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Specialized Bicycles Partners with Tesla Co-Founder and Redwood Materials for e-Bike Battery Recycling 5

Millions of e-bike batteries will reach the end of their life cycles soon and Specialized wants to keep them out of the landfill.

Specialized Bicycles Partners with Tesla Co-Founder and Redwood Materials for e-Bike Battery Recycling

Today Specialized announced a partnership with recycling start-up, Redwood Materials, to tackle battery recycling for the most popular electric vehicle – bikes.

Specialized was founded with the mission to inspire riders everywhere. For nearly half a century, one goal has remained constant; deliver the safest, highest performing, most long-lasting bikes available. We design our products from the start to not only last decades, but to minimize the environmental impact at their end-of-life and are committed to finding an effective path for re-use and recycling of everything we create.

Specialized e-Bike Battery Recycling Details

Starting first in the US, every Specialized bike battery in the United States will have a pathway to Redwood Materials by the end of 2021. We will then roll this out to our other markets starting in 2022.

Redwood Materials brings a low-energy, sustainable recycling process and technical expertise in re-using materials in future product creation, allowing us to focus our efforts on re-use. Together, we will recover materials we can bring back into our manufacturing while also collaborating on ways to improve our design for better recyclability at end of life.

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The goal is to benefit the entire industry. We will share these learnings on logistics with industry organizations and others in the bike and micro-mobility categories to encourage responsible recycling as the e-bike category continues to grow.

The majority of our e-bike batteries have yet to reach end of life. This partnership allows us to get far ahead of the potential long-term impact, including infusing new design practices in future products. We will share more details on how riders and retailers can participate as we roll out these programs by the end of the year.

FAQs

Is there anything riders/retailers should do now?

Today we are announcing our partnership with Redwood. Nothing is changing with our process today. We are working through all the final logistics leading into the end of the year and will have more to share soon.

If a rider has a bike battery that is not working as expected or has reached the end of its life, they should visit their local bike shop for an assessment, recycling, and replacement. If a rider knows the battery is dead and does not need retailer assistance, today we encourage recycling through a local recycler and soon through a new process in partnership with Redwood.

What has been done to date in the US?

We have conducted a recycling pilot for our warrantied batteries with Redwood and have approved them for recycling at scale.

The majority of our e-bike batteries have yet to reach end of life. This partnership allows us to get far ahead of the potential long-term impact, including infusing new design practices in future products.

How does this work?

As part of our partnership, Redwood will receive and process Specialized e-bike batteries in the United States, recover materials that can be put back into our manufacturing, and collaborate on smart design choices that support recyclability.

We’ll have more to share soon.

Why start in the US?

Specialized currently recycles lithium-ion batteries in several European countries where there is progressive legislation to encourage recycling.

The US is one of the fastest and largest growing e-bike markets without any formal program to encourage recycling, so focusing efforts here to start and then we will scale to other markets.

Is this exclusive?

No. Our goal is to work with Redwood to help create the pathways for anyone in the e-bike or micro-mobility category to get these products to the right places for recycling.

We’re excited to share our learnings with the broader industry.

Cost to consumers / retailers?

We are working through all the final logistics leading into the end of the year and will have more to share soon.

E-bike battery lifespan

Specialized bikes are built to last decades. The batteries in our e-bikes are designed to maintain useful range for between 4-6 years of riding depending on usage. Once the battery reaches the end of its life, riders can replace their battery and keep on riding. Our dedicated e-bike innovation team is always working to better optimize battery life and range, making updates to our fleet with new features to do so as soon as they are possible.

What is the process for a consumer if their battery reaches end of life?

All of our batteries are replaceable. If a rider has a bike battery that is not working as expected or has reached the end of its life, they should visit their local bike shop for an assessment, recycling, and replacement. If a rider knows the battery is dead and does not need retailer assistance, today we encourage recycling through a local recycler and soon through a new process in partnership with Redwood.

ABOUT REDWOOD:

Redwood is inventing sustainable materials by creating circular supply chains, turning waste into profit and developing the solution for a fully closed-loop recycling for EV batteries before hundreds of thousands of vehicles start returning back from the field in a few years.

Redwood was founded by JB Straubel (former Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Tesla) in 2017. At Tesla, JB built one of the best engineering teams in the world and, among many topics, led cell design, supply chain and led the first Gigafactory concept through the production ramp of the Model 3. JB had a direct role in both R&D, team building and operational expansion from prototype cars through to mass production and GWh-scale.

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