In this day and age, we are so dependent on our smartphones that a drained battery can instill utter panic, especially when you’re relying on Google Maps in a foreign city. So when you’re running low on juice, no need to go searching for an accommodating cafe with a power outlet. A relatively new recharging service called ChargeSpot is offering a better, stress-free solution: rent a portable charger as and when needed.
Recently, Tokyo has seen a growing number of these luminous battery charging stations popping up across the city. It is the latest commodity to enter Japan’s sharing economy, much like Docomo’s bright red city bikes. ChargeSpot batteries are available for anyone to rent when in need to power up their mobile devices.
To borrow a battery, you'll need the ChargeSpot app (available in English), which also indicates all the machines in your vicinity, so you know where to go when your phone is running low. Payment will be made through the app as well. Otherwise, you can use the Line app to scan the QR code on any ChargeSpot machine.
It costs ¥150 to rent one for an hour and an additional ¥150 if you plan on keeping the battery for up to 48 hours. There’s also a refundable deposit of ¥2,280.
You don’t have to take your battery back to the same place you borrowed it; you can just return it at any ChargeSpot battery station near you. The 5000mAh batteries can restore your phone up to two full charges before they need to be returned to the machines to be repowered themselves. And the best part is, the batteries come attached with three types of cables: Micro USB, USB Type-C and Apple Lightning.
The service is also available internationally; so aside from Japan, you’ll also find ChargeSpot machines in Hong Kong and Thailand. The company is striving to have at least 22,000 machines available by the end of 2019 so battery packs can be rented and returned in different cities for those travelling on holiday or business trips.
For more information on ChargeSpot, check the official website here.