News - February 29, 2012

Wanted: a power point

An electric bicycle. Yours finally, after getting, nota bene, a good deal from your boss. But where can you get it charged?

Today, I was thrilled to have arrived at my office on my new electric bicycle, bought via Optare,' so begins a message on Yammer from library employee Koos Nijssen. 'But I was taken aback when, having reached the Forum basement, I discovered that there was no way to recharge my bicycle there!' Sustainable WUR, what now? Eighteen kilometres is the distance Nijssen has to cover on his way to work. Not entirely with his own strength since last Friday, thanks to his electric bicycle. However, that paddle power does not come free of charge. A one-way trip empties two-thirds of the battery. And a charging station is nowhere in sight.
That's right, says Fennet van de Wetering of Facilities & Services (Safety and Environment). And it's not certain if there will be one in the future. The problem faced by Nijssen and others is already known. 'We are looking into what we can and will do,' explains Van de Wetering. This includes finding out what is being done about this in other parts of the country. To be continued...
Nijssen knows other colleagues with electric bicycles. But these have detachable batteries. 'They take their batteries to their workplaces and connect them to the power points there. My battery is attached to the bicycle frame. So I have to take my bike to the first floor.' He is prepared to pay for the electricity, in any case.
Nijssen is concerned about this lack of facilities, especially as Wageningen UR will soon begin a trial project to encourage the use of electric bicycles and scooters. 'I'm pleased about that, but the necessary prerequisites have to be present too.'