Things You Should Know Exist #1

We’ve all seen science shows about bikes that generate electricity through pedaling. There were a few prototypes along Durban’s beachfront during the COP17 Climate Conference last year (for more on that, read this post).

But now it actually exists.

In South Africa.

Hopefully, soon, for domestic use.

Industrial design company Ideso have created a green charging station powered by a standard bicycle. It was on display this week at the Design Indaba in Cape Town.


The battery is connected to a standard bicycle (not included) and the motion of pedalling generates electricity, which is stored and accessed via plug points into which you can plug a variety of electrical appliances that need charging. The battery is also completely portable once disconnected from the bike, so you can take it with you from room to room, home to office (or vice versa), lend to a friend or even take it camping.


Pedalling for just 3 minutes will generate enough power to charge your phone.

9 minutes will power an electric drill.

36 minutes will charge your computer.

And 80 minutes of pedalling will charge the generator battery fully, allowing you to charge all these appliances and more – without using an iota of coal or other non-renewable resource! (Not to mention the health benefits to the pedaller!)


An Ideso rep chatting to me told me that these could become commercially available if enough interest was shown. She was naturally hesitant to quote prices without conclusive market research, but suffice it to say that her estimate is significantly less than the cost of a computer, smartphone, tablet, or many of the other things most of us have and “can’t live without”. And think about all the cash you’d save on charging those items (again, in addition to the environmental bonus and health benefits to you).

So contact Ideso and tell them you’re interested. Call them on 021 914 8444, or click here to send them an email.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t live in Cape Town. Let’s create awareness and show innovative design companies that there is a market for fun, clever, healthy and environmentally responsible products like these. It’s the only way anything’s ever going to improve.

Veggietot Mom puts in some electric action – you can see the black battery on the base, connected to the back wheel. In case you were wondering, she pedalled just about enough to charge her phone. Apologies for the poor quality of the shot (taken on said phone), but it was all in the spirit of fun and spontenaiety.