Tech startup uses green energy for rentable chargers

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At Springwise, we often come across innovations based on providing a unique service. These have included a concierge service that specialises in hard-to-find items and personalised nutrition labels. A new innovation seeks to answer the question of what to do when a phone battery dies while you are out and about. London-based startup ChargedUp have developed a network of vending stations where, for a small fee, users can borrow portable power banks.

Users can locate a station using the ChargedUp app. Once located, they scan the QR code on the station to release a battery. Batteries come with connector cables for both iPhone and Android. Prices for the rental batteries start from 50 pence for 30 minutes, up to 3 GBP for a full 24-hours usage. After charging, users can drop the charger off at any ChargedUp station. There are currently 30 stations around London, but the company aims to have chargers in more than 1500 locations by mid-2019. The company are also exploring partnerships that will let them put charging stations in thousands of stores and restaurants.

The entire ChargedUp network runs on green energy, provided by a partnership with renewable energy company Ecotricity. To prevent people from taking a ChargedUp battery and not returning it, each battery has its own ID chip, and can be linked to individual users. Users can also purchase a ChargedUp battery outright for 30 GBP. This fee includes access to the chargers for one year.

Takeaway: ChargedUp isn’t the only company to turn charging into a service. Services like ChargeBox can be found in some shopping centres. They allow users to lock their phone away and charge it for 30 minutes. But, ChargedUp is the only service where users can take the charger on the go with them. What other ways are there to turn charging into a service?

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