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25 Apr, 2023
2 min time to read

Both firms will collaborate to gather, handle, and reuse the batteries utilized in Rad's electric bicycles.

Rad Power Bikes has recently announced its partnership with Redwood Materials, a company founded by Jeffrey “JB” Straubel, Tesla's former chief technology officer, to recycle e-bike batteries at the end of their life. Rad Power Bikes, the number one electric bike seller in North America, will allow customers to bring their depleted batteries to their retail locations, and then send them to Redwood Materials for recycling.

This partnership will help tackle the issue of e-bike battery waste. Most electric bike manufacturers, including Rad Power Bikes, have batteries that last around 800 charging cycles, which is equivalent to five to seven years of use. With a lack of a well-defined collection and recycling process, many of these batteries end up in landfills, which can cause environmental damage.

Redwood Materials has been recycling EV batteries from companies such as Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Specialized, Amazon, Lyft, and others since its establishment in 2017. The company can recycle and reuse over 95% of the critical metals found in lithium-ion batteries, including nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminum, lithium, and graphite. The partnership with Rad Power Bikes will help expand Redwood's collection sites, as select Rad stores in California and Washington will also serve as drop-off locations for old smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

The battery recycling process begins when Redwood receives batteries from its various partners. It starts with a chemical recycling process in which it strips out and refines relevant elements like nickel, cobalt, and copper. A percentage of that refined material can then be reintegrated into the battery-making supply chain.

In addition to recycling e-bike batteries, Redwood Materials is positioning itself as an essential player in the effort to strengthen the US’s domestic battery supply chain. Currently, most of the batteries that go into consumer goods like laptops and phones up to electric vehicles are made overseas, primarily in China. The Biden administration is looking to strengthen domestic battery manufacturing through the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides $10 billion in incentives for companies that build batteries in the US. Redwood Materials has scored a $2 billion loan from the Department of Energy to help boost its operations. The company plans to produce enough battery materials to power 1 million EVs a year.

Overall, the partnership between Rad Power Bikes and Redwood Materials is a significant step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for e-bike batteries and the US's battery manufacturing industry.