes built-in GPS, linked by inexpensive Narrowband LTE (expected here in 2018). Their bikes can be parked anywhere and unlocked with a smartphone. The Bluetooth lock, combined with GPS and QR code scanning, enables people to locate, pay for, and unlock a bike. Accent System’s NB-IOT Tracker is the first GPS tracker with a NB-IOT cellular interface and Bluetooth Low Energy.
Dockless bike share competitors (like Spin, Limebike and Ofo) are likely to test Portland waters eventually, admits PBOT Operations Manager (and Biketown manager) Steve Hoyt-McBeth. Dockless bikes don’t need to be returned to a hub.
For example, 6 bikeshare stations might be proposed; three in Vancouver and three in North Portland. Vancouver might have one at Ester Short Park, one at Waterfront Vancouver and one at Clark College. North Portland might have one at Hayden Island (near the Taco Truck), one by the Expo Center and one at Delta Park.
Jump, LimeBike, Mobike, Ofo, Bluegogo and Spin are all vying for a share of the D.C. market. Dock-less Bicycle-sharing systems are the way to go, since bikes can be tracked and located anywhere. Still, GPS-embedded locks may have to wait for Narrowband LTE to be practical in Portland since GPS using NB-LTE takes only 1/10th the power with lower monthly data fees. An on-board generator would not be required. Instead, SOBI’s built-in 3-watt solar panel might be all that’s necessary.
Dockless bike sharing systems are designed so the user need not return the bike to a station. Instead, the next user can find a nearby bike by GPS. Our proposal favors a “hybrid” system where a centralized hub is encouraged by time or money “credits” to return the bike to the same hub- but not required due to the GPS tracking option.
Electric Bike Sharing
Spin’s ebikes are based on a proprietary design from Spin, manufactured through a partnership with an undisclosed bicycle manufacturer. Motivate’s ebike, the Jump, is made by Geneze and resembles their sturdy Ford bike frame. Lime electric bikes cost $1 to unlock and $1 dollar for every 10 minutes of ride time ($6/hr).
The JUMP electric bike has a 250-watt front hub electric motor, with GPS and an integrated U-lock for dockless bike sharing. San Francisco’s JUMP Bike permit for Motivate allows them to deploy 250 bikes in the first nine months and 250 more in the second nine months, contingent on the city’s approval. Skip Scooters have a retractable locking cable so you can lock it to stuff, not just leave it on the sidewalk.
The Spin e-bike, similar to the Jump electric bike, can travel up to 50 miles with a full charge and has batteries that the company says can be easily swapped by Spin’s operations teams. Spin’s bikes cost $1.50 per 15 minute.
Now dockless electric scooters are becoming available from Bird, LimeBike, and Spin. Each company currently charges a starting fee ($1 for most scooters) plus a handful of pennies for every minute you ride.
Skip Scooters come with a retractable locking cable that may help with bike clutter on sidewalks.
Electric scooters are cheaper to buy ($500) and more compact than e-bikes. Venture capitalists apparently see e-scooters as a route to faster payback with their cost reportedly paid back in as little as one month. Bulkier e-bikes are more expensive, targeting an older consumer. Payback takes months or years.
The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter ($500 on Amazon) can be unlocked by your phone. They’re used by scooter startups like Bird and Spin while Lime Bikes uses Segway-powered scooters which can go up to 35 miles.
Shared scooters get an average of four to five rides per day, at $3 to $4 dollars a pop, and costs less than $500. Every scooter that survives a month or so pays itself off.
By the end of 2018, Ford GoBike will grow to 7,000 bikes at 546 stations in SF, making it the nation’s third-largest bike-share program, after Seattle’s 10,000 bikes. The largest bike sharing program in the United States is New York City’s Citi Bike program, run by Motivate, with 706 stations and 12,000 bikes as of October 2017.
Ford’s Motivate e-Bike Pilot Program launched in San Francisco in April 2018, started with 250 e-Bikes, produced by Silicon Valley-based GenZe e-Bike with a 345 Wh Li-ion battery and a user interface panel that lets riders know their speed and battery charge level. The Jump electric bike is probably what Motivate planned to use in Portland’s Biketown.
But Uber’s recent purchase of Jump Bikes may complicate the Biketown business plan, which is run by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. P-BOT may not want to be in bed with Uber, so P-BOT/Biketown could go with another ebike platorm.
At least three U.S. bikeshare companies will add electric bicycles to their fleets. They include Motivate with (or without) the Jump e-bike, LimeBike and Spin Bikes. Will they come to Portland/Vancouver as well? Probably, yes. Mobike and OfO may be more problematic for city bureaucrats.
However, since may Vancouverites reject anything associated with Oregon (Motivate’s Biketown for example), alternative electric bike options from Lime, Ofo, Spin and Jump might be considered.
A solar-powered bike share station could operate independently of the power grid. Charging a 12v (2400 W/h) lead acid battery, would require a total of 200 amps x 12 volts of energy in about 5 hours of sun. That might charge four, 400 W/h batteries in the electric bikes. With optimum sunlight and an MPPT charger that is 90% efficient, perhaps five, 250 watt panels could feed a couple of old forklift batteries (if you’re on a budget). No grid tie, which lowers cost. It also allows the stations to be easily moved, for optimization of the system.
A bike station might find synergy by partnering with an electric vehicle charge station network like Blink. A public charge station for electric vehicles could also create a hub for car sharing (like Zip Cars) and bike sharing (like Jump or Lime) – all under one umbrella.
Seattle selected Bewegen to launch their all-new electric-assist bike-share system, but then thought better of another city-run electric bike program after Motivate’s Pronto bike share system died and independents Spin and LimeBike moved in. Global bike share giant Ofo also received a permit from Seattle to launch 1,000 of its yellow bikes. Ofo was among the first-ever dockless bike-share programs to launch in China.
Alta Bike Share was bought by Motivate in October, 2014. Bay Area Bike Share (now Ford GoBike) plans on integrating pedal assist e-bikes along with their current non-electric Ford GoBike in 2018. The human-powered Ford GoBike is used by Motivate, under a 10-year contract with the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
BiketownPDX and Motivate operate 100 bike stations in Portland covered 8.1 square miles but they are concentrated near dense downtown areas. Biketownpdx uses Social Bicycles (Sobi) bikes in 27 cities including Portland. Biketown tracks bikes with GPS allowing Portland customers to park anywhere, even beyond system boundaries. Here’s how Biketown’s SoBi system works.
Sobi charges only $1 for 15 minutes of riding on their electric bikes. Similar e-bike rates could apply in Portland. Users get a $1 credit if they return the bike to a designated spot and are charged an extra $1 if they don’t. Perhaps the first 15 minutes of electric bike use could be free on Hayden Island.
Social Bicycles is rolling out their electric JUMP bikes which are now available in San Francisco. Scoots is a competitive shared electric Geneze scooter service in San Franciso. Most rides range from $3 to $5 for the first 30 minutes and $.10 a minute after that. Scoots with low battery are often FREE if you end your ride at a charging garage.
The City of Portland and various electric vehicle stakeholders might partner in a Solar Charge Station that provides emergency backup power in the event of an earthquake. An 800 Watt/Hr bike battery delivers about 100 watts for 8 hours while a 5.7 Kilowatt/Hr scooter battery provides about 700 watts for 8 hours.
What both bike renters and rentees need is a convenient hub with “dockless” GPS tracking. Local bike stores could be the most obvious bike share operators, but this “open” system would be open to individuals as well. Each hub features solar charging, free WiFi and a live camera to deter theft. HOPR provides an open platform for all operators, no matter the size or type.
The Spinlister app and SwiftMile app may be good models. They could enable both bike stores and individuals to provide their own bikes and set their own rates. This “open” concept would offer a basic package of services with GPS tracking/locking. Individuals wishing to rent their own bikes out would be charged a flat parking fee of $50-$100/month, which comes with a basic hub package and access to the app.
A local bike store might be the “anchor” tenant, setting basic rates and services. But individual competitors could provide their own rates and services as well.
London has developed a code for operators to know what is expected of them and ensures that dockless bike schemes complement London’s public transport network and support the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
The first dockless bikes used spoke locks, not integrated U-bolts. These spoke locks have an integrated GPS tracker with a Bluetooth connection to your phone to unlock the bike. Then you can leave them anywhere. But people did, causing bikes to pile up at random places all over.
Mobikes are powered by a small generator installed on the rear wheel hub to power a lock that goes through the spokes. Seattle’s Spin and LimeBikes are similar. China’s Mobike and Mobike’s smart lock, use Qualcomm’s MDM9206 global multimode LTE modem for delivery, scheduling, tracking and maintenance of the bikes while a Nordic Bluetooth chip provides Bluetooth connectivity between the bike’s smart lock and the user’s smartphone. Huawei’s Narrowband IoT solution provides strong coverage in poor-signal areas, a much faster payment process, and better battery life from 1 or 2 months to more than 2 years. But cellular systems in the USA are behind China, with AT&T and Verizon using LTE-M, which increases costs and lowers battery life of GPS tracking.
Deeper Lock is similar to the spoke lock by the Chinese operators and features GPS tracking, anti-theft alerts via GSM, and a 110dB alarm, whilst twin solar panels ensure power by self-charging. The device is locked and unlocked using the app.
SmartHalo ($150) turns any bike into a smart bike with built-in navigation, light, and alarm. Plot your destination on your phone, Smarthalo shows the way.
QR Code and NFC signage provide instructions and bike ID. Bluetooth 5 beacons can push multiple payloads directly to the user. Make a “virtual tour”, downloading multi-media at different locations.
In this proposal, which encourages a bike hub but does not demand it, a Bluetooth connected U-bolt is added for better security. Bike owners may also attach a GPS tracking wheel lock to their bike for a one-time fee of $100 or so. Your phone unlocks both the wheel lock (which has embedded GPS) and the U-Bolt (for enhanced security). Your phone’s GPS tells spinlister.com your location when you lock or unlock the bike.
Then a $1 fee could be imposed if you leave it at the Yellow Max line after taking it from the Taco Truck hub near Safeway. A $1 credit provides an incentive for anyone at the Yellow Max line (at the Expo Center) to ride it back to Hayden Island. The reverse would also be true. That would tend to even out the bike distribution…and commuters may get their ride free (even make $1).
At the Expo Center, the Marriott hotel suites on North Portland Harbor may be a sponsor since bike sharing could provide an easy way for guests to reach the Expo Center or Delta Park, popular destinations.
You can set up a Chrome single-app kiosk using a Google device management account to manage and monitor a fleet of devices using the Google Admin console.
A rental bike hub with solar power could keep a 400 watt/hr electric bike charged up and ready to go — and generate self-sustaining revenue. Of course most of these programs rely on heavy VC or government subsidies in their start-up phase.
An 835 Watt/hr bike battery with built-in GPS tracking, such as in the $2000 Juicedbikes Crosscurrent S, would have superior capacity and their live GPS tracking could not be defeated (without deactivating the battery).
Electric Bike Company’s Model S can have a 1000 watt/hr battery with integrated charging, 12 volt DC out, and GPS tracking. If you spend $2500 for an e-bike with accessories, how long would it take to pay off?
If an e-bike was rented an average of 10 hours/week at $10/hr, that’s $100/week or maybe $5K a year. The e-bike could also supply power in an emergency, such as after a subduction zone earthquake.
Sway’s Electric Three Wheeler is another option ($5000-$8000). Their $8000 LithiumPlus features a 5.7kw (96v, 60ah) battery pack with a 10kw motor and belt drive. Sway can accommodate a passenger and up to 4 cubic
A turn-key vendor for a solar hub and ebike is an option…but then individuals couldn’t put their own bikes up for rent. A system utilizing off-the-shelf bikes components, and software may allow each community to run (and profit from) bike sharing. Maybe not today…but soon.
This concept of a bike sharing hub is an improvement over Spinlister.com (which lists owner rental bikes thru an app) and City-run bike sharing programs, such as Portland’s bike share initiative planned for 2016.
Unlike Spinlister, where bikes are stored at the owner’s residence, bikes could be located near high-traffic transit locations. Unlike bike sharing programs like the one planned for Portland, it eliminates the high overhead and membership fees because they are owner-supplied, while available near high traffic areas.
In high traffic areas, bike renters might earn $100-$400 per month. Bike Petal itself might generate $100-$400/month per hub (at $50/mo rack storage for each user-supplied bike). That would cover basic operational expenses. Owners participate at their own risk and are responsible for their bike maintenance.
Locations could expand upon proof of concept.
Low power Bluetooth U-bolt bike locks ($150) or Bluetooth-based “Tile” RFID trackers ($25) may also be helpful. While not fool-proof, the live camera archive and low-power Bluetooth trackers can create a geo-fence without a monthly fee. A Bluetooth-powered, $25 “Tile”, glued to the bike, could also monitor when the bike leaves and returns to the rack as well as location on the island (via other Tile app users). Renters must return bikes to the same rack when finished.
The risk with these measures seem manageable, but the outcome is uncertain, which is why this concept is being proposed as a test.
2. Solar power. The “leaves” on the Bike Petal are solar panels. They charge a 200 a/h battery and run a free hotspot with a live camera (3 amps at 12 volts total). A 260 watt panel produces an average of about 15 amps per peak sun hour, or about 90 amp-hours per day. With a 24 hr day cycle (3 amps x 24 hrs = 72amp/hrs day). Power may have to be constrained or more batteries/solar added for winter operation (WiFi power draw), or simply plugged in. It’s similar in operation to the solar trees at the Yellow Max stop by the Coliseum. A 12 foot umbrella may accommodate a total of 260 watts with Portland’s SoloPower offering flexible panels and SolarWorld providing more efficient rigid panels.
3. WiFi Hotspot with Zigbee controller. The Almond + 802.11ac hotspot is also Zigbee compatible. It links to sensors such as LED lights, motion detector, dead lock bolts and even an alarm. The Hub provides free public WiFi (with a Bike Petal/splash page) and the wireless backhaul.
4. An Amazon Cloud Camera. It features person detection and cloud storage, providing continuous day/night surveillance. Sensr.net costs just $10/month for live streaming and 24/7 archiving for 30 days.
5. GPS Tracker. Bikes can be provided with GPS trackers that cost under $100 and fit inside a tailight. A monthly service fee around $10/month enables real-time tracking. The Yepzon One GPS Tracker costs about $130 on Amazon with a $5/mo service.
6. Bluetooth enabled lock with GPS. Locks could be Bluetooth powered and enabled by a smartphone. The current combination for the mobile bike lock would be sent via text message to the user. Integrated GPS tracking enables a one-piece, $130 solution.
Signage explains operation. The space rental fee might be budgeted for $100/month. Ideally it would be provided at no cost by local businesses, the city’s DOT or the Parks department.
Oregon State Parks wants to create a network of covered bike facilities they call “bike pods” and “bike hubs”, with 19 of them throughout the state. It address the growth in State Parks visitors arriving by bike.
Bike hubs in state parks might be supplemented by these bike rental stations, located in Vancouver, Hayden Island, Portland and elsewhere, for added synergy.
With an estimated $200-$400/month income just from bike storage (and sponsorship), the non-profit organization is expected to break even after 6 months with a flat $50/month storage fee (times 4 – 8 bikes).
Condominiums, local businesses and grants could provide initial financing for a one year test. Memberships and advertising may also generate revenue. Phase II, with electric bikes, may be implemented after demonstration of demand of owner-supplied rental bikes on the island.
This concept is certainly not fool-proof. Bikes WILL get stolen and vandalized. But the live 2-way cameras, GPS tracking, and electronic locks appear to make the concept of user-supplied bike rentals feasible while commodity IoT devices will lower costs.
Above is a simple proposal that assumes a $1,000 ebike could generate $6,500 in year one (pdf).
Above is a proposal for a bike sharing hub with solar panels for charging.
Bike tracking will be affordable and easy. We are simply preparing for a turnkey solution that is inevitable. An “open” model of community bike sharing, where neighborhood residents or neighborhood bike shops could generate income, may be the ultimate answer for Portland.
Such a system would include a self-contained, solar-powered charge station with free community WiFi. A flat monthly parking fee ($50-$100/month) might be charged to anyone who wants to rent their bikes. It would include GPS tracking and a Bluetooth-enabled U-Bolt. Bike owners could set their own fees (like Spinlister) and the bike hubs in each neighborhood could provide community vitality and resiliency.
Solar Hub for Bike AND Car Sharing
A much larger solar hub might be used for electric car sharing. The 2018 Nissan Leaf includes vehicle-to-grid capability, enabling owners to use their car’s battery pack to provide power to the neighborhood (in an emergency) or their own home. Emergency power after an earthquake could be subsidized by electric car sharing and provide Car-Sharing to poorer neighborhoods. Owners of new and used electrified vehicles in Oregon now qualify for on-the-spot rebates of up to $5,000 (FAQ).
Car2go, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, forgoes a hub system used by other carsharing services like ZipCar. Instead it resembles dockless bikes, using a smartphone app to determine location. As of July 2017, Car2go is the largest carsharing company in the world with 2,500,000 registered members.
Turo neither owns the vehicles nor maintains them. Rather, they offer a platform for car owners and renters to connect. Turo and Getaround utilize personal cars. Turo, once known as RelayRides, has emerged as one of the biggest players on the e-rentals. Turo and RelayRides use existing cars, unlike fleet car-sharing services like ReachNow, Zipcar and Car2Go.
Turo and Getaround.com offer a platform for car owners and renters to connect with each other, resulting in reduced rental costs compared to traditional car rental services. Turo covers vehicles with up to $1 million of liability insurance to protect car owners against lawsuits for injuries and property damage. Cars listed must be 2005 or newer with an odometer reading below 130,000 miles.
Uber has a partnership with mobile-ticketing company Masabi, car-share platform Getaround and bike sharing platform JumpBikes, allowing riders to purchase public transit tickets, car rentals, and bike rides through its app. Free-floating car sharing like Car2Go lets cars be parked all over the city and not returned to a hub.
Carshare Portland was the first car sharing operation in the United States. Portland resident Dave Brook launched Carshare Portland in 1998 with one car and a few neighbors. In 2000 Zipcar and Seattle’s Flexcar were also formed and eventually Zipcar merged with Carshare Portland and Flexcar. Today, car rental companies like Zipcar and Car2Go compete with on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft and personal car sharing firms like GetAround and Turo.
Uber also plans to operate a network of small, electric aircraft, in numerous cities worldwide, to enable four-person ridesharing flights in densely populated urban markets. uberAIR will be commercially available in 2023 in Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles.
Scooter sharing works, too. The Genze e-scooter ($3000) can be used in sharing services and is supported in Portland. E-bikes are also available by rent for the day [$35] or week [$100]. The Gogoro 2 electric scooter ($2000) features a 6.4 kilowatt motor, has a top speed of 55 miles per hour, and a range of 68 miles. The Gogoro eScooter is used in a Paris sharing service. Pedigo has a local distributor.
The problem with personal car sharing is the same problem with personal bike sharing … there’s no convenient centralized hub. You have to track down the owner of the car unless it’s permanently located at a relatively expensive parking spot at the airport. We think a small central hub could offer as many as four bikes and four cars more conveniently, perhaps across the street from the Safeway Store on Hayden Island.
Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers
EV4’s fast charge Solar Canopy makes money through fees, advertising, and licensing agreements.
Portable Level 2 chargers will usually deliver 16 amps at 230-volts, or about 3.3 kw of power, good for eight to ten miles per hour. The $200 chargers are as fast as the original Level 2 chargers are about three times faster than the standard cord-set that comes with all plug-in cars.
Level 1 chargers (110 volts) require about 8 hours to fully charge a Leaf’s 24 KW/hr battery. On level 2 chargers (240 volts AC), LEAFs can get 60 minutes of free charging for about 20 miles worth of range, with a full charge taking about 4 hours. Nissan Leaf electric cars can get 30 minutes of free charging on a level 3 charging station (the fastest), adding up to 88 miles of range.
The MAX Orange Line shelters incorporate 30, 200–watt Bifacial solar panels (6 kilowatts). Solar bus shelters can be ordered off the shelf. SunRun, Vivint Solar and SunPower have competitors to solar charged Tesla power walls, mostly using LG battery storage.
SunPower’s solar systems are also compatible with Tesla’s energy storage battery systems. An average 5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system costs anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 while the 9.3 kWh LG battery runs $6,000 – $7,000 with a 13.5 kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 about $7,500.
By 2020, Oregon aims to have at least 50,000 registered electric vehicles on our roads. By 2020, plug-in cars could account for as much as 20 percent of new vehicles sold in Oregon. Oregon provides rebates of $2,500 for vehicles with a battery capacity of 10 kWh or more.
The operating cost of an electric car is already about 1/4 that of a similar gas car. As battery prices fall, electric cars with 200 miles of range will be price-competitive with gasoline vehicles around 2025. When that hockey stick hits there’s no going back.
Nissan selected AeroVironment to supply its charging network in North America and are commonly found all over Oregon.
Currently, the entire length of the 1,350-mile Interstate 5 corridor is recognized as an Electric Vehicle Charging Corridor, the longest in the nation. For normal electric vehicle charging (up to 7.4 kW), a charging cable supplys 220 volt AC current. Using a 240-volt Level 2 station, a Fortwo Electric Drive can go from empty to full in approximately 3 hours. Using a conventional 120-volt household outlet, a full recharge may take 13 hours.
The “West Coast Electric Highway” is an extensive network of DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and Hwy 99. CHAdeMO is a fast charge standard that can charge low-range (75 mi) electric cars in less than half an hour and is used by Leaf and others, but other fast charge standards include the Combined Charging System (Jaguar, Volkswagen, General Motors, BMW, Daimler, Ford), and the Tesla Supercharger (a proprietary network). The West Coast corridor generally has CCS compatibility at its fast charge stations.
Kia has wireless fast charging. Park over the inductive pad. Done.
Home & Car Charge Station
The e-NV200, built on a Nissan Leaf chassis, is equipped with a 40 kWh battery that can feed power back to the home. Owners can also pull 1000 watts of power from the Power Plug for up to 15 hours. The e-NV200 has a 80 kW (109 hp) electric motor and is available with DC fast-charging capacity (50 kW). A 25kWh EV battery may receive up to an 80% battery capacity charge in less than 10 minutes, with DC fast charging from AeroVironment or ChargePoint.
An 8 kWatt solar charge station might deliver some 32 kW over four hours to a couple of 13.5 KW/hr Tesla Powerwalls, with the excess going back to the grid.
Between the cheap Level 1 and expensive DC Fast Charging stations sits Level 2 charging. Level 2 supplies 240V, like what an electric dryer or oven uses. There are currently some 20,000 public Level 2 charging stations (limited to 6.6 kW). Most Leafs now can take 6 kW, but models that support DC fast charging are still limited. A Level 2 charger might top off a vehicles in 45 minutes or so – just enough time for some shopping or lunch.
According to FuelEconomy.gov, the 2018 Tesla Model S requires 33 kWh per every 100 miles or 50 miles per 17 kWh of energy. A $6,000 Tesla Powerwall has a usable capacity of 13.5 kWh. With 5 hours of direct sun on a 5KW solar array (another $6,000), may ideally produce 25KWatts per day. The Powerwall 2 can deliver 7 kilowatts of power with a capacity of 13.5 kilowatt-hours. No connection to grid power would be required in this standalone solar carport.
DC Superfast chargers use 440 volts and take 20-40 minutes for a full charge. For quicker charging, manufacturers commonly convert AC current into DC current and charge the vehicle at 50 kW (e.g. Nissan Leaf) or more (e.g. 120-135 kW Tesla Model S).
Ikea now offers a 3.3 kilowatt-hour Lithium home battery (similar to Tesla’s Powerwall), with prices starting about $4,000 USD.
Tesla Superchargers are a proprietary network of 480-volt super-fast charging stations that allow Tesla cars to be fast-charged in less than an hour. Those Supercharger stations are expected to soon use solar power. But Nissan’s CHAdeMO network of fast chargers offers a lot of support for regional EV driving. The West Coast Electric Highway has DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest.
An AeroVironment 32A fast charger ($600) includes WiFi, Voice control via Amazon Alexa and is compatible with most all Electric Vehicles.
Integrated Solar and Battery Storage Solutions
StorEdge was designed to work with the Tesla PowerWall but their hardware will also work with many battery manufacturers like an LG 10kWh energy storage unit.
In the StorEdge system, unused solar power is stored in a battery (or electric car) and used when solar production is insufficient. When there is a power outage, a combination of solar and battery is used to power important loads such as the refrigerator, TV, lights and AC outlets, day or night. The Tesla Powerwall comes with the AC inverter, so no extra labor is required to buy or install one.
DIY grid-tied solar packages with inverter cost $6,000-$10,000. SunRun, Vivint Solar and SunPower are competitors to Tesla’s Powerwall. Solar home inverters like the StorEdge 7600, Huawei Sun2000L, and Enphase connect with home storage batteries like Tesla and LG as well as electric car chargers. Lithium battery storage like the 13.3 kWatt/hr PowerWall 2 would run another $7,500 and the shelter with grid connection might cost another $10,000. Let’s say we budget the whole package for $25,000.
The motivation for this solar-powered car/bike hub is not economics, but rather resiliency. If the total cost of a solar powered level 2 charge station approaches $25,000, then the payback in electric savings might take 12-20 years to payback with only $1000-$2000/year savings over grid purchased electricity (at 10 cents per KWh). Probably the most direct route to profitability would be as a node in a commercial charge network like Blink, ChargePoint, PlugShare or Tesla. We are a presenting this as a neighborhood power resilency concept, particularly useful after an event like a subduction zone earthquake which could knock out neighborhood power for days for weeks.
However, we believe that payback of a solar powered charge station may be possible with FREE one-hour charging with the following revenue streams:
(a) Subsidies by local stores and restaurants
(b) Advertising on large displays and via free WiFi
(c) Parking fees for entrepreneurs who wish to rent their own vehicles
(d) Revenue from excess power sold back to the power company.
(e) Grants and subsidies from organizations and institutions who promote green power benefits.
If we desire payback in 5 years or so WITHOUT USER FEES, then we might need to show a sustainable revenue of $3K-$5K a year. With revenue from advertising, grants and store subsidies, we believe that could be achieved, although this paper does not provide any rigorous or substantial economic analysis.
Additional Revenue Sources:
As part of the settlement of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, VW will spend $2 billion in the U.S. over the next 10 years on CCS and other charging infrastructure through Electrify America. In this effort charging stations will be set up with up to 150 kW at community-based locations and with up to 350 kW at highway locations. Besides CCS also CHAdeMO charging stations will be constructed. The VW Settlement decree allows up to 15 percent of each state’s allocation – in Oregon this is approximately $10.9 million – to be used to develop and maintain EV charging stations.
Electric cars are cheaper to drive (and maintain). Assuming a level 2 charger at 6.6 kW, each household would have to charge for 660 hours annually when driving a typical 13,000 miles per year. That’s $371 for electricity or $1650 for gas (at $3.15 per gallon).
When the purchase price of electric cars attains parity with gas-powered cars, then community solar will be necessary to keep up with the sudden demand for electricity.
Possible Locations on Hayden Island:
The South Shore clubhouse at Hayden Island’s Manufactured Home Community, features a full kitchen, bathrooms, and space for several hundred people. It has a large, unencumbered south-facing roof at a 30 degree tilt angle. A 3.5KW solar installation could cost $3500 (after rebates) while the 14KWh Powerwall with electric car charger might pay for itself in a few years. Grants could cover much of the front end cost.
Manheim’s auto auction facility near West Hayden Island has installed some 200 Kilowatts of solar panels on their facilities. They don’t store the juice, they feed it back to PGE. But dozens of 60 KW electric cars and vans could provide a built-in energy storage capability for an island-wide microgrid, very cost/competitively since the panels are already installed, the electric vehicles are already there, and the facility is right next to the island sub-station.
Portland General Electric (PGE) has issued a request for proposals seeking 100 average megawatts (MWa) of renewable energy capacity. Projects must be a minimum of 10MW in size and can use a range of technologies including solar, wind and hydroelectric power. While the Port of Portland could form a joint venture with Manheim, for a resilient microgrid – like the Port of San Diego – they seem unlikely to be a leader. The Port of Portland’s Microgrid Knowledge may be lacking and the Port may be unaware that the large Columbia River transmission towers are likely to topple in a subduction zone event.
Seattle City Light and Parks and Recreation selected the Miller Community Center as the site for a microgrid. It won’t save money, but the microgrid will continue to power the community center so kids, seniors, and other neighbors will be able to stay warm, charge their phones, do homework, and stay safe until the lights are back on. The 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient.
Meanwhile, a fully installed 7 Kilowatt/hr battery storage system with the ability to charge electric cars and be used for back up power during a blackout could cost over $12,000. A 3.5Kilowatt solar array might add another $12,000 (after rebates about $3,000). So this neighborhood insurance policy could cost $15,000 (before the electric car). Could it pay for itself?
Vehicle to Grid Discharging
Cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt, (with a 200 mile range) have a 60 KiloWatt/hr battery that can be fully recharged in 8-9 hours using a 240-volt AC outlet, supplied with this system. But a new 30 KiloWatt/hr Leaf can be charged in 3-4 hours while a 5 year old, 24 KiloWatt/hr Nissan Leaf, probably has at least 15 Kilowatt hrs available for 50 mile trips and costs around $8,000.
Nissan’s new e-NV200 all-electric van uses the same new 40 kWh battery pack introduced in the next generation Leaf for 150 mile range. It also features a vehicle-to-grid system that enables the battery in the Van to power your house at night.
It could provide neighborhood emergency power after a quake…and make money.
A 5 kWatt solar array for 4 hours could top off the battery and put in 20 kWh every day. A 32 amp ‘wallbox’ home charging station takes 7.5 hours to charge from empty, but you’re unlikely to run the 40 kWh battery completely down. About half that (20 kWh) is more likely and typical.
Park it under a solar carport and rent the van out for $50/day. Get a grant for the solar carport. The solar carport might cost $6,000 and the van $30,000 ($36,000 total). Could it pay for itself in 3 years? I think so. A Campervan based on the eNV200, might rent for $125/day or $500/week. Lower maintenance, no gas. Level 2 charging and fast charging are available in more places every month.
If van rental generated $12,000/year ($1,000/month), that’s $50/day times 20 days a month ($1,000). Then you have a “free” van. It could be “owned” by a small investor group or a non-profit community organization. Not unlike the Kenton Tool Library.
A Basic Earthquake Communications kit could provide post-earthquake communications and provide mobile power — without gas. That’s the equivalent of 3 kWatts of generator power for 7 hours each evening, charging the battery daily from the sun.
Using Nissan’s bi-directional charging, customers can draw energy from the grid to power their car, then ‘sell’ back to the grid for others to use.
Anyone can rent out a car via Turo. Rented for $25/day, for 20 days a month, that’s $500/month income generated for an energy storage system.
A USED Nissan Leaf (with 24KW/hr battery) costs around $7,500, about the same cost as a new Telsa Powerwall with a 13 KW/hr battery. An organization might pay off a used Nissan Leaf in one year, generating income of $6K/year, plus electricity saving of about $1200 a year. It’s a profit center. It’s a community asset. Everybody wins.