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Lyft Says It Will Begin Recycling E-Bike and Scooter Batteries

Lyft owns and operates many municipal bikeshare programs, including Bay Wheels in San Francisco (pictured above) and NYC’s Citi Bike.

Lyft plans to begin recycling its e-bike and scooter batters via a newly introduced partnership with Redwood Supplies, as first reported by The Verge. Lyft owns 12 different municipal bike share packages—like New York Metropolis’s Citi Bike and San Francisco’s Bay Wheels—along with its scooter program in 4 cities.

As Lyft’s largest microtransport share, Citi Bike alone has 5,000 electrical bicycles, in line with a report from Bloomberg. Which is a whole lot of batteries. E-Bike batteries only last a few years, and after that typically simply develop into a part of the growing pile of e-waste that threatens to finally engulf us. So it is smart that the rideshare firm is aiming to do one thing totally different.

Redwood Supplies was began in 2017 by former Tesla government, Jeffrey “JB” Straubel. It initially started as only a recycling facility, however introduced its intentions to develop into battery supplies manufacturing in 2021—in a bid to spearhead a domestic, circular U.S. battery economy. And its first manufacturing facility, slated to make usable cathode and anode foils, is reportedly near completion in Nevada, according to MIT Expertise Overview.

Since its begin, Redwood Supplies has shortly grown and has present partnerships with Tesla and its pending Panasonic battery plant underneath building in Kansas—in addition to with Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Amazon, and different main corporations.

In Lyft’s partnership, the corporate stated it should accumulate its drained batteries and ship them to Redwood’s new Nevada facility. There, Redwood informed the Verge it should chemically recycle what it could possibly, stripping the precious metals like copper and cobalt out of the trashed batteries to be reintegrated into future batteries—probably even for automobiles. “We accumulate 130 e-bike batteries, we’ve bought sufficient battery metals to make a brand new EV battery,” Jackson Switzer, a Redwood Supplies government, informed the Verge.

Redwood Supplies claims all of its recycling is completed domestically, and in the event that they efficiently handle to remodel batteries from lifeless waste to reborn energy sources, they’ll be a frontrunner amongst U.S. recyclers. However lofty objectives apart, it’s value noting that Redwood Supplies has but to reveal how its closed-loop system works. It hasn’t but created new cathode and anode materials out of recycled scraps at scale, and it’s unclear what share of these new supplies might be constituted of the outdated. Its new manufacturing facility is slated to be completed by the top of this yr, in line with MIT Tech Overview. 

And hopefully, the corporate does ship as promised. The present recycling stream for batteries and different e-waste is deeply damaged. A lot in order that Uber once landfilled thousands of e-bikes as a result of it was “too difficult” to seek out an alternate answer.

Usually, lifeless batteries are amassed and shipped abroad the place they languish and cause environmental contamination. But, for the environment and for the rising battery-based technological boom, we desperately want a greater system. With out efficient and considerably elevated recycling, we simply won’t have enough materials to produce battery demand (and even that most likely received’t suffice.) 

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