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Lime e-bike batteries are being turned into portable speakers

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Lime e-bike batteries are being changed into transportable audio system

A British sustainable design enterprise is ready to upcycle battery packs from Lime e-bikes and e-scooters and switch them into slick transportable Bluetooth audio system.

Based mostly within the inventive hub of Brighton, England, Gomi has been upcycling plastic waste for a number of years. In 2018, the corporate launched the world’s first portable speaker made from non-recyclable trash and powered by 100% reclaimed battery cells (every unit holds the equal of 100 plastic luggage value of non-recyclable plastic, the crew says), and since then have added portable chargers and wireless mag chargers to their arsenal.

Now, Gomi is working with Lime to provide transportable audio system utilizing the identical plastic repurposing methodology, but in addition powered with rechargeable second-life batteries from the micromobility firm’s e-bikes. The 25W audio system, which could be paired with one another for a stereo impact, can be out there in several color schemes — Birthday Cake, Black Mono, Blue Ocean, and naturally, Lime Inexperienced — and can be sold through Kickstarter. Every speaker prices £99 ($137) for tremendous early birds then will increase to £149 ($206) for basic sale.

The outside casing is created from non-recyclable plastics, whereas the speaker is powered by a second-life Lime battery.

Gomi co-founder Tom Meades advised Mashable that he reached out to Lime on the finish of final summer season following the success of the corporate’s chargers. Having made impact in the UK market since 2018, Lime represented a likeminded sustainably-focused enterprise alternative for Gomi — its electrical scooters and e-bikes are modular, which means their components could be swapped out or repaired, and the supplies that make up the autos could be recycled after they cease functioning. Nevertheless, Gomi’s challenge intends to offer the fleet’s core batteries a second life as they’re.

Andrew Savage, vp of sustainability at Lime, stated the partnership allowed Gomi “to breathe new life into our batteries,” which might in any other case be recycled. “We’re all the time on the lookout for methods to enhance the sustainability of our service and are desperate to work with progressive corporations like Gomi to search out second life alternatives for components of our autos internationally,” he defined.

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Proper now, Gomi has 50,000 battery cells from Lime’s Balham and Walthamstow warehouses in London, which is sufficient to make 12,500 audio system— Meades stated Gomi hopes to have all of them made by October, with supply earlier than Christmas. 

So, how precisely does Gomi upcycle Lime’s batteries? The battery cells are faraway from the e-bikes and e-scooters, that are then cleaned and examined for charging capability. If the cells move, they’re made into battery packs for Gomi’s audio system. 

“Mainly the entire packs on bikes, they have to be sturdy, so that they’re in these chrome steel containers, which implies that all of the cells are protected and waterproof so they do not get any harm in that means. We then must take aside the chrome steel shells and push the cells out,” defined Meads. “You then’ll see virtually like all battery pack like Tesla has and even vapes have, all of them have 18,650 cells. They’re all lined up, then you must take them out, and we check each to capability. We clear it up, we have now to completely cost it, after which absolutely discharge it. From there, we check every cell, know which of them you need to use and which of them you possibly can’t use, after which assemble it into our personal battery packs, vacuum seal it, make it waterproof once more.”

Like Gomi’s different merchandise, the marbled exterior of the speaker is made with recycled plastic packaging waste deemed non-recyclable by UK councils. With 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in our oceans yearly, it is a welcome innovation.

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Meades stated Gomi’s aim is to reveal that client tech could be each absolutely round and excessive efficiency, with a powerful, fascinating aesthetic. And it is right here, Meades continued, that they are capable of be much more progressive with sustainable design — by working with an impact that the remainder of the business tries to keep away from: marbling. 

“Within the plastics business, that is the least fascinating factor, marbling. So what they’re going to do is once they recycle plastic, they’re going to actually, actually attempt to make all the pieces a pure white color, which implies that a variety of plastics cannot be recycled as a result of they don’t seem to be that pure white color, they cannot get to that,” he stated.” So we embraced that and thought, really let’s make it marble, perhaps that might look cool, folks would possibly like that. And that meant that we might use extra waste streams, combine them collectively, they usually form of had this Jackson Pollock fashion summary portray fashion, and folks actually preferred it.”

Gomi is not the primary native sustainable design firm Lime has teamed up with within the UK. Since November, the micromobility large has been working with UK recycling company First Mile to show shredded tyres into playground surfacing, shredded bike frames into manufacturing metal, and non-ferrous metals (metals that do not comprise iron) into aluminium merchandise like drink cans. Lime has aggressively pursued its environmental targets globally of late, pledging to be net zero by 2030.

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