In a previous article, we called Atlanta the “mecca of micro-mobility.” Andrew Fox, CEO of New York-based GetCharged Inc., a micro-mobility company, seems to concur; Atlanta is set to receive the first ever e-scooter and bicycle charging stations in North America. That’s thanks to a deal that GetCharged Inc. or “Charge” made with Atlanta’s parking operators and commercial real estate owners.
Not only does Andrew Fox believe that the city’s market is ideal for releasing 250 charging and docking stations, he also believes that his product will alleviate the concerns residents have with the ever-present scooters, concerns that have spawned initiatives like the “Clear the Clutter” app and Scoot Smart. In a press release the CEO said, “Atlanta represents an ideal and timely market for Charge’s first city installations, as the local micromobility movement is flourishing with more than 10,000 shared e-scooters permitted on the City’s streets. The city of Atlanta recognizes the issues with dockless systems and is starting to crack down on e-scooter companies, having recently issued more than $100K in fines and impound fees, and it is time for the community to have a workable solution that solves these issues and empowers the micromobility industry.”
Admittedly, it’s Atlanta’s love/hate relationship with micromobility(and the fact that New York has outright banned e-scooters) rather than its buzzing scooter ecosystem that truly makes the city a viable location for the roll out of Charge’s charging stations. Public Safety Committee chair Andrea Boone practically cried out for a solution when saying, “…these innovative transportation solutions[e-scooters], while fantastic for so many reasons, have cluttered our city streets and sidewalks. We would welcome a solution that addresses the safety and aesthetic issues caused by these devices.”
Solving one the city’s biggest pain points concerning e-scooters and e-bikes can be a terrific proof of concept for a company that launched its business mid April of 2019. “We intend to work with both the city of Atlanta and e-scooter operators to help ensure a flawless and smooth integration, and ultimately establish the model for other cities nationwide to drive the adoption of our revolutionary micromobility infrastructure solution,” Fox later said in the same press release.
Compatibility with e-scooters is the biggest question that must be answered. The company’s press release mentioned that the indoor and outdoor charging stations would be compatible with “most” scooters. One can safely assume that all of the big brands are covered, but would a new e-bike brand like Wheels be able to reliably dock using the chargers? That remains to be seen. The slow roll out may be used to test the effectiveness of these stations; for the next couple of months, expect to see 25 charging stations dotting Atlanta.