The e-bike has been the best-selling bicycle in the Netherlands for over two years. However, there is no sustainable, user-friendly charging structure in place yet. Delft based tech firm Tiler has developed an innovative charging tile, which will allow e-bikes and other light electric vehicles like e-cargo bikes and e-steps to be charged wirelessly. Tiler has secured €250,000 from UNIIQ investment fund to scale up and further develop its charging tile. Jolanda Jansen, director of Rotterdam Ahoy, announced the investment on in a video message.
The charging tile works through induction and is mounted in the ground, just like a paving tile. Charging starts automatically when an e-bike with a compatible kickstand is parked on the tile. An associated software platform for fleet management will eventually make it possible to check availability and charging status and to book and pay for charging. The platform will also facilitate linking with customer systems, the use of a Tiler app and GPS cloudlock for extra security. Tiler aims to boost wireless charging and green mobility.
User-friendly, sustainable and affordable
The innovative system, which has remarkably low purchase and maintenance costs, boasts many advantages over existing alternatives. Docking stations and e-bike charging stations are a lot more expensive, more susceptible to vandalism and take up more space on the street. Charging via a socket also has its disadvantages – each brand has its own adapter, which is vulnerable to cable breakage and corrosion. Because of the risk of explosion, an increasing number of companies are banning indoor charging of bicycle batteries. Firms are therefore keen to find a sustainable, user-friendly and affordable charging infrastructure for their fast-growing fleets of e-bikes. The Tiler wireless charging tile offers a solution to this problem.
Tiler was founded in October 2019, initially under the name Fesla Charge, by Christiaan van Nispen and Olivier Coops. Both entrepreneurs are experienced in founding and kick-starting tech startups. The TU Delft spin-off will use the investment to recruit talented staff, invest in R&D and scale up to the first production batch. Tiler will initially focus on the corporate market – businesses and organisations that encourage their employees to use bicycles more often. The number of companies with an e-bike leasing plan is expected to increase thanks to a new tax measure introduced this year.
Following successful testing of the prototype, Tiler will soon install the first charging tile at pilot customer Rotterdam Ahoy. Production of the tiles will start in the summer and the initial batch will come onto the market in September 2020.
Watch the video message here:
CEO Christiaan van Nispen:
“The current boom in light electric vehicles for corporate fleets can only succeed with a corresponding charging infrastructure. The hassle of an adapter with a cable, the installation of a bulky charging-station infrastructure or expensive maintenance due to corrosion will be a thing of the past with the Tiler tile. We’re going to build a great team to commercialise our solutions and bring them to market through partnerships and pilot customers. Without UNIIQ’s investment, this would not be possible.”
Hans Dreijklufft, UNIIQ fund manager at InnovationQuarter: “Tiler, a spin-off of TU Delft, is focused on the strong growth in electric mobility. The company’s smart charging tile with compatible kickstand is set to play an important role in e-bike charging. Having Rotterdam Ahoy as a pilot partner of Tiler emphasises Ahoy’s ambitions in this area and is a strong validation for the company. UNIIQ is therefore happy to support Tiler’s entrepreneurs accelerate the market introduction of their product.”
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