The University of Florence (UNIFI) has patented a bike sharing system with potential extension to scooters, based on sharing the battery instead of the vehicle, capable of raising awareness, encouraging and facilitating the sustainable use of light vehicles in the environment urban.
This system overcomes many limitations of traditional sharing. The concept, in fact, is to separate the vehicle from the batteries: the user only has to transform his traditional bike or scooter into an electric vehicle, with special conversion kits made available but widely available on the market. It is a low-cost kit compared to buying an already electrified vehicle. In this way the user can have a network of recharging points in which to refuel charged batteries, without worrying about the management of recharging and maintenance and deterioration of the same. On the other hand, the service manager will not have the cost of the vehicles, which remain the property of the user. This also avoids the problem of vandalism and vehicles left parked everywhere.
The heart of the system consists of:
a) Charging stations located throughout the territory, which allow the withdrawal of charged batteries and the storage of discharged batteries;
b) Management app, which constitutes the user interface and allows you to carry out all the operations of identification, payment, withdrawal and storage of the batteries, provides information on the state of the battery charge, on the sites where the charging stations are located , the statistics of the routes, times, speed, etc. ;
c) Batteries with electronic cards designed to interface with the charging stations, with the management app and with the sensors on board the vehicle;
d) Conversion kit for traditional bicycles and scooters into electric vehicles, at low cost.
The system, organized in this way, combines the advantages of the user with those of the manager, minimizing the risks and costs due to the maintenance of the vehicle fleet, often the cause of the failure of bike sharing systems. The creation of an economically sustainable system, for all the actors, constitutes the sine qua non for the development and diffusion of a mobility system.