Swobbee puts four battery swap stations into operation in New York

As part of a pilot project, the German startup Swobbee has installed the first four battery exchange stations in New York City, which will initially be used by 30 to 60 drivers in this first phase.

Image: Swobbee

According to Swobbee, the pilot project is being carried out in collaboration with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Newlab. It is part of New York Mayor Eric Adams’ “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” initiative. The aim is to promote the safe charging of electric bicycles and prevent battery fires, thereby increasing the safety of delivery drivers through an improved charging infrastructure.

Delivery drivers are increasingly relying on e-bikes in metropolitan traffic. However, with their boom, the number of battery fires has also risen, from 40 in 2020 to 220 incidents in 2022, according to Swobbee – “often caused by improper charging or physical damage”. Another problem: many of the approximately 65,000 delivery drivers in NYC have to use their own vehicles for work, which are often cheap models due to wages – this increases the risk of fire “through the use of cheap and inferior batteries”, according to Swobbee.

The German startup wants to improve safety with its own exchangeable batteries, which are charged in a controlled manner at the exchange stations. If successful, the tests with an initial 30 to 60 drivers could lead to further investment by Swobbee. The results of the project will be used to test the suitability and user-friendliness of the technology for delivery drivers in New York “in preparation for a planned, broader rollout of Swobbee stations”.

“We are very excited to contribute to the mobility transition in New York and offer delivery drivers a reliable charging solution,” said Thomas Duscha, CEO of Swobbee. “Our charging stations have been specially developed for such challenges. We use the most reliable battery technology available to ensure maximum safety for delivery drivers. Our lithium ferrophosphate (LFP) technology outperforms any conventional lithium-ion alternative in this respect – and at a lower total cost of ownership. We are convinced that this combination of unrestricted access and increased safety for New York can serve as a blueprint for future projects with similarly high fire safety and sustainability requirements.”

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