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George Kalligeros (Pushme Bikes)

George Kalligeros won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in April 2018 for his business, Pushme Bikes.

Business Description

One of the key barriers to mass adoption of personal electric transport is range anxiety, followed by charging time and battery maintenance.
 
PushMe Bikes, a start-up from London, operates a charging service for electric bikes designed to provide access to instant energy at the heart of cities, offering users support and eliminating worries around range, charging or battery maintenance.
 
Users can convert their existing bike into an electric bike with the Pushme device, which costs £200 and is equipped with our shareable battery. When users run out of battery, they can swap a depleted battery with a fully-charged one from Pushpod battery swap stations, conveniently located inside convenience stores at the centre of the city. Users can get access to the Pushpod service on a weekly subscription, which will cost around £7.
 
The technology comprises 3 IoT-enabled products; a device that coverts any bike into an electric bike, a shareable battery and a battery swap station. A mobile app links the cloud-connected products and enables users to locate, reserve and swap batteries.
 
Their first market is on-demand delivery, with the number of mopeds in London skyrocketing in recent years. PushMe work with on-demand delivery companies to electrify their bike fleets in an effort to replace petrol scooters, which are the most polluting vehicles in urban centres. George Kalligeros, founder of PushMe Bikes said: “During our pilots with delivery companies, we have seen that electric delivery couriers perform similarly to scooter couriers in dense urban areas.”
 
George started the business with a university grant, which was then matched by the Department for Transport. With that money, he hired some interns and launched the pilot. In April 2018, the company was awarded a further £5,000 as the winner of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award.
 
George had some fascinating advice for businesses starting up in the low-carbon space: “Be adamantly clear about the tangible business benefits your low-carbon technology brings to your customer. The good-will around low-carbon tech and the green-tech bubble 10 years ago have stigmatised low-carbon businesses, giving customers and investors the impression that green-tech start-ups struggle to build a strong business case and don’t yield short term business benefits. It is key to break this mould and demonstrate how low-carbon tech not only contributes to good CSR, but can also bring significant cost savings.”
 
You can follow Pushme Bike on Twitter @pushmebike and on Facebook.

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