Recycling startup Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, has entered into another collaboration. US ride broker and sharing provider Lyft will work with Redwood Materials to recycle end-of-life batteries from its e-bike and electric scooter-sharing fleets.
Redwood Materials has not released an announcement about the collaboration at the time of this article’s publication. However, via Twitter, the collaboration was confirmed when the company shared a related article from The Verge, commenting: “We’re collecting and recycling
@lyft’s scooter and e-bike batteries to help create more sustainable, shared micromobility.”
Lyft is the largest e-bike-sharing operator in North America. The article does not say how large Lyft’s fleet there currently is or how many batteries are involved in the usual fleet renewal process. But there is an interesting figure: Redwood needs around 130 e-bike batteries to obtain materials for a new electric car battery. Jackson Switzer, senior director of business development at Redwood, calculates for The Verge that an e-bike battery usually comes to 500 Wh or 0.5 kWh. So it would take 130 of these batteries to get to an average EV battery of 65 kWh.
Lyft’s operations team will remove the exhausted batteries from the e-bikes and, depending on the condition of the e-bike, either fit it with a new battery or recycle it as well. According to The Verge, the useful life of one of the e-bikes is around five years, while experience shows that the e-trekkers are used for a shorter period – accordingly, the batteries are then available for recycling sooner than in the case of electric cars.
Lyft’s used batteries are then collected and taken to the Redwood facility in Reno, Nevada. There, the company also processes the production scrap from Tesla and Panasonic’s Gigafactory 1, which is located in the same industrial area.
Only last week, Redwood expanded its cooperation with Panasonic. Since Redwood not only reprocesses old batteries into its raw materials, but also uses them to make new battery-suitable precursors, the Japanese battery supplier wants to purchase more recycled copper foil for anodes as well as cathode-active materials from Redwood – and use them to make new battery cells at the planned Panasonic plant in Kansas, for example.
Over the past months, Redwood has entered into a number of important cooperations, for example with Volkswagen, Toyota, Volvo, Ford and Envision AESC.
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