Li-Ion batteries

In February 2023, an e-bike user from the region contacted me. He had only recently purchased a refurbished version of an e-bike with a Bosch drive from the Rebike company. The company specializes in the reconditioning of leasing returns and gives the bikes a second life, so to speak. Unfortunately, the battery on the e-bike I bought caused problems, it failed completely. Another battery from the customer's family allowed the bike to run perfectly, so that the fault could clearly be narrowed down to the battery. Rebike did not believe the customer's description and asked for a specialist workshop to check it. So we only confirmed what the customer had already told Rebike, namely that the battery was not working. Rebike then arranged for a replacement battery to be shipped. To us. For whatever reason. We are neither contractual partners of Rebike, nor do we receive any compensation for this, nor is the customer able to accept the battery himself. The battery should be exchanged for the old one and the process documented by us. This is how it happened.

Even after repeated requests, Rebike was apparently unable to pick up the old battery. To this day it is not clear to us why we should act as an extended complaints department without compensation. But we then tried to put a check on this process and get rid of the defective battery.

First, we continued to try Rebike.

After a while we talked to a Bosch employee. He happened to visit us here and I asked him about it. Unfortunately, he couldn't just take it with him, he explained to me. Because of the paperwork and the fire hazard. I should either bring it to the disposal center as a private individual or give it to a large Bosch e-bike dealer. They have a large safe box in which old batteries are collected for return transport to Bosch. So I first to the recycling center. No, you can't. No lithium-ion batteries. Because of the fire hazard.

So I drove to the big e-bike dealership next door, which we have a friendly relationship with. They sell a four-digit number of Bosch e-bikes a year. No, we don't have such a box. We have to make an extra process out of it for the pick-up by Bosch. But wait, I'll just talk. You can leave him there because we know each other well. Then you're rid of him. Without the good connection to the store I would still have the battery today.

Li-ion batteries are disposable products. Take, make, waste. Raw materials from the ground, made into a slightly durable product, disposal. At its core, the technology is four decades old. Recycling doesn't work, especially lithium. This has nothing to do with innovation or environmental protection. The systematic promotion of e-mobility causes enormous ecological damage and heavy metal poisoning among the workers in the mining regions from which the raw materials come. 60% of the cobalt comes from the Congo. Congo is politically and economically unstable and children work in the mines. We obtain other rare earths on a large scale from dictatorial China. Due to the massive promotion of electric drives, we are systematically becoming massively dependent on China, while we are currently trying to reduce our dependency on Russia. The defective batteries cannot be recycled in an industrial way, so gigantic mountains of hazardous waste are created. That can't be progress, but it's sold as green change. The ZIV's reaction to the new battery ordinance is really sobering and is directed against the EU's plan to circulate battery technology (Velobiz from June 2023):

There have long been figures and associated calls to change politics in this regard. The demands of the AK raw materials are revealing:So: Away from Li-ion technology, how about the existing sodium-ion technology? Or some other technology that doesn't just swap fossil evils for mineral and social evils? Think about it, dear manufacturers.