The proposal has since been discussed intensively in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. A preliminary position from both legislators is expected soon and negotiations with all the EU legislators on a final text may start as early as March 2022.
E-bikes need safe, high-quality batteries
With sales of e-bikes reaching 4.5 million units in Europe in 2020, the industry organisation, Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), has been directly involved in the EU advocacy process to state the importance of safe and high quality e-bike batteries for European consumers. This includes warning about the safety concerns involved with battery repair.
Writing in a position paper on E-Bike Battery Repair, CONEBI says, “Currently there is no sound technical framework for repairing or remanufacturing e-bike batteries which is aligned with the type approval of batteries and thus with well-defined parts requirements and product/production process quality, product responsibility and certification and transport safety aspects as well as safety testing of batteries. Lacking this framework, any kind of battery repairing or remanufacturing can lead to loss of type approval and also to uncontrolled, potentially unsafe situations during actual use.”
New is best – for now
CONEBI goes on to say that is “a good decision for the consumer to invest in a new, compatible, higher quality and more innovative e-bike battery at the end of the lifetime of the first battery, if available.” However they industry association does not rule out the possibility of repairs in the future. “Increasing the lifetime of batteries is an ongoing development process in the whole battery/mobility industry as is the investigation into the development of certified processes that may make repairing e-bike batteries possible in the future.
€3.3 million funding for repairable e-bike battery manufacturer
At the same time, the French company Gouach raised €3.3 million in a new financing round for its eco-designed and patented e-bike batteries that can be repaired in less than 10 minutes. Based on a study carried out on hundreds of “end-of-life” batteries and showing that almost 80% of the components were still in perfect working order, the founders of the Bordeaux-based startup, Gouach, Alexandre Vallette, Maxime Agor and Maël Primet developed this battery design in 2020. They claim that defective components can be replaced easily and safely.