Pedal-Powered EV Charging Station Coming to Makers Mill

pedal powered EV charging station photoshopped image

The future of the electric vehicle charging station is being revolutionized right here in Carroll County, NH.  The first in the nation Pedal-Powered EV charging station will be operational this spring at Makers Mill in Wolfeboro, NH.  

“This changes everything, or should I say, charges everything,” says Makers Mill Executive Director, Josh Arnold. “While EV’s are certainly cleaner than gas-powered vehicles overall, but when you look a little further upstream, the reality is that we are still burning coal for electricity to charge these vehicles.  Now, with pedal-powered EV charging stations, we can offer a truly zero-carbon solution.” 

This is not Makers Mill’s “first rodeo” when it comes to pedal power.  The organization, formerly known as Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) has been touring farmers’ markets throughout the region with its infamous pedal-powered smoothie bike.  

“Some say it’s a leap to go from making pedal-powered smoothies to charging electric vehicles,” continues Josh, “but I think it’s a perfectly logical next step.” 

While Makers Mill’s pedal-powered EV charging station might be the first in the nation, it was an inventor from Finland who actually introduced this technology.  A Popular Mechanics article published in May of 2020 shares the story of an inventor Janne Käpylehto who demonstrated a system that converts energy from nine bikes to power a charging station, which in turn powers a Tesla Model X.  To test his system, Käpylehto enlisted nine pro track and road cyclists to pedal as hard as possible on stationary bikes for 20 minutes. From their sweat session alone, the cyclists generated just over 1 kilowatt of power to ultimately add a range of 1.2 miles to the Model X. 

You do the math.  This is an all hands on deck – or feet on pedals – situation.  Makers Mill is putting out a call to recruit 12 teams of 25 volunteers each to take 1-hour “pedal-power” shifts to power each electric vehicle – Wednesday through Sunday, starting, appropriately, on Earth Day Saturday, April 22nd. 

“Just think, instead of just cycling at home all alone and wasting all of that human powered energy potential, you can come here and tackle the climate crisis while burning calories all at the same time,” says Josh. 

An Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) analysis has found that a rapid shift to electric vehicles could cut more than 800 million tons of CO2 emissions every year by 2040.  Just imagine how many calories could be burned if all of these vehicles were charged with pedal power! 

The organization is building partnerships to pull off this major feat.  To expand for next year, they are in touch with Peloton to arrange a sponsorship of 25-50 bikes that will be hardwired into the EV charging station.  But this is where it gets tricky.  The Town of Wolfeboro, which operates its own Municipal Electric, needs to ultimately approve and tie in the charging station. These are the challenges that Makers Mill is ready to face. 

 Learn more and signup for a pedal-powered shift by visiting the website, www.makersmill.org, or better yet, attend one of the free public tours offered each Friday morning from 10 to 11:30 and on the first Saturday of the month at the same time.  For more information, call the office at 603-569-1500 to speak with Carol Holyoake or Josh Arnold, or  email info@makersmill.org.  Makers Mill is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization (formerly known as G.A.L.A.).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top