As the e-bike market matures, more and more owners are finding themselves in the position of needing to replace their worn-out old batteries. This isn’t always straightforward. French firm Gouach is challenging this model of obsolescence with a solderless design that allows worn-out cells to be easily replaced.
E-bike batteries are famously hard to repair, to the extent that the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), has advised owners against it.
The latest industry advice is that a defective or end of life battery should be replaced by, “an authorised technically identical battery.”
That’s all well and good, but in many cases such a thing will no longer exist, compelling electric bike owners to look for alternatives if the rest of the bike is fundamentally sound. (Our guide, Old worn-out e-bike batteries: repair, recycle, refurbish or replace? outlines your options if you find yourself in this position.)
This situation is unsustainable in every sense of the word. Bordeaux start-up Gouach agree and as such are now releasing four batteries that are not just easily-repairable, but also made from recycled materials.
The batteries are made using cells from batteries that cannot be repaired because of their design but where the components remain in perfect working order.
After taking them apart and testing the cells, Gouach creates new battery packs to its patented solderless design.
“With no spot-weld technology, the battery has a minimum of components for easy repair and recycling,” claims the firm.
They reckon their batteries can be repaired in under 10 minutes.
They’re starting off by offering four capacities: 420Wh, 430Wh, 540Wh and 560Wh. The initial plan seems to be to target share schemes as they specify these are being made available to, “all micromobility players.”