How To Recycle Ebike Batteries and Why It’s Important
September 30, 2022
If you take a look around your home, how many unused, broken, or outdated batteries are you going to find? Odds are, you likely have an old phone or computer tucked somewhere that you don’t know what to do with or where to take. Or, even old batteries from your remote controller stowed in the “used” container in the back of the storage closet. While these may seem like basic batteries that power common household items, improperly disposing them has the potential to pose harm to the environment. Not to mention they take up space in your home if you don’t dispose of them at all!
The same applies to broken, unused, or outdated electric bike batteries. Whether you’ve since upgraded your first ebike to a newer one or you’ve purchased a new ebike battery to replace your old one, you may be wondering ”what should I do with my ebike battery?” While you can’t simply toss them away in your regular trash or recycling bins (sorry to break it to you!), we’re here to tell you what you can do to properly dispose of your electric bike battery (including some exciting new about Aventon’s own battery recycling initiative!). We’re also going to explain the importance of why you want to recycle your old ebike batteries and how this contributes to helping the environment. But first, let’s briefly review what ebike batteries are commonly made of.
What Are Ebike Batteries Made Of?
Just as e-bikes as a product have evolved from when they were first created to what’s being sold in our current market, so too have ebike batteries. From sourcing different materials to engineering them to look sleeker and leaner, ebike batteries have come a long way. We’re going to talk about three of the most well-known types of ebike batteries.
Among the first materials used to construct batteries, lead batteries for ebikes 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 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 batteries are Lithium-ion batteries. Lithium batteries are the perfect combination of battery having a desirable weight and capacity to hold optimal power. Not to mention, Lithium-ion batteries are what power all Aventon ebikes! So be sure to keep reading our blog post to see how you should recycle your Aventon ebike’s Lithium-ion battery.
Why Properly Disposing Ebike Batteries Matters
Before we talk about the impacts unrecycled batteries have on the environment, it’s important to give you an idea of how big this matter truly is. For context, the Aventon family consists of over 200,000 ebike riders nationally. From the start of our ebike journey to now, we’ve sold over 200,000 ebikes, which means there are 200,000 Lithium-ion batteries out there powering our fleet that will need to be recycled at the end of the ebike’s lifespan. Furthermore, Call2Recycle estimates that more than 12 million e-bikes will be sold in the US between 2020 and 2030, meaning that 12 million batteries will be needed to power those e-bikes. At their end-of-life, these same 12 million batteries will also need to be safely and responsibly recycled.
Lithium-ion batteries are composed of chemicals, that when disposed of improperly, are damaging to both the environment and humans. If tossed in common trash bins, ebike batteries end up in landfills where they decay and leak chemicals into soil, which can contaminate water and soil. It takes batteries roughly 100 years to decompose when they’re not properly recycled, so these chemicals will only continue to pollute the earth. Not to mention, the likelihood of a fire due to improperly disposed Lithium-ion batteries is very high. When these batteries end up in a landfill, they have the potential to cause massive fire damage.
The benefits of properly disposing ebike batteries really do outweigh the “convenience” of simply tossing them into the trash. Recycling your old Lithium-ion battery properly also ensures that those materials are allocated to the manufacturing of new products. That means less waste is created, less energy is used to produce goods, and less pollution comes from creating a brand new product! Environmental factors aside, Call2Recycle explains that it is illegal in 28 U.S. states to simply toss your ebike battery away. (Side note: Yes, California legally requires proper disposal and we’ll discuss our recycling process shortly!). That means if you live in a state that has regulations in place for battery recycling, you may be fined if you don’t properly dispose of or recycle your electric bike battery.
How Aventon Recycles Electric Bike Batteries
At Aventon, we take the disposal process of our ebikes as seriously as our manufacturing process. As a corporation, we recycle our ebike batteries in bulk. Whether they are outdated, damaged, or broken batteries, we take the proper precautions to ensure they leave our warehouse safely and can be recycled to better serve our environment. This means each battery and its terminals are individually wrapped and covered, then loaded onto a secure palette where it is then securely sent to our recycling center. Going and staying green has never been easier!
On the consumer side, we’re also thrilled to be part of Call2Recycle and PeopleForBikes Electric Bicycle Battery Recycling program, making recycling batteries easier for you and better for the environment. Aventon electric bike owners can drop off their end-of-life batteries at any of Call2Recycle’s recycling centers. It’s as simple as locating a Call2Recycle recycling center, showing up, dropping off, then heading home! Call2Recycle’s vast network of retailers will then safely package and responsibly send off your Aventon electric bike battery on your behalf. Check out more information on Aventon’s battery recycling program and how recycling is made easier for you and better for the environment!
While we know this information is not common knowledge nor generally part of the 101s of owning an ebike, it is nonetheless crucial knowledge to be aware of. It is imperative that we do our part to help the environment when and where possible, whether that means finding a Call2Recycle recycling center through Aventon’s battery recycling program to drop your old Aventon ebike battery at or finding a local recycling center that accepts Li-ion batteries!
The smallest actions still count, and in fact, they can make the largest impacts! After all, you never know how many of those 12 million ebikes batteries that are projected to sell from 2020 to 2030 will get properly disposed of and recycled. Odds are if you’re finding yourself reading this, you’re likely one of the many wonderful ebike consumers during this ongoing time frame. So we’ll leave you with one question: if and when the time comes, how will you be recycling your ebike battery?