Specialized is the third-largest e-bike manufacturer in the US in terms of market share. The company is teaming up with Redwood Materials to recycle its e-bike batteries once they run out of juice. For the unaware, Jeffery ‘JB’ Straubel, co-founder of Tesla, runs Redwood Materials.
Both companies are working together to figure out the best way of recycling e-bike batteries. These batteries are attached to the down-tube of the e-bike, which helps with activating the motor when the pedal is pushed.
According to a report from The Verge, Chris Yu, chief product officer at Specialized, e-bikes can last a lifetime, but the batteries run out. It is a big concern for the company to understand what needs to be done with the batteries. Empty batteries can’t simply be dumped since that would add to the existing environmental issues.
Redwood Materials Different From Other Recycling Companies
Under the partnership, Redwood Materials will get the batteries from Specialized through the company’s retail partners across the US.
All the recovered material will be shipped to Redwood’s Nevada facility. Then Redwood will analyse how much of the battery is reusable and begin a chemical recycling process to recover reusable elements such as copper, cobalt, and nickel.
All the reusable elements then can be put again into the battery making process. Straubel said that there isn’t a lot in a used battery that can be recovered. Even so, Redwood is making every effort possible to minimise the damage that these batteries can do to the environment.
Specialized said that each of its e-bike batteries would find a pathway to Redwood’s recycling facility by the end of 2021.
Usually, companies send raw materials to developing nations that don’t have the required infrastructure to safely process, creating more issues for the environment.
But according to Straubel, Redwood is different from other recycling companies. Redwood completely recycles domestically and will offer maximum transparency to the citizens and the authorities of the US.