Gallery: How Citi Bikes Could Be Used to Generate Pedal-Powered Energy ...

Navjot Kaur, a co-founder of The Charge Cycle, a company that makes bike stations that can charge personal electric devices using pedal power told us that his company has also considered the idea of adding generators to Citi Bike stations. "We think it'd be an added benefit to the bike users and to even people that need a charge when a bike is docked," he wrote to us in an email. "The Citi Bikes are already using a dynamo to power the front and back lights of the bike. To add the ability to charge a phone would be an integration into the PCB on board."

An event at Universal Studios powered by people pedaling bikes equipped with ASE generators.

Pedal-powered generators are nothing new. In fact, we’ve featured quite a few examples here on Inhabitat from a pedal-powered music festival in Union Square (which was “Powered by Natural Ass”) to the pedal-powered premiere of NBC’s Revolution, a show about a post-apocalyptic future world with no electricity. But those were one-off events – not a permanent system that needs to perform daily like the Citi Bike program. Would it be feasible to install the same kind of apparatus on Citi Bikes or Citi Bike docks?

Brooks Maschmeier, CEO of ASE Power Arizona (the company that supplied the generators for the NBC event) says that the answer is yes. “It’s extremely feasible,” Maschmeier told us over the phone today. “Looking at the docking stations, there’s plenty of room to place generators behind the bikes if we elevated them slightly,” he said. “The apparatus exists. We make it.” ASE is currently working with the University of Toronto’s Human Power Vehicle Design Team and architecture firm RAW Design on an event taking place tomorrow in Toronto that will feature triathletes pedaling bikes to discharge electricity back into the grid.


or your inhabitat account below


  1. brooks June 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The power from people could help run the electronic Citi Bike racks and act as a remote power station for electronics during power outages.

  2. 1crazyfox June 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Homeless are ofttimes unhealthy due to high stress, lack of medical care and proper nutrition. It takes a tool on a body and mind quickly-and I am speaking of those that are not addicted to alcohol and drugs-they fare much worse. But having said that, at first glance the idea of making bikes available for charging phones, etc, sounds like a plan~