Talks discussing e-bikes and battery technic will take place at Eurobike this year, which will run from 4th to 7th September in Friedrichshafen.
In 2018, just under 24% of bicycles purchased in Germany were electrically powered. According to details provided by the German Cycle Industry Association (ZIV), retailers sold a total of 980,000 models last year. Almost one in four of all new bicycles sold is therefore fitted with a rechargeable battery. The growth in e-mobility means that the recycling and disposal of spent lithium-ion battery packs is becoming an ‘increasingly important issue’. Lithium-ion batteries that are faulty or considered to be too weak by the consumer end up in the Joint Battery Returns System (GRS).
Just under 80% of all e-bike producers are registered with this service company headquartered in Hamburg, which organises the collection and recycling of batteries. These firms have undertaken to collect the old batteries through their specialist dealers and return them to the service company. For e-bike batteries, the recyclability of the individual constituents currently lies between 50% and 70%. According to Christian Henkmann from the distribution department, the industry is primarily interested in valuable raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and copper. Yet even the stainless steel case, the plastic parts and the cables are recycled. However, the entire scheme has yet to reach break-even point, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung writes.
On the prospects of a second life for battery cells from discarded e-bike battery packs, Henkmann said: “This reutilisation in storage plants for regenerative energies – such as solar power – only makes sense with large car batteries.” He added that the 12 volts of a bicycle battery would provide too little capacity for a power storage plant, and “would be just about enough to operate a small fan”.
At Eurobike, the BMZ Group will be introducing the new standard V 10 battery, which not only has a large range but is also smaller and lighter than the old model and can be “installed in different drive systems”.
Eurobike 2019 will open to trade visitors for three business days, 4th to 6th September, followed by Festival Day on 7th September.