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E-bikes are becoming increasingly smarter and more sustainable. Still, we are not there yet. Batteries can be made more cost-effective and the design can be more sustainable. We are closely watching the latest innovations in this field.
With the growing popularity of e-bikes, the mountain of waste that is made up of e-waste is also growing and so is the burden on the planet. In an effort to curb the waste problem, Amsterdam-based bicycle company Roetz have looked at ways to design a less environmentally damaging electric bicycle: An e-bike designed to last a lifetime thanks to the use of modular and customizable design and smart technology, Roetz states in a press release.
The e-bike is gaining popularity among teenagers, young professionals, young parents, delivery drivers, long-distance cyclists and people over 50. The year 2021 marks the first time that more than half of all bicycles sold in the Netherlands were electric.* “That an electric bike gets you from A to B faster than a standard bicycle and at the same time is more sustainable than travelling by car is obvious. But unlike its analog sibling, the e-bike is a major contributor to one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world: that of electronic waste or ‘e-waste.’ A standard bicycle, with proper care, routinely lasts 20 years or more. E-bikes built ten years ago are already a thing of the past. A worn-out battery is often the moment when people decide to ditch their bikes,” says Tiemen ter Hoeven, founder of Roetz.
A future-proof e-bike
CEO Tiemen ter Hoeven: “Our designers, mechanics and technicians have spent the past three years designing a future-proof e-bike. An e-bike that has undergone a complete redesign, it’s a bike that is built out of separate modules that can easily be replaced or repaired. Even when new innovations – such as a more sustainable battery – come onto the market along the way. So you end up with a bike that lasts a lifetime instead of being dumped unnecessarily before its time.”
This bike will last a lot longer than the average electric bike because it evolves along with the life stages and corresponding requirements of each user. In addition to offering options for a child seat or a luggage carrier, there will, in the near future, be possibilities to convert the bicycle into a cargo bike or a speed pedelec, among other things.
The new Roetz is also equipped with a monitoring system that detects any needs for repairs ahead of time and proactively alerts the user about them in order to extend the life cycle of the materials. Broken parts are either repaired or replaced by a technician at home and, if applicable, are taken back to the Fair Factory to be readied for another life.
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