Solarcycle installs the UK’s first off-grid solar e-bike chargers at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH) is the first in the UK to install Solarcycle’s off-grid solar e-bike charging stations at its two hospital sites. Solarcycle is the first company in the UK to offer an off-grid, solar ‘in a box’ electric vehicle (EV) charging solution designed to provide green, renewable energy for the charging of e-bikes and electric scooters. 

Ashford and St Peter’s installed the charging stations to support staff well-being, to reduce pressure on car parking and to contribute to the Trust’s sustainability and NHS net zero efforts. This is also a good way of getting people out of their cars and reducing congestion.

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Solarcycle UK develops and installs scalable, low-cost e-bike and e-scooter solar charging stations to help organisations achieve their sustainability, transport and employee well-being goals. For Ashford and St Peter’s, the important factors in installing Solarcycle’s charge points are the low-cost, quick impact and minimum disruption the solution offers. 

There is no disruptive trenchwork required which can save up to 60 per cent of the cost of installing an EV charger. Plus, with it being solar, there is no need for a mains connection, no ongoing energy costs and all staff can benefit from free-to-use recharging of their e-bikes.

Andy Hyatt, ASPH Facilities Support Services Manager, said: “We are the only Trust in the country with solar powered e-bike points. We have installed many electric car chargers at our sites so it’s great to now have some cycle ones.”

Tom Smerdon, ASPH Director of Strategy and Sustainability, said: “Getting about by e-bike is a great way to get out of the car and avoid the traffic and parking charges.”

“It’s very exciting to see the e-bike charging points being installed here at the Trust, helping us reduce our carbon impact, improve our well-being and support local enterprise and innovation.”

Paul Stratford, Solarcycle UK founder, said: “I am thrilled for the first installations of Solarcycle’s e-bike charging stations to be at ASPH Trust’s two hospital sites, thanks to Andy Hyatt’s and Tom Smerdon’s foresight.

“The Trust is a pioneer and shining example in EV-charging, so Solarcycle is a natural addition to this effort with our seamless solution that brings immediate benefits with future scalability. 

“The credibility of being an NHS-approved supplier means other NHS Trusts and organisations can follow suit in the knowledge that our solar-powered e-bike charging stations will positively contribute to their sustainability priorities, their staff well-being, and supporting people in navigating the cost-of-living crisis by encouraging them to switch from commuting by car to an e-bike.”

Solarcycle’s e-bike charging stations were installed in line with Ashford and St Peter’s staff wellbeing initiatives and sustainability priorities to reduce carbon emissions. The Trust has two Cycle to Work schemes that offer staff the benefits of tax-free bikes and accessories for their commute to work, including road, mountain, hybrid and electric bikes. 

Ashford and St Peter’s already have the highest number of EV charge points of all NHS Trusts in the UK and they are now the first in the country to have an e-bike charger, powered by renewable solar energy.

Solarcycle’s chargers are accessible to all e-bike users, featuring UK standard universal three-pin sockets. The system captures sunlight via flexible photovoltaic (PV) panels and converts this renewable energy into electrical current for e-bike and e-scooter charging via lockable IP-66-rated sockets on the SolarPoint pillars. 

Each pillar is configured to charge up to two bikes simultaneously, enabling the average e-bike and e-scooter to commute 20 miles a day for most of the year. Solarcycle is designed to help power the switch to clean electric transport with the easiest, quick impact and cost-effective off-grid solar charging points for e-bikes and e-scooters.

The demand for e-bikes has soared during lockdown. A recent study by CREDS researchers at the University of Leeds found if used to replace car travel, e-bikes have the potential to cut car carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in England by up to 50 per cent, about 30 million tonnes per year. 

The cost-of-living crisis is also encouraging more people to give up their cars and switch to electric bikes. Solarcycle is designed to meet this growing demand and to help power the switch to clean electric transport with the easiest, quick impact and cost-effective off-grid solar charging points for e-bikes and e-scooters.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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