We are on record as being big fans of the new USB-C cable and charging technology. We have written a few blog posts about it, and we have begun making the conversion for our own batteries. So, it's no surprise to learn that some people are starting to call for a USB-C charging system for e-bikes. It just makes sense.
A fantastic article recently published on the ElectrekWebsite makes a great case for the USB-C technology in e-bike chargers. But author Micah Toll didn't stop there. As far as he is concerned, everything from scooters to hoverboards and powered skateboards would be better served by a universal USB-C charger.
A Single Cable and Plug
There are lots of benefits to USB-C from a technological standpoint. For instance, devices that utilize USB's latest iteration charge faster. The connection itself transfers power fast enough to run very large appliances – like flat screen TVs – from USB-C power. But the convenience of having a single cable and plug definitely shouldn't be overlooked.
Toll partly made the case for a universal USB-C e-bike charger by reminding his readers of all the different phone chargers of a decade ago. He astutely pointed out just how many different chargers there were. Every phone had something different. But then someone decided that making micro-USB the standard would be a good idea. That person was right.
Coming up with a standard for phones allowed consumers to get rid of all those other chargers that did nothing but take up space in the drawer. USB-C takes that same thinking one step further. It replaces all other USB cables and plugs with new technology that is both universal and more powerful.
Charge All Your e-Rideables
Imagine a universal USB-C charger for all your e-rideables. One charger and one plug. Make that charger compatible with any standard electrical outlet and you have something. Make it compatible with standard USB ports and you are in a better position.
We are all in on USB-C. We think it is a far better option than what is currently on the market. The thing is that device manufacturers have been slow to respond. A lot of us thought that USB-C would be more widely used by this point. But as with most things, it is hard to get people to embrace change.
The fact that someone is even thinking about a universal e-bike charger is a good starting point. Maybe with enough pressure, a manufacturer willing to think outside the box will take up the challenge. That is generally what it takes. One company willing to push the envelope gets it done and everyone else eventually follows.
Don't Forget the Batteries
While we are on the topic, manufacturers shouldn't forget their batteries. It is great to come up with a universal USB-C charger for all sorts of e-rideables. But manufacturers should put just as much effort into improving their batteries. We need better battery technology so that we can further reduce the number of batteries that get tossed away.
Lithium-ion batteries are already highly recyclable. Can we make them better? Absolutely. We can also make a genuine and concerted effort to rid the market of single-use alkaline batteries. Just those two things alone would greatly affect the marketplace. That is what we need. We need disruptions that make things better.
Is it time for a single USB-C e-bike charging system? Some people think so. We are not in a position to disagree. We think the future of USB is USB-C. That being so, e-bike manufacturers might just as well get on board with it now.