CONEBI outlines safety concerns of e-bike battery repair in position paper

CONEBI has published a paper outlining its position on e-bike battery repair.

The EU legislation concerning batteries is currently being revised and CONEBI is directly involved in the EU advocacy process to state the importance of safe and high-quality e-bike batteries for European consumers and warning about the safety concerns involved with battery repair.

The proposal for a new EU batteries regulation was released by the European Commission in December 2020 and has since been discussed 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.

“While e-bikes have become increasingly popular in the market, so has the interest in some of its components, especially the battery,” CONEBI’s paper begins. “The e-bike industry has been active to prevent battery degradation over the lifetime of the e-bike as much as possible, by using high-quality battery components on the one hand, and actively informing consumers on how to treat their batteries to ensure a long and safe life on the other hand.

“Nonetheless, the performance of the first e-bike batteries that were placed on the market several years ago may be starting to decrease due to the normal ageing of battery cells. E-bike users may be enticed to search for ways to possibly prolong the lifetime of these OEM fitted batteries through repairs.”

The paper aims to inform on the reasons why e-bike users should forgo battery repair, from a technical, legal, environmental and liability perspective, despite the increasing offering in the market for refurbishing, repairing or remanufacturing of used e-bike batteries. “At first glance, these offers of refurbishing, repairing or remanufacturing of batteries seem like a good opportunity from an environmental and economic perspective to prolong the lifetime of batteries,” it continued.

“However, the European Bicycle Industry would like to state a clear warning against the repair and remanufacturing of e-bike batteries based on severe safety concerns. In addition, important considerations in terms of liability, compliance with laws and technical standards as well as certification are complex and not clearly understood by many actors. This is why in this position paper CONEBI elaborates on the reasons for these concerns and offers guidance on how to best deal with used e-bike batteries.”

The full paper can be found here.

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CONEBI, together with other ten industry associations, including the Advanced Rechargeable & Lithium Batteries Association (RECHARGE), Home Appliance Europe (APPLiA) and the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA), is also calling for clear rules on battery replaceability within the framework of the new EU Batteries Regulation.

The joint position paper can be found here.

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