The SunPedal Ride, a solar-powered electric bike project, travels thousands of miles across the United States to raise awareness
If you haven’t paid attention to electric bikes, you might be surprised that their global market size can greatly exceed $ 60 billion by 2030. In some areas, depending on conditions, e-bikes could replace much larger fossil-fueled vehicles for personal transportation, as they are relatively inexpensive to buy, power, and maintain.
To further raise awareness of the presence and versatility of e-bikes, Sushil Reddy and Luis Fourzan ride theirs across the United States, covering thousands of miles. Reddy, holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest electric bike ride, and Luis Fourzan, an advocate of clean energy and passionate about the outdoors, have ridden more than 1,500 miles in the United States on e-bikes until now. They plan to finish in Houston, Texas after covering 6,498 miles. Octopus energy, an energy supplier that sources energy from renewable sources, has an office in Houston and sponsors the electric bike ride.
Sushil Reddy and Michael Lee, CEO of Octopus Energy US, answered a few questions about the electric bike ride in the United States for CleanTechnica.
Why did you start the SunPedal Ride and how many kilometers have you ridden so far?
The SunPedal Ride started in 2016 as a project to raise awareness of the benefits and importance of solar power and sustainable mobility by taking an endurance trip on a solar powered electric bike in India. So far, I have ridden over 15,000 kilometers on a solar powered electric bike in different geographies over a period of 5 years.
How far can the electric bike go with a single charge, and where do you charge?
The electric bike I use for my trip to the USA can do about 35-40 miles on a single charge (without solar power) under ideal conditions. I charged partly using solar power and partly using an external wall charger with the former being a priority.
How much did it cost to add the solar panels, batteries and the hub motor?
Hub motor and batteries are from Grin Technologies in Canada. They were donated for this trip, but in the market they can cost around US $ 1,000 to US $ 3,000 depending on various specifications. SunPower solar panels cost US $ 200 +/-. The retrofit was carried out by Sol Mobil in North Carolina.
What will you do when the trip is over?
Rest then create a travel blog with all the experiences to share with everyone. Hopefully this will inspire people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in their daily activities.
Why did Octopus Energy decide to sponsor the SunPedal Ride?
Octopus Energy is proud to sponsor Sushil’s SunPedal Ride and to work closely with it to evangelize the adoption of renewable energies and clean, low-carbon lifestyles around the world. This is a critical time for the global energy transformation, and individual actions play a crucial role in leading us towards a greener, cheaper and more sustainable energy future. We look forward to welcoming the SunPedal Ride team here in Houston in December.
How are you contributing as a sponsor to the race?
Octopus Energy provided financial support, as well as support in media outreach and coordination of promotional activities. Additionally, Octopus Energy is looking forward to hosting a closing celebration when the SunPedal Ride team concludes their trip to Houston in December.
How does Octopus provide renewable electricity to your customers and where do you get your electricity?
In the age of swipes, likes and Siri, many energy providers have struggled to keep up with this digital transformation. That’s why Octopus built Kraken, our proprietary energy technology platform designed to drive the smart grid, providing customers with access to cheaper electricity when renewables are plentiful. Licensed as a SAAS + supplier to other energy companies, Kraken ensures that the mission of decarbonizing the grid can be shared and accelerated across the industry. And by making customer service a priority, we’ve turned the energy around – thrown away call centers, confusing bills and tired systems. Instead, Octopus Energy has combined our knowledge of energy and our understanding of 21st century customers to create a better customer experience for everyone that takes into consideration how consumers interact with their energy and home devices. smart, while making the renewable energy experience more enjoyable, visually appealing and understandable.
For each portion of electricity consumed by customers, Octopus Energy purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset the fossil fuels that have supplied the grid. These RECs help reduce the cost of building new renewable energy generators, such as wind and solar. Octopus Energy has 100% renewable energy in all the markets they serve around the world. It is their mission to enable renewable energies to be competitive and even cheaper than the production of fossil fuels.
In 2021, Octopus Renewables and Octopus Energy merged into one organization. As a production part of the company, Octopus Renewables has become the largest investor in solar energy in Europe, as well as one of the main investors in onshore wind. They currently manage a global portfolio of renewable energy assets valued at over £ 3 billion. As Octopus Energy expands its presence in the United States, Octopus Renewables will assess opportunities to expand its production footprint.
What are some of the objectives of Octopus Energy for the next two years?
As the US energy market rapidly evolves towards ultra-low cost renewables, Octopus Energy wishes to lead large-scale efforts for a true digital transformation of the industry that will enable a more sustainable, reliable and resilient grid through United States. We are excited to continue to develop technology that helps consumers get the cleanest, cheapest energy possible, while providing incredible customer service.
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