Exploring the Potential of Solar-powered Micromobility

This proposal explores the potential for solar-powered two-wheel electric vehicle mobility. The researchers will install a solar charging station at UC Davis West Village for electric bikes and scooters and deploy a small fleet of shared e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, and evaluate usage patterns and solar charging needs. The station has been designed by PI Beth Ferguson’s studio Sol Design Lab and will be updated to meet UC Davis structural codes. It will offer students and community members the opportunity to gather in the shade while recharging their phone, e-bicycle, e-scooter, or e-skateboard via USB ports or standard electrical outlets. With three solar panels (750 watts), a 2000 watt inverter and a 200 Amp hour battery bank the system will extend the charging capacity on cloudy days and into the night with vibrant LED lighting. Solar energy production and charging data logging will be tracked at the station. An air quality sensor and colored LED display on the station will inform users of air quality using the Purpleair sensor and map. The researchers will assess the use of this solar charging station, including charging loads, travel patterns, and trip types with the two-wheeled electric mobility pilot program. This integrative project represents innovations in mobility, charging station design, and off grid solar energy.

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