Delft, 17 April 2020 – 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 and Delft Enterprises investment funds to scale up and further develop its charging tile. Jolanda Jansen, director of Rotterdam Ahoy. Video message.
The charging tile works through induction and is mounted in the ground, just like a paving tile. Charging starts when a 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 via API, 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 to be 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.
UNIIQ is a €22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase, which helps entrepreneurs in West Holland bring their unique innovation to market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed capital to achieve their plans and bridge the riskiest phase from concept to promising business. A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union, the Province of South Holland and the municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden. InnovationQuarter is responsible for the fund management.
Watch a short introduction to UNIIQ here: https://youtu.be/Ix9VZUsHlyU
TU Delft spin-off Tiler, formerly Fesla Charge, has developed a charging tile with a compatible bicycle kickstand, which will allow e-bikes and other light electric vehicles to charge wirelessly through induction. The charging tile will be more cost-effective, less susceptible to vandalism and will take up less space than alternatives such as docking and charging stations. Moreover, users will not have to disconnect and carry their battery and the risk of cable breakage and fire hazard will be eliminated. This will make the innovation user-friendly, sustainable and affordable. Tiler aims to boost wireless charging and green mobility with the charging tile.