Ontario-based EV battery recycler Li-Cycle is teaming up with vehicle-sharer Helbiz to recycle lithium-ion batteries from micro-mobility options like e-scooters and e-bikes
July 22, 2021
Original article published in Electric Autonomy
A new global partnership between Ontario-based battery recycler Li-Cycle and a New York-based micro-mobility vehicle-sharing transportation company is taking the battery recycling process beyond just four-wheeled EVs.
Helbiz is a major player in the micro-mobility industry, offering urban ride-sharing services with fleets of e-scooters and e-bikes in both North America and Europe. Recognizing the strategic importance of being actively involved in the recycling of its battery products, it sought out Li-Cycle — a partner with necessary expertise to support Helbiz meet its sustainability targets.
Beyond these two companies, the partnership could also serve as an example for the sector and for companies seeking similar goals.
“We are proud to partner with Li-Cycle and look forward to working closely with their team to develop and implement a safe and sustainable recycling solution for the batteries used in our e-scooters and e-bikes,” said Ruggero Cipriani Foresio, chief marketing officer of Helbiz in a press release.
“This collaboration further supports our commitment to worldwide sustainability and our dedication to lead each city we operate in towards a greener future.”
Battery recycling will only increase
Li-Cycle’s process — which it calls “Spoke & Hub Technologies” — will be used to recover end-of-life batteries from the Helbiz scooters and bikes, safely extract the essential materials and then reintroduce them into the supply chain.
“In the coming months, Li-Cycle expects to recycle 500 lithium-ion batteries from Helbiz e-bikes and e-scooters, with volume set to increase heading into 2022 as Li-Cycle supports Helbiz’s operations in the United States and abroad,” reads the joint statement.
Li-Cycle’s chief commercial officer, Kunal Phalpher, said of the program, “This partnership represents a critical first step for our collaboration as we seek to create a closed lithium-ion batter recycling loop on a global scale. Together, we intend to recover valuable materials from old scooters and e-bikes to be reused in new ones in cities around the world via a truly sustainable, fit-for-purpose pathway.”
The aim of Li-Cycle’s support is to achieve Helbiz’s net zero emission target for 2022. Li-Cycle is also aiming to achieve its own 100 per cent battery material recycling goal (currently the company says they are able to recycle 95 per cent of the materials). Ultimately, the collaboration focuses on advancing sustainability efforts in the e-scooter and e-bike sector and reducing the environmental footprint.
Recently, Phalpher joined a panel hosted by Electric Autonomy Canada examining the recycling industry as part of Canada’s national EV battery supply chain. In that discussion, Phalpher said his sector is on a dramatic growth curve: “Interest and attention to this topic has drastically increased.” Phalpher indicated Li-Cycle, along with other battery recyclers, are anticipating accelerated adoption and competition for contracts with recyclers over the next decade.
“This is a very rapidly evolving industry and technology, he said. “The critical material strategies that these companies have been talking about lends itself to recycling.”