Many cities already had a network of bicycle hire stations in place. What was needed was a way to incorporate the newly-arrived electric bicycles without extensive adaptations to existing stations. Only the bicycles were different, which meant they could be made compatible with the existing systems, thereby eliminating the need for construction in public spaces. The bicycles were also made compatible with stations powered by their own solar panels.
We wanted the hybrid bikes to retain the core features that had made JCDecaux’s self-service bicycle schemes such a success: they are reliable, simple to maintain and easy to use.Eric CalléDeputy Head of Research & Development
A bicycle is rented an average of 8 to 10 times a day. Previously, bicycles had to remain stationed until their batteries were recharged. With portable, personal batteries, each rider can be assured that their bicycle will be powered.
Because batteries are kept individually by riders, they can also be connected objects. They can communicate with smartphones through an app to provide information on routes travelled, display remaining battery life and personalise the mode of assistance. When connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth technology, it can also transmit a light signal to notify riders of new messages.
To develop this battery, JCDecaux teamed up with Forsee Power Solutions, a French SME specialising in industrial batteries. Based on JCDecaux's specifications, Forsee Power developed a battery that offered approximately 10 kilometres of assisted travel, four times the average route length.
Software integration (connecting the battery to the bicycle and a smartphone), as well as the hybrid functionality, were developed by JCDecaux. Visitors got to try out the smooth ride offered by the electric bicycles in front of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris during the COP 21 climate change conference.