While in the University of Utah’s Multi-Disciplinary program in the College of Architecture + Planning, Dakota Janes created OnePlug as part of his senior design project. It is a universal magnetic e-bike charging plug that aims to standardize charge plugs for electric bicycles. Janes got the idea while working at a bike shop.
The use of electric bikes has increased over the last 4-5 years, and demand has grown even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there are multiple proprietary plugs for a variety of different e-bikes which are varied by different e-bike classes. “In the bike world, we have 200 different manufacturers,” Janes said. One unified plug would present an opportunity of having charging stations for e-bikes in bigger cities or commuting areas, which would make operating an e-bike more accessible and more convenient. OnePlug magnetically connects to the bike, providing a QI charging universal plug. Eventually, bike racks could provide wireless charging while electromagnetically locking e-bikes into place providing a safe place to leave your bike to charge.
This e-bike plug uses a copper coil to create an oscillating magnetic field, which can create a current in one or more receiver antennas. The design is magnetic so the charger and port stick together and center properly to provide the most charge. This project has inspired Janes to pursue a career in the cycling industry as a product designer to help and define better standards within the industry.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2022 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.