02 Dec How To Recycle eSkate & eBike Batteries and Why It’s Important
A battery generally lasts for around five years, depending on how much wear and tear it gets. After that, it’s time to get rid of it – but how? And what happens to it then?
E-vehicles are sometimes touted as a major (but underappreciated) tool in the fight against climate change. But just like any electric motor, the lithium batteries that power them are a problem. Their production, especially the requisite lithium and cobalt, is a resource-intensive and dirty process. What’s more, their life span is limited, and disposing of them is a challenge because chucking lithium batteries in the trash is dangerous—and even illegal in some states. Typically, getting rid of them involves a trip to your county’s hazardous-waste disposal site, where you’re charged a fee to have them thrown away.
WHAT ARE eBIKE and eSKATE BATTERIES MADE OF?
From sourcing different materials to engineering them to look sleeker and leaner, electric bikes and electric skateboard batteries have come a long way. We’re going to talk about three of the most well-known types of batteries.
Among the first materials used to construct batteries, lead batteries have become increasingly less common nowadays. Not only do they have a lower power capacity, but lead is among the heaviest materials. Thus, making electric bikes or electric skateboard powered by lead batteries generally heavier. On the other hand, lead batteries are among the most simple to recycle.
Finding an ebike powered by Nickel-cadmium batteries today is almost impossible, but that wasn’t always the case. NiCd batteries have higher capacity than lead to hold more power, which made these ebikes desirable at one point. However, Nickel-cadmium is a costly material, and Cadmium is among the most difficult materials to recycle.
The most common type of ebike and eskateboard batteries are Lithium-ion batteries. Lithium batteries are the perfect combination of batteries having a desirable weight and capacity to hold optimal power.
Lithium-Ion batteries are made of lithium metals and other components. Unfortunately, the mining of lithium is highly energy intensive and often leaves many negative impacts on the surrounding communities and environments. In places such as the mines in Chile and the proposed mine in Thacker Pass, Nevada, these mines use up to 2 billion gallons of water annually, in communities already stressed by drought conditions and freshwater sources.
Additionally, mining laws in the U.S. and many other countries, especially low-income, are not up to date, for example, the U.S. mining law dates back to 1872…and we still abide by it today.
These laws, or lack thereof, do not develop positive relationships between the communities surrounding mines, and multi-billion dollar mining companies. The communities and environments in this area suffer tremendous negative impacts, from health issues to water potency, to significant air pollutants and carcinogens. All of these reasons, and more, are why we should clean up the mining industry and reduce the need for virgin mining through the process of recycling!
— Gölök Z Buday – #VanHastings, #BCLP Ethics Chair (@buday4vancouver) June 15, 2021
A battery loses around 10% of its capacity every year. This is something you may have noticed on your smartphone or laptop as it gets older. However, the exact service life cannot be predicted as this also depends on the nature and duration of the stress to which it is subjected.
As a customer, it is your duty to return old batteries. This means that you simply need to ship it back to Linky Innovation. The fee for battery disposal is already included in its purchase price. You must not throw the battery away with your household rubbish.
Once it has been returned to our warehouse, your battery is then taken to a specialist recycling facility where it is reprocessed. Many of the raw materials in a battery are very scarce, so recycling has environmental and economic benefits and helps to conserve resources. With this in mind, you can see how important it is to return old batteries straight away.