E-Bikes & Bikes Customised to You
May 9, 2022
Okay. Peter here at Sixthreezero bikes and e-bikes. So, your e-bike battery is old and you need to get rid of it. What happens to it? What do you do?
Okay, so you probably if it's an old battery, it's not working anymore, you may have set it aside in your garage or somewhere. Anyway, you really don't want that thing sitting around in your house degrading. It could be a fire hazard, an explosion hazard. You do want to get rid of it. You're probably a conscientious person. You're thinking, "Oh, I don't think I should throw this in the trash." There are a lot of reasons not to throw in the trash. One, it's illegal. Two, it could actually hurt somebody. It can cause fires in the dump truck, it can cause fires at the waste facility, transfer station, or the landfill causing a lot of problems. Also, there are a lot of valuable materials inside this battery right here that we don't want to just get rid of. Okay. These are things like copper and lithium and cobalt that are expensive materials and they are hard to mine.
So, the more we can capture that, the cheaper things would get over the long haul if we can keep capturing this as opposed to just throwing it away or whatever, which again, don't ever throw away a lithium-ion battery please, whether it's your cell phone or your computer, or e-bike. There are a lot of easy ways to recycle it and hand it off. We have another video about that, but it's really just as easy as bringing it maybe to Home Depot or Lowe's, or Staples. There are a lot of centers. And I have another video that explains a little bit more about what you can do, especially if you don't have a facility nearby. There are also options for you there, and you can clear out your drawers and get rid of all these batteries that you have. So, what happens to these batteries when they get recycled?
So, there are a few companies, but one I really like to point out is called Redwood Materials. It was started by a man named JB Straubel, who was the man behind the battery at Tesla. And so he started off at Tesla and they started looking into the future and thinking, well, what's going to happen as these batteries degrade and no longer have a useful lifetime left in them. That's something that happens with all batteries and also with lithium-ion batteries. So, eventually, all those Tesla batteries are going to lose their effectiveness. Same thing with the e-bike batteries, the same thing with the battery in your laptop and in your cell phone, it happens to all batteries. So, he was looking ahead and thinking this should be part of the supply stream. Also, we can't throw these things away because they're dangerous, they're also valuable, et cetera.
So, he started up this company called Redwood Materials. So, a lot of your batteries will end up at a place like Redwood Materials or other facilities. There are other facilities where they can refurbish the battery. At Redwood Materials, they actually chew the battery up, and then they separate the casing, the plastic, and stuff. They can use water to let the plastic float and they can scrape that off. That would also get recycled separately. And then they'll go through a series of chemical processes that will separate the materials. We're looking for lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, and a few other materials, but these are all rare elements and getting harder and harder to find. So, the recycling is starting to become a really viable way to actually obtain these materials.
At one point, it's believed maybe as soon as like 10 years or so, I'm not an expert on that and I don't know and this would all be projection, but at some point, it's expected that the amount of materials out in our products will be more than is really available in mines or what's available in mines may just be too difficult to get to and too expensive. And so what's going into the recycling stream lowers the cost for all of us. So, that's what basically happens is, it just goes to a facility like Redwood Materials. They chew it up into little bits. Then they start separating the casing and then all the different parts. And then what happens is these different elements, the copper, the graphite, cobalt, lithium, it ends up in drums and then they take them over back to Panasonic or some other battery maker. And they just put it right back in.
So even though the battery has lost its capacity, the materials can still be used to make absolutely brand new batteries. It's just like after you use water to wash your dishes, you know what's going to happen, it's going to get purified, you can use it just fresh again, it's the exact same thing. So, it's a beautiful thing to think about that a lot of our supply stream can just be a circular process like this. And it helps a lot too because mining is a difficult and expensive process. It's also hard on the environment. So, this should be somewhat easier on the environment. Also, it should make things less expensive for us in the long run. I truly hope that that was helpful for you. If you liked it, please do like it and hit subscribe. It helps grow our channel. And if you need any help at all, please contact us. You can call at (310) 982-2877 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember Sixthreezero is spelled out S-I-X-T-H-R-E-E-Z-E-R-O, email@example.com. Thanks.
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