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Rad Energy Bikes hyperlinks up with Redwood Supplies for e-bike battery recycling

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Rad Energy Bikes is partnering with Redwood Supplies, a battery firm based by a former Tesla govt, to recycle e-bike batteries after they attain the top of their lifespan.

Clients will have the ability to carry of their depleted batteries to Rad Energy Bikes’ retail areas, after which the corporate will ship them to Redwood Supplies for processing and recycling. (Rad presently operates 10 retail and service locations in North America.) Choose Rad shops in California and Washington will even function drop-off areas for {old} smartphones, laptops, and tablets, for Redwood’s rising client e-waste assortment program.

It’s a noteworthy deal contemplating that Rad Energy Bikes is the primary vendor of electrical bikes in North America. The corporate has been on the forefront of the e-bike growth for the reason that covid pandemic and has distinguished itself with its fat-tired e-bikes with massive batteries and cargo-carrying capability.

Redwood Supplies was based in 2017 by Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, a former chief know-how officer of Tesla. Along with breaking down scrap from Tesla’s battery-making course of with Panasonic, Redwood additionally recycles EV batteries from Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Specialized, Amazon, Lyft, and others. The corporate additionally produces cathode and anode elements for its battery clients.

Redwood Supplies was based in 2017 by Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, a former chief know-how officer of Tesla

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Redwood has mentioned it may well recycle and reuse greater than 95 p.c of the vital metals discovered within the lithium-ion batteries it collects, together with nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminum, lithium, and graphite. Rad Energy Bikes founder and chair Mike Radenbaugh mentioned Redwood Supplies was an interesting accomplice as a result of it purports to do all the things — course of the battery, recycle the fabric, provide new battery elements — that historically takes a number of stakeholders to perform.

“Lots of applications… the batteries are altering palms a number of totally different occasions earlier than they get to the recycler,” Radenbaugh mentioned in an interview. “And there’s some efficiencies that may be misplaced there. We have now sufficient quantity the place we are able to drive this program with Redwood to show you mainly have a giant environmental impression right here.”

Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Individuals who personal e-bikes have comparatively few choices when their bike batteries attain the top of their lifespan. Like different e-bike producers, Rad Energy Bikes’ batteries sometimes final 800 charging cycles, or round 5 to seven years. With out a well-defined assortment and recycling course of, most of these batteries simply find yourself in a landfill — an consequence that Radenbaugh mentioned his firm is attempting to keep away from.

The corporate has piloted the battery assortment course of at a handful of its areas and was happy sufficient with the outcomes that it determined to scale as much as all of its shops. “It’s an in-store expertise solely presently,” Radenbaugh clarified. Which means clients who don’t stay near a Rad Energy Bikes retail location received’t have the ability to submit their batteries for recycling.

Individuals who personal e-bikes have comparatively few choices when their bike batteries attain the top of their lifespan

For Redwood Supplies, the partnership with Rad Energy Bikes will even assist construct help for its budding client e-waste assortment program. The corporate presently operates assortment websites at a number of auto dealerships, together with Volkswagen and Audi; Rad’s retail areas will assist develop that footprint much more.

After receiving batteries from its numerous companions, Redwood begins a chemical recycling course of, by which it strips out and refines the related components like nickel, cobalt, and copper. A sure proportion of that refined materials can then be reintegrated into the battery-making provide chain.

Redwood can also be positioning itself as a vital participant within the effort to bolster the US’s home battery provide. In the present day, a lot of the batteries that go into all the things from client items like laptops and telephones all the best way as much as electrical autos are made abroad, largely in China. The Biden administration is searching for to shore up home battery manufacturing via the Inflation Discount Act, which supplies $10 billion in incentives for corporations that construct batteries within the US. And Redwood simply scored a $2 billion loan from the Department of Energy to assist increase its operation.

Redwood has mentioned it started manufacturing anode copper foil at its Nevada facility late final 12 months, and is on monitor for manufacturing later this 12 months of cathode supplies, which include all of the vital metals in a battery, like lithium, nickel, and cobalt. The anode incorporates copper and graphite and is primarily chargeable for a battery’s charging efficiency. The corporate says it hopes to provide sufficient battery supplies to energy 1 million EVs a 12 months.

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