NYC unveils unprecedented e-bike charging stations

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh says this first-in-the-nation program will "literally" save lives.

City officials today unveiled the first of five public e-battery charging locations to be installed in New York City.  The first is now up in Cooper Square in the East Village.

"This is such an important moment," said Councilmember Carlina Rivera. "This is a historic step."

The goal is to cut down on fires caused by e-bike batteries, the most recent such blaze taking the life of a young journalist from Harlem.

The new program aims to help the city's delivery workers who rely on e-bikes to do their jobs.

"We are helping them to do their job in a safer environment," said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez

Three companies have been chosen to be part of this six month pilot program.

Two companies-- Swobbee and Popwheels-- work like this: your phone will unlock a charging hole for the depleted battery.  Immediately, you'll be able to grab a fully charged battery.

The third company, Swiftmile, gives users access to a secure charging bike rack where participating e-bike users can lock up their bikes and charge it while parked.

Cooper Square is the first and so far only location up and running, but in the coming weeks four more will be added across Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

  • Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn.
  • Cooper Square, Manhattan.
  • Essex Market, Manhattan.
  • Plaza de las Americas, Manhattan.
  • Willoughby Street, Brooklyn.

The pilot program is only going to be accessible to about 100 delivery workers. 

Workers who want to sign up can do so via this form on the Department of Transportation’s website.