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The SunPedal Ride

Bicycles

The SunPedal Ride, A Solar-Powered E-Bike Project, Is Covering Thousands Of Miles Across The US Raising Awareness

If you haven’t been paying attention to electric bikes, you might be surprised that the size of their global market may reach well over $60 billion by 2030. In some areas, depending on conditions, e-bikes could replace much larger fossil-fuel vehicles for personal transportation, because they cost relatively little to purchase, power, and maintain.

To raise more awareness about the presence and versatility of electric bikes, Sushil Reddy and Luis Fourzan are riding theirs around the United States, covering thousands of miles in the process. Reddy, a Guinness Book of World Records holder for longest e-bike ride, and Luis Fourzan, a clean energy advocate and outdoor enthusiast, have traveled over 1,500 miles in the US on e-bikes so far. They intend to finish in Houston, Texas, after traveling 6,498 miles. Octopus Energy, an energy provider that sources energy from renewable sources, has an office in Houston and is sponsoring the e-bike ride. 

Sushil Reddy and Michael Lee, CEO of Octopus Energy US, answered some questions about the US e-bike ride for CleanTechnica.

Why did you start the SunPedal Ride, and how many miles have you ridden so far?

The SunPedal Ride began in 2016 as a project to raise awareness about the benefits and importance of solar energy and sustainable mobility by doing an endurance journey on a solar-powered electric bicycle in India. So far, I have ridden more than 15,000 kilometers on a solar powered electric bicycle in different geographies over the period of 5 years on and off.

How far can the electric bike go on a single charge, and where do you charge?

The electric bicycle which I am using for my journey in the USA can go approximately 35 to 40 miles on a single charge (without solar energy) under ideal conditions. I have been charging partially using solar energy and partially using an external wall charger, the former being a priority.

The SunPedal Ride

Image credit: Sushil Reddy

How much did it cost to add the solar panels, batteries, and hub motor?

The hub motor and batteries are from Grin Technologies in Canada. They were donated for this journey, but in the market, they can cost approximately US$1000 to $3000 depending on various specifications. The SunPower solar panels cost US$200+/- . The retrofitting was done by Sol Mobil in North Carolina.

What will you do when the ride is finished?

Take some rest and then make a journey blog with all the experiences to be shared with everyone. Hopefully, it will inspire people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle in their day to day activities. 

Why did Octopus Energy decide to sponsor the SunPedal Ride?

Octopus Energy is proud to sponsor Sushil’s SunPedal ride and work closely with him to evangelize the adoption of renewable energy and clean, low-carbon lifestyles worldwide. This is a critical time for the global energy transformation, and individual actions play a crucial role in driving us towards a greener, cheaper and more sustainable energy future. We look forward to hosting the SunPedal Ride team here in Houston this December.

How do you contribute as a sponsor to the ride?

Octopus Energy has provided financial support, as well as support in media outreach and coordination of promotional activities. Also, Octopus Energy is greatly looking forward to curating a closing celebration when the SunPedal Ride team finishes the journey in Houston in December.

How does Octopus provide renewable electricity to your customers, and where do you source your electricity?

In the age of swipes, likes, and Siri, many energy suppliers have struggled to keep up with this digital transformation. That’s why Octopus has built Kraken, our proprietary energy technology platform designed to drive the smart grid, providing customers access to cheaper electricity when renewable energy is abundant. Licensed as a SAAS+ provider to other energy companies, Kraken ensures that the mission to decarbonize the grid can be shared and accelerated across the industry. And by making customer service a priority, we have turned energy on its head – thrown away the call centers, confusing bills and tired systems. Instead, Octopus Energy has combined our knowledge of energy and understanding of customers in the 21st century to create a better customer experience for everyone that takes into consideration how consumers interact with their energy and smart home devices, while making the renewable energy experience more enjoyable, visually appealing and understandable.

For every bit of electricity customers use, Octopus Energy buys Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset any fossil fuels that have powered the grid. These RECs help drive the cost of building new renewable energy generators, such as wind and solar, down. Octopus Energy has 100% renewable energy in every market that they service throughout the world. It’s their mission to enable renewable energy to be cost competitive and even cheaper than fossil fuel generation. 

In 2021, Octopus Renewables and Octopus Energy merged into one organization. As the generation side of the business, Octopus Renewables has grown to become the largest investor of solar power in Europe, as well as growing to become a leading investor in onshore wind. They currently manage a global portfolio of renewable energy assets valued at more than £3 billion. As Octopus Energy expands its presence in the US, Octopus Renewables will evaluate opportunities to expand its generation footprint.


What are some of the goals Octopus Energy has for the next couple of years?

As the US energy market rapidly moves towards ultra-low cost renewable energy, Octopus Energy wants to lead large-scale efforts for a true digital transformation of the industry that will enable a more sustainable, reliable and resilient grid across the US. We’re excited to continue to develop technology that helps consumers get the cleanest, cheapest energy possible, while offering incredible customer service. 

 
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Written By

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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