Lyft is partnering with Redwood Supplies, a battery recycling firm based by ex-Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, to make sure the batteries from its fleets of shared electrical bikes and scooters don’t find yourself in landfill at their finish of life.
The information, reported by The Verge, comes the identical week that Lyft ended its dockless bike and scootershare in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, citing the will to pursue long-term contracts with a restricted variety of operators. Lyft additionally ended its scootershare operations in San Diego earlier this 12 months amid a number of price slicing and restructuring measures that focuses Lyft extra firmly on ride-hail.
Whereas the exiting of these cities would possibly counsel extra are to return — and thus Lyft will want a accountable method of disposing of its automobiles, lest we’ve got one other Uber-Leap-landfill-pileup scenario — Lyft’s docked bikeshare packages, significantly CitiBike in New York Metropolis, proceed to thrive. Lyft began haphazardly introducing pedal help e-bikes in NYC in 2019, and the corporate says its bikes have a five-year lifespan, so at the very least a portion of its electrical fleet is nearing end-of-life.
The partnership with Redwood is likely to be the recycling startup’s first foray into shared micromobility — the corporate didn’t reply in time to requests for clarification. Redwood is thought for breaking down scrap from Tesla’s battery partnership with Panasonic, in addition to recycling batteries from Ford, Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, Specialised and others. The corporate has expanded from merely recycling to producing crucial battery supplies, and final week inked a take care of Panasonic to do exactly that, supporting a home provide chain in North America for EVs.
In its partnership with Redwood, Lyft will get better lifeless batteries via its operations workforce and ship them to Redwood’s facility in Nevada. Redwood will resolve how a lot of the battery is reusable after which start a chemical recycling course of, which removes and refines nickel, cobalt and copper, which ideally can be utilized to make new batteries.
Jackson Switzer, senior director of enterprise improvement at Redwood, advised The Verge that about 130 e-bike batteries can present sufficient battery metals to make a brand new EV battery. All of Redwood’s recycling is completed domestically, which is a step up from battery supplies being despatched overseas to be damaged down and re-manufactured, solely to be despatched again to the U.S. in the long run.