As more of the world gets going with electric bicycles, electric cars, and other EVs, the question often comes up about what will happen to the lithium-ion batteries when they no longer hold enough charge to be useful in that particular vehicle?
Tesla‘s co-founder and original CTO, JB Straubel, left his position after 15 years to start Redwood Materials, a company that now recovers a majority of the materials from spent lithium-ion batteries and other e-waste products.
Specialized has announced a new partnership with Redwood Materials to recycle their e-bike batteries. With e-bikes outselling all other electric vehicles, this is a great step toward sustainability. Starting first in the U.S., every Specialized bike battery in the United States will have a pathway to Redwood by the end of 2021. Specialized will then roll this out to our other markets starting in 2022.
The partnership isn’t just to recover the materials, it’s also to help Specialized design better products for recyclability. The company plans on sharing the knowledge they gain with the entire industry and other micro-mobility categories to encourage responsible design and recycling methods. Specialized says that the majority of their e-bike batteries have not yet reached end-of-life, but they’re planning ahead to get in front of the long-term impact of the batteries and to help improve the design practices involved.
They will be sharing more with riders and retailers as they roll out the program.