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DOEE Awards $375,000 to Lyft to Add Solar Panels on Capital Bikeshare Docking Stations, Improving E-Bike Access

Friday, March 29, 2024

CONTACT: Nicole Goines, PIO, (202) 536-7666, [email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC, March 29, 2024— The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has awarded $375,000 in Lyft Bikes & Scooters, LLC (Lyft) for a Solar Charging Station Pilot Project that will upgrade four capital Bikeshare (CaBi) docking stations with solar panels to allow for charging of e-bikes while docked. This will increase the available of e-bikes to users in the District.

CaBi is metro DC’s bikeshare service, with 5,000 bikes and 700+ stations across seven jurisdictions across the District, Maryland ,and Virginia. The CaBi program in DC is administered by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) through a contract with Lyft. CaBi recently reached historically high monthly ridership numbers in 2023. This is due to DDOT’s rollout of new e-bikes for CaBi customers, an effort that will be better supported through the in-dock charging system, making it more likely that e-bikes are available for residents looking to ride them. DOEE’s grant award comes out of American Rescue Plan Act funding.

“This project will increase equitable and accessible mobility options for District residents and help the District meet its 25% mode shift goal for walking and cycling instead of driving with a cleaner, faster, and more efficient, electrified bikeshare system, while also improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said DOEE Director Richard Jackson. “We look forward to supporting future solar e-bike charging projects as the District continues to create more sustainable and resilient communities.”

Lyft is partnering with Skyhook Solar (Skyhook) to implement this project. CaBi will pilot solar charging stations with Skyhook’s canopies that are directly connected with Lyft’s Pillar electrified bikeshare station. This zero-emission solution will pave the way to enable charging in areas that have strong access to sunlight and may be difficult to have a direct connection with the power grid. Today, operations staff visit stations and field locations throughout the network to swap drained batteries with fully charged ones, sometimes leaving a bike unusable for an extended time. This also represents a significant component of system operations cost. Through station electrification, this project will reduce the number of e-bikes sitting idle. The increased availability of e-bikes, a popular car-replacement solution, will enable riders to boost mode-shift towards cycling.

About Lyft

Lyft was founded in 2012 with the mission to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for cities and making them more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships. Lyft is a leading micromobility company operating many of the largest bikeshare systems in the United States, including Washington D.C.’s CaBi system.

About Skyhook

Skyhook was founded in 2019 with a core mission to fight climate change by accelerating the global transition to clean energy. The Solar Station is Skyhook’s core technology and means of achieving this goal – a transportable, industrial-grade, battery-backed solar generator that can provide power to EVs, micromobility, internet access, lighting, and emergency services in public spaces. Since launching, Skyhook has deployed Solar Stations in 10 cities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The Skyhook Solar Station is leading the charge: approved for long-term use within city pedestrian right-of-way and compatible with CaBi’s electric bikeshare charging stations.