Planning for Micromobility
Given the shorter distance of many trips taken with micromobility devices, micromobility charging infrastructure planning typically occurs at the community- or site-level.
Charging of micromobility devices may take place at home, at work, or in public places. For example, Oregon has integrated micromobility charging infrastructure with standard EV charging stations as part of the West Coast Electric Highway.
Providing Micromobility Charging Infrastructure in Public Places
The Oregon Department of Transportation has added micromobility charging outlets to EV chargers along the West Coast Electric Highway. The standard 110 volt outlets provide electricity at no cost to users and are available at 44 EV charging stations spaced about 25-50 miles apart mainly near I-5, I-84, and U.S. Highway 101, providing service to more rural areas. The stations are not directly on highways, but are instead located on frontage roads or other nearby facilities, supporting micromobility access.
One challenge of micromobility infrastructure planning is the lack of standardization and universal/interoperable charging equipment. Micromobility devices use proprietary charging cables (which may or may not be affixed to the devices) or docks that connect to standard wall outlets. Some advocates suggest USB-C technology could serve as an interoperable standard for micromobility charging.
Micromobility devices may have removable or fixed batteries, with implications for charging infrastructure.1 E-bikes with removable batteries can be serviced at indoor charging stations. For example, lockers that contain proprietary charging cables where riders can charge their e-bike batteries for free are currently deployed in select tourism locations in the United Kingdom. E-bikes with fixed batteries can be charged at fast charging stations located outdoors. Integrated parking and charging stations that are designed to work across multiple e-bike and battery brands offer another option for outdoor charging. State, Tribal, and local governments may partner with micromobility charging equipment companies to create charging sites in public locations.
Different operational models for charging shared micromobility devices are discussed in the Partnership Opportunities section.
1Both removable and fixed batteries have implications for the transportation of micromobility via other modes because the battery is classified as a hazardous material and would fall purview to the Hazardous Materials Regulations when transported in commerce, to include aboard a U.S. aircraft. .