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Jan 1, 2020,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Electric bikes and scooters: Uber to recycle its spare parts

Uber recently announced that it will soon be recycling 90% of used electric bike and scooter spare parts that cannot be used on other vehicles. The soft mobility solutions provided by its JUMP range have met with great success, which in turn has led to them generating pollution. In response, the American giant has teamed up with Veolia to provide a greener solution.

YouTube / Jump by Uber

 

Uber is looking to save resources and find a second use for its spare parts. The company announced on Thursday 21 November that it has entered into a partnership with French firm Veolia to speed up the recycling of spare parts from the electric scooters and bikes that form part of its JUMP service, as reported by the specialist website Tom Travel.

 

Popularity generates pollution

 

The mobility solutions offered by the electric bike share operator are becoming increasingly popular with the inhabitants of the cities where they are available, and with visitors too. These light electric vehicles also generate pollution, however, and such has been their growth that they pose a serious threat to the environment if steps are not taken.

In response, Uber has pledged to restrict their environmental impact by reorganising the recycling of parts that no long work or have no further use. The company is also focusing its efforts on sorting and recycling spare parts from vehicles that are beyond repair, which amounts to 2% of the current fleet. Some 98% of the vehicles that break down can be repaired, says Uber, which adds that it is aiming to recycle more than 90% of the parts in question. 

 

A range of uses 

 

The process put in place varies from one part to another. Plastic parts are directly recycled, as are those made of iron, which can be used to make tin cans or radiators. Aluminium parts can be turned into bicycle frames and kitchen utensils or supplied to the car industry.

The recycling of cables involves the separating of plastic and metal materials. The precious metals contained in the electronic components of bikes and scooters can also be extracted, while rubber parts can be used for energy recovery.

 

The lithium problem

 

The strategic metals in the vehicles’ batteries will be recycled using special techniques by the Veolia subsidiary SARPI, which specialises in such operations. While nickel and cobalt are of interest to companies operating in the metallurgical and chemical sectors, no alternative use has yet been found for lithium.

Veolia will be responsible for collecting, sorting and converting the spare parts that cannot be used on other bikes or scooters. The parts will be transported by another subsidiary, Triade, to approved sites where they will be given a new use.

 

Allianz Partners

Cover image : YouTube / Jump by Uber

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