Tesla's co-founder JB Straubel partners with an E-bike company to recycle E-bike batteries

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Recycling E-bike batteries is an issue that is mostly neglected by many companies because proper recycling of Li-ion batteries is complex.
As EV and E-bikes are gaining traction, spent batteries need to be properly recycled or disposed if these EVs and E-bikes need to be considered "Green".


I applaud Specialized for taking this initiative. Looks like Specialized E-bike batteries will reach Redwood materials, an advanced battery recycling company started by Tesla'a co-founder JB Straubel.
Lithium and precious transition metals like Nickel and Cobalt can be recycled from these E-bike batteries. Right now, there is no proper infrastructure to recycle these batteries but it will change in the coming years.

This may be of interest to EBR members, Zen E-bikes will begin an initiative later this year to recycle E-bike batteries in collaboration with Redwood Materials or another N.American battery recycling company and will find a way to send your old/used batteries to these recycling companies. For sure, all Zen E-bike batteries will find a way to a proper recycling center, without an iota of doubt. Please share your thoughts.

Zen E-bikes has great mentors like Dr. Dahn who have a close connection with JB Straubel (you can see them together in this picture). It would have been very difficult for Zen E-bikes to take shape without the help of Dr. Dahn. He has given me a lot of flexibility to plan my research while building Zen E-bikes.
JB Straubel was the mastermind behind the Tesla batteries and the supercharger network.

1616106731024.png


You can get a glimpse of the operations at Redwood materials. It is massive and will really help make the whole supply chain of the battery industry, cleaner. Their clients include Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, Amazon, Panasonic and a other large EV corporations.

 
Last edited:

Asher

Well-Known Member
I have to wonder why Specialized is spearheading this while the whole industry is sleeping on automated battery charging management that prolongs battery lifespan to begin with... An ounce of (battery) extension is worth a pound of recycling.

Also worth remembering that much of recycling is an ecological fraud to deter governments from imposing more regulation and to keep consumers buying guilt-free. Even when it works, as with soda cans, it often simply props up highly inefficient forms of consumption (cans of water vs concentrated soda syrup).

In that light, Specialized is doing something far more effective - it has very successfully sold people on buying and using less battery, with it's Vado SL line, which uses 40%+ less battery than many rival models.

Imagine if car companies made a bit of profit every time you filled up your gas tank, and how that affected vehicle design and industry business models... Well that's a bit like the ebike industry right now, with the fat profit margins on replacement batteries that are proprietary, as far as the customer can tell anyhow (some dude hacking his bike on Endless Sphere doesn't count).
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210318-195507_Brave.jpg
    Screenshot_20210318-195507_Brave.jpg
    119.9 KB · Views: 46
Last edited:

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I have to wonder why Specialized is spearheading this while the whole industry is sleeping on automated battery charging management that prolongs battery lifespan to begin with... An ounce of (battery) extension is worth a pound of recycling.

Also worth remembering that much of recycling is an ecological fraud to deter governments from imposing more regulation and to keep consumers buying guilt-free. Even when it works, as with soda cans, it often simply props up highly inefficient forms of consumption (cans of water vs concentrated soda syrup).

In that light, Specialized is doing something far more effective - it has very successfully sold people on buying and using less battery, with it's Vado SL line, which uses 40%+ less battery than many rival models.
Recycling the materials sure beats mining them, if this is for real. It does make for smart marketing.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Also worth remembering that much of recycling is an ecological fraud to deter governments from imposing more regulation and to keep consumers buying guilt-free. Even when it works, as with soda cans, it often simply props up highly inefficient forms of consumption (cans of water vs concentrated soda syrup).

Thanks for the opinion. On the internet, opinions are plenty.
The same thing was said for Tesla. They are getting all the benefits, tax incentives, subsidies, etc., and electric cars are gimmicks for stealing taxpayer money.

But, anyone who has spent some time understanding the supply chain for battery materials like Nickel and Cobalt would immediately sees the value in recycling. One can see the boxes of electronics waiting to be recycled at the Redwood materials.

Anyone who wants to understand the supply chain for battery materials is highly encouraged to watch this seminar organized by Stanford University where they discussed this in great detail.
JB Straubel was one of the panelists. The VP of Panasonic, the VP of Global R&D materials at BASF were also involved.


1616112366700.png