Sunday, May 22, 2011

Plug In! First Electric Motorcycle Charging Stations in Barcelona

Barcelona electric motorbike charging station sign and map PHOTO

The other day, coming back from the beach, I saw some strange looking parking icons painted on the street; motorbikes with a plug! And indeed it seems to be happening now, Barcelona has launched its first electric motorcycle charging stations in the city, following the example of Paris. 15 stations with 6 charging spots each will be set up around the city. Here is how it works; green energy for free, at least until 2012.

Barcelona motobike charging station photo

Photo Credit: Sergio Carratalá

Mobecpoint, the company behind the charging stations, also nominated for the 2011 Living-Labs Global Award, claims to be the first one in the world where you can book 24h. Via your smart phone or the internet, you book your slot and the system even lets you know when your bike is fully charged.

Iberdrola has installed the stations, and provides green energy for free until 2012. Barcelona believes to be a pioneer in charging stations with stations in and around the city to charge some 120 motorbikes at the same time. By the end of the year it hopes to have activated 300 points, some charging electric cars and others motocycles. In order to promote the use of the electric motorcycle in Barcelona, Mobecpoint is also setting up an electric bike sharing fleet in hotels and university campus. According to Martí Garriga, one of the 14 registeres EV owners in the city, this will help to get people's attention and convince them that electric is the way to go. The City Council believes that there will be 2.000 electric vehicles in use by 2012, including the city's own street cleaning cars of which 25% are already electric or hybrid.

To find out how to get around Barcelona in an electric vehicle, visit the City Council's web site Live Barcelona. Here you can find a Google map with all the EV charging stations. It would be nice to see this becoming as everyday as the Bicing, the bicycle sharing system, so that Barcelona is soon pollution and noise free... just imagine!

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