CONEBI flags concern for e-bike battery repairs

With the EU legislation concerning batteries currently being discussed in Brussels, the industry organisation CONEBI has voiced its concerns about e-bike battery repairs. “CONEBI is a strong supporter of only using original OEM certified batteries on e-bikes, we highly discourage end-users to make use of any repair services,” the industry association says in a position paper.

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The proposal for a new EU Batteries Regulation was released by the European Commission in December 2020. The new proposal stipulated that batteries placed on the EU market should become sustainable, high-performing and safe all along their entire life cycle. Above all, the proposal suggest that (e-bike) batteries should be designed as such that they facilitate the reuse, repair and recycling of batteries and the appliances in which they are integrated.

In the position paper, CONEBI also informs on the reasons why e-bike users should forgo battery repair.

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.

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The company hopes that their battery will reduce the volume of electronic waste and lower the carbon footprint of micro mobility batteries by 70%.

Gouach’s battery is designed and manufactured in France, and repairable in less than 10 minutes. Users can track the battery’s life cycle in real time through an app and optimise its use and receive alerts and accurate diagnosis in case of failure. Data on battery use can also be collected by operators at the recharging point.  


After an 18-month research and development phase and obtaining certifications, a test phase is being carried out with Pony, the only French player in the electric bike and scooter market offering self-service high-end equipment.  


“Current shortages confirm it: business models based on obsolescence have no future in a world whose reserves are not, ultimately, inexhaustible. At Gouach, our goal is to build and market on a large scale the very first electric battery for bicycles and scooters that can be fully repaired in less than 10 minutes. It’s a big challenge but we are convinced that we can do it. For us, the support of Breega and our investors is a strong signal that a profound change is underway,” confirmed Alexandre Vallette, CEO at Gouach.

Nanjing Lishui

CONEBI's stance on repairable batteries

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