Seen today whilst passing through Gare de Lyon;
Look closely; the chaps who are recharging their mobile phones are having to pedal for the electricity.
Bear in mind the following;
– France has the lowest priced electricity in Europe at €0.15 per kilowatt because they heavily rely on the very sensible method (if you don’t like carbon) of generating energy: nuclear, and
– It takes about 1 kilowatt to fully charge an iPhone, and
– A static exercise bike costs about €200, probably triple that once it’s been integrated into a seat, table and charge station, and there are three of them, and
– The maintenance costs are likely to be the equivalent of a couple of hours of labour a month plus parts, so perhaps €100.
Therefore (and if someone can check my calculations, I’d be grateful), over 12,000 phones would need to be charged a year for this station to make economic sense. So, an average of 33 a day, including Christmas.
Except… an efficient bike generator produces about 100 watts an hour, so there’s absolutely no way these three machines would get even close to a 10% ROI, even if they were fully-utilised around the clock.
Dear railway travellers of France; the Gare de Lyon station management think you’re a bunch of fat lazy bastards and are therefore happy to spend money in a completely inefficient way to make you change your ways.
Oh, and to the bloke wearing sunglasses indoors at 4pm on a January afternoon; you’re a twat.