Ebikes green?

Martinet

Member
Ebikes are touted as environmentally friendly, since commuting, errands, etc. Without a car reduces carbon emissions and alleviates urban congestion.

As a recreational rider, perhaps not so green compared to walking, riding an analogue bike slower or alternative forms of exercise. Ebiking encourages me to exercise more, but limited this discussion to environmental factors.

More specifically, how to dispose of old battery packs responsibly?

I have read that the greener thing to do is keep your old car rather than buy a new Tesla, since the energy expenditures in manufacturing the Tesla such as producing the carbon fiber frame are quite high. Is there an appreciable environmental impact if I were to purchase addition ebikes on a whim?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Where exactly did you read this?

There is a lot of FUD out there about electric vehicles.

Other threads on this site have beaten this topic to death.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Depending on what car and - more important - how you use it, it may or may not be greener to keep it than buy a new Tesla.

Ebike is the sum of e-part and "bike" part. With most electronics it's greener (and usually cheaper) to keep it as long as it works for you, regardless of technology progress. The industry is trying to push consumer in the opposite direction, trying to sell devices as short-lived as it is possible without incurring too much warranty repairs. With most e-parts (for ebikes) made in China they don't even have to try hard, quality control is notoriously low.

I'm not sure I understood correctly about "to purchase addition ebikes on a whim". If you already have one e-bike and it works, buying additional ebike just for yourself you will likely increase negative impact on environment, due to additional materials unnecessarily used.

Lithium batteries present a huge problem in terms of recycling, there is no denying it.
 
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Readytoride

Well-Known Member
...Is there an appreciable environmental impact if I were to purchase addition ebikes on a whim?
The way I would answer is: Not beyond what it takes to manufacture the bike, the battery, the ongoing use of oil for the chain, the tires and their replacement for the wheels, fabric for the seat...considering nothing else in your use of other things changes.

However, if the new ebike means replacing an ICE car, then yeah, I would suggest the impact is significant in a positive way.

And the advice not to swap an ICE car for an electric car because of the manufacturing costs of a new electric car - well, those costs are a one time event. Just as they are for an ICE car...EXCEPT.... using gasoline and oil for an ICE car are ongoing impact events that take a massive toll in their chain of use: from extraction from the earth (fuels used), their manufacture (more fuels used), their storage (hazard mitigation), their transportation and delivery (even more fuels used) to end user sites (gas stations or stores) to their final toxic burning as fuel in a vehicle or any other ICE machine. Day after day, year after year. That's a long chain of environmental impact.

With an electric car you have: a commercial electric company which has varying degrees of how their electric is produced, or a stand alone solar or wind source producing energy that goes straight into the car. No toxic emissions after the fact.

It's the "after the fact" that should be stressed, not the inception.

Again JMHO.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
More specifically, how to dispose of old battery packs responsibly?
I cannot imagine any town or county in the US that does not have a recycling plan in place to address used rechargeable battery recycling. Home Depots are all over the US, as well as Lowes. Home Depot is partnered with a group that accepts used, rechargeable batteries. Link: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-to-dispose-of-batteries/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90124a115f1 I imagine Lowes has the same kind of recycling plan in place.

If the internal BMS circuitry still works, why not have the old battery pack rebuilt using new battery cells? That topic has been covered by Court in video on this forum. Several businesses are in place to do that service and it's good to know that they recycle your old battery cells in the process.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I cannot imagine any town or county in the US that does not have a recycling plan in place to address used rechargeable battery recycling. Home Depots are all over the US, as well as Lowes. Home Depot is partnered with a group that accepts used, rechargeable batteries. Link: https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-to-dispose-of-batteries/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90124a115f1 I imagine Lowes has the same kind of recycling plan in place.

If the internal BMS circuitry still works, why not have the old battery pack rebuilt using new battery cells? That topic has been covered by Court in video on this forum. Several businesses are in place to do that service and it's good to know that they recycle your old battery cells in the process.
Oh there are recycling programs alright, but the most popular method of the actual mass recycling is by smelting. THAT is a problem!
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
A recent study looked at the energy used to manufacture, transport, and operate things. The overwhelming proportion of the total energy comes from operating things. Yes there is an environmental footprint beyond just energy use. But it does suggest that, at least some of the time, it does make sense to replace something with a more energy efficient version. So perhaps it's a unit-by-unit decision, after some research on what you have and what you hope to get. And if you give away or sell the old thing to someone who might use it as an upgrade vs. what they're currently have, that can help offset things too.

As for indulging yourself with a second e-bike (or something else that you want but don't really need), consider offsetting your environmental footprint in some other way, such as making your diet more plant-centric or something. :)
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Ebikes are touted as environmentally friendly, since commuting, errands, etc. Without a car reduces carbon emissions and alleviates urban congestion.

As a recreational rider, perhaps not so green compared to walking, riding an analogue bike slower or alternative forms of exercise. Ebiking encourages me to exercise more, but limited this discussion to environmental factors.

More specifically, how to dispose of old battery packs responsibly?

I have read that the greener thing to do is keep your old car rather than buy a new Tesla, since the energy expenditures in manufacturing the Tesla such as producing the carbon fiber frame are quite high. Is there an appreciable environmental impact if I were to purchase addition ebikes on a whim?
Whether keeping your old car is greener or not will become a moot question in the not too distant future. As the supply of hydrocarbon fuels dwindles and prices rise, at some point, you may no longer be able to afford your old car. The question then will become whether to buy a Tesla or some other electric vehicle.
 

Slowpoke

Member
I practice responsible environmental awareness,but not extreme.We recycle lead acid batterys I'm sure we can recycle an ebike battery.Smelting is getting heavy review by the EPA and is cleaning up this process.What about lead acid car batterys,power tools, laptops,cell phones,watches,all of our home gadgets etc.that have batterys.How many people throw this stuff in the trash that finds its way to a landfill rather than a recycler.How many ebikes could be produced vs building one SUV?When the idea of carbon emissions first made the news I started digging to find out more.What I discovered is way more threatening than carbon emissions.Search"life span of the sun"and see the impact it will have on earth.I'm going to go ride my ebike and have fun,then recharge the batterys from my home solar power system.Oh also my ebike has two batterys and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it.Ebikes are way more greener than other products I've had in the past.Go ride your ebike and have fun and don't loose sleep over it.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
So it's not that I don't care, but age has given me the ability to not just believe everything I'm told. In no particular order these are the things I was told by the "top tier" scientists of the time: (a) over-population was going to destroy the US and the rest of the world and we would all starve (lost of population is now becoming a real issue for a lot of industrialized nations); (b) we would totally run out of fossil fuels by the year 2000, the price would skyrocket and the world would end (with new extraction techniques there is a veritable glut of the stuff); (c) acid rain was going to wipe out all vegetation and we would all die (don't hear much about that anymore); and now climate change will kill us all. Here's a hint, climate change has existed since the beginning of the earth; species come and go; land masses change. Do humans contribute to it? Probably, but if we all went back to living in caves and having the world starve to death would we delay change by 1 year; 20 years or what - and as conditions change humans will adapt like the Dutch have - the one thing we can count on is change. If I'm lucky enough to live another 30 years I'm sure there'll be some new apocalypse event talked about in the future, it drives clicks and humans love to wring their hands about how the earth is coming to an end.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Last decade was warmest on record in recorded history. That's probably only 14 data points, but you don't need to be a weatherman here.

Fracking is responsible for getting that residual oil out of the ground, and also for the hundred of tiny earth quakes in North Dakota. Whether that leads to a few sinkholes or wrecks the Ogallah aquifier, or makes my OXY stock double in price, who knows.

You and I will come to an end someday, but it doesn't change my thoughts on trying to leave the earth in a little better shape, or trying to have some more fun with ebikes.

E-bikes are green and maybe the water near the magnet and lithium mines. There was only one rare earth (magnets) mine in the USA and what did they do with it? They poisoned a nearby lake with radioactive tailings, and got shut down by EPA. (Look up Mountain Pass). Molycore was a Chevron spinoff that tried to reopen it, but they went bankrupt and are now owned in part by the Chinese. I would not be surpirised if EPA waivers are being sought to lower the costs.
 
You can also google about palm trees found at the South Pole deep under the ice. North America was covered with ice and it melted before we had cars and planes. Not saying we can just do whatever we want but also suggests planet temperature fluctuations have been around a long time. We should do our part to reduce our impact but I don’t think it lies just on humanity
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Don't mean to get political but I'm not sure if this "the world is coming to an end because of climate change and humans are in control of it" is either due to a lack of knowledge or if it's just some sort of convoluted logic. Let me add to what slayer said. There was a mini-ice age in the 14000's that killed millions. If sea levels had not gone up and down there would be no Native Americans, since there would not have been a land path from Asia to the Americas. The middle of what is now the US was a tropical ocean. If you read up on the nuclear bombing of Japan during World War II all the top scientists of the day claimed that Nagasaki and Hiroshima would be uninhabitable for at least 5k years - funny since my Mazda was built there. Does human activity create issues? No doubt but what would it take to slow it down and at what cost? The same people who scream about climate change use tons of disposable gadgets that end up in land fills or are picked apart by starving children in the third world at huge health consequences. They seem to forget that cobalt used in lithium batteries comes from places like the Congo from child and forced labor. And without chemicals such as fertilizers made from petroleum by-products a huge portion of the world would starve. It's like the billionaires in Davos screaming about climate change as they fly their private jets constantly. It's funny to see 16 year old kids get all upset about this, it's just part of being a teenager, but it's strange seeing adults being so uncritical. I would say that in the end we should come back in ten years and see what new death awaits us, but I guess we'll all be dead from climate change so we won't be able to. :)
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You can also google about palm trees found at the South Pole deep under the ice. North America was covered with ice and it melted before we had cars and planes. Not saying we can just do whatever we want but also suggests planet temperature fluctuations have been around a long time. We should do our part to reduce our impact but I don’t think it lies just on humanity
Yes the climate has changed in the past but the time-line for those changes are magnitudes longer than the pace of recent changes. You are reference to past climate change only weakens your point.
 

unknown_wagon

New Member
A recent study looked at the energy used to manufacture, transport, and operate things. The overwhelming proportion of the total energy comes from operating things. Yes there is an environmental footprint beyond just energy use. But it does suggest that, at least some of the time, it does make sense to replace something with a more energy efficient version. So perhaps it's a unit-by-unit decision, after some research on what you have and what you hope to get. And if you give away or sell the old thing to someone who might use it as an upgrade vs. what they're currently have, that can help offset things too.

As for indulging yourself with a second e-bike (or something else that you want but don't really need), consider offsetting your environmental footprint in some other way, such as making your diet more plant-centric or something. :)
Do you remember that source?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
It goes beyond my comprehension that some people don't think the world population has made a rapid influence on the atmosphere and extreme changes we are seeing today. In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of April 2019. It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world's population to reach 1 billion, and only 200 years more to reach 7 billion. But to many, these weather conditions are just like what happened a thousand years ago, no differences!
 
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Mass Deduction

Active Member
Do you remember that source?
I heard it on the radio, so I don't have a link. But it makes sense to me. Manufacturing keeps getting more energy efficient, and is a one-time thing. Shipping by these ever-more-massive container ships is reducing the transportation footprint of each individual item aboard, and is a one-time thing. Whereas using a phone, an e-bike, a car, etc., creates hundreds/thousands of charges/refills over its operating life. So the lower the footprint of the unit's creation, and the higher the energy use during its operating life, the more likely it is to make environmental sense to replace the old one with a newer one.