Hanergy will integrate thin-film solar panels into over 10 million of MTbike’s products for a period spanning three years, to meet the electricity demands of its smart lock systems. MTbike isn’t the first bicycle firm that Hanergy has worked with, as it has had previous ventures with Mobike and 99 Bicycle, two other major companies in the industry.
“Mobile solar energy applied to the sharing economy has huge potential to transform the transportation industry and many others,” said Li Hejun, Hanergy chairman. “We are well-positioned to provide convenient and efficient mobile energy solutions to China’s rapidly growing bike-sharing industry.”
Hanergy has manufactured special thin-film panels that can operate under extreme situations such as heavy rain, intense vibrations from rough roads and crashes, to meet the particular requirements of bike-sharing programs, such as high-frequency usage and long-time exposure to the open air.
In its 2016 Global New Energy Development Report, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce estimated that the global mobile energy market could reach a value of CNY 7.4 trillion ($1.1 trillion) by 2020.
Hanergy claims that its lightweight, flexible, thin-film solar panels are well positioned to generate power for a wide range of transportation methods. For example, group unit Hanergy Thin Film Power (HTF) recently signed an agreement with Audi to jointly integrate thin-film solar cells in the panoramic roofs of the automaker’s vehicle models. The PV cells will extend the distances that cars can drive by feeding solar energy into the internal vehicle electrical system, which affects air conditioning and other electrical appliances as well.
Shares of HTF have been suspended from trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange since early 2015, after declining 47% in a single morning’s trading session and questions about its opaque business model. It posted a net profit of HK$244.8 million ($31.3 million) in the first half of this year, down about 70% from the first six months of 2016.