Micromobility operator Tier has joined forces with a German start-up in a bid to improve the lifespan of its batteries.
Berlin-based firm Tier is now working with Vertical Values, also based in the German capital, to repair and upcycle lithium batteries.
Tier said that lithium-ion batteries, used in electric vehicles like e-scooters and e-bikes, are a major environmental burden due to the mining used to obtain the raw materials.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Tier wants to improve its consumption, production and operations, in part by giving battery cells a second life.
Ailin Huang, head of sustainability at Tier Mobility, said: “We are delighted to work with Vertical Values to extend the lifespan of e-scooter batteries and have a new partner who can help make our light electric vehicles even more environmentally friendly. We always first prioritise reuse over recycling according to circular economy principles. Next to the e-scooter as a whole, the batteries hold the biggest opportunity for reuse as they still have over 80% of their capacity even after several hundred charging cycles. So, it’s absolutely critical that we scale up the reuse of batteries!”
Vertical Values repairs defective e-scooter batteries and extracts cells from broken batteries. Each cell is evaluated to determine its ‘state of health,’ and are then repurposed into new products.
Electric vehicle batteries are typically decommissioned from their first life, particularly if the vehicle starts to fall short of its range despite the battery still holding 70-80% of its charge.
The challenge in upcycling lithium-ion batteries is that they consist of hundreds of cells, each of which has aged differently. The weakest element will define the capability of the entire system.
A statement from the Vertical Values team said: “We are excited to partner with Tier. Together we will set a new standard for the micro-mobility industry in terms of battery sustainability.”