The Bicycle Association (BA) is to set up a UK-wide e-bike battery collection and recycling service.
The European Recycling Platform UK (ERP UK) has been appointed as the BA’s partner to set up and deliver the programme. A trial will begin shortly, with the learnings from this contributing to a proposed national rollout later this year.
Stephen Holt, BA retail trade manager, said: “With millions of electric bike sales ahead of us, this is an exciting initiative that will make it easy for retailers to safely store faulty and expired batteries in one fireproof rated drum – with one phone call when full to get it swapped out.
“With the support of electric bike producers, we hope to provide a national network of hundreds of collection points convenient for customers. We are looking forward to working closely with ERP, who are experts in the construction and implementation of such initiatives.”
Many other European markets already have a single collection programme running, with companies participating with retailers who act as collection points for the public. The programme’s perceived benefits include simplicity at retail level, reducing cost and complexity for bike companies, and a clear and convenient way for customers to return batteries.
John Redmayne, managing director of ERP UK, said: “ERP UK are delighted to have been chosen by the Bicycle Association as their partner in developing a battery collection service for the sector.
“With growing numbers of e-bikes in use, the need for the sector to safely and responsibly deal with end of life batteries has been highlighted. We are looking forward to working with the association and using our experience in engineering circular economy solutions to develop a sector-specific service.”
> A beginner's guide to e-bike batteries
The latest industry advice is that a defective or end of life battery should be replaced by “an authorised technically identical battery”. The advice to only replace a battery with one that comes from the same manufacturer and is of exactly the same spec is for good reason – battery, controller and motor have all been designed to work safely together and using a ‘non-original’ replacement pack potentially introduces uncontrolled risks.
There are however issues where like-for-like replacements are no longer available. If you find yourself in this position, you might want to take a look at our guide: Old worn-out e-bike batteries: repair, recycle, refurbish or replace?