Lyft is partnering with Redwood Materials, a battery recycling company founded by ex-Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, to ensure the batteries from its fleets of shared electric bikes and scooters don’t end up in landfill at their end of life. The news comes the same week that Lyft ended its dockless bike and scootershare in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, citing the desire to pursue long-term contracts with a limited number of operators. Lyft also ended its scootershare operations in San Diego earlier this year amid several cost cutting and restructuring measures that focuses Lyft more firmly on ride-hail.

While the exiting of those cities might suggest more are to come — and thus Lyft will need a responsible way of disposing of its vehicles, lest we have another Uber-Jump-landfill-pileup situation — Lyft’s docked bikeshare programs, particularly CitiBike in New York City, continue to thrive. Lyft started haphazardly introducing pedal assist e-bikes in NYC in 2019, and the company says its bikes have a five-year lifespan, so at least a portion of its electric fleet is nearing end-of-life.

The partnership with Redwood is the recycling startup’s first formal foray into shared micromobility. Redwood is known for breaking down scrap from Tesla’s battery partnership with Panasonic, as well as recycling batteries from Ford, Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, Specialized and others. The company has expanded from simply recycling to producing critical battery materials, and inked a deal with Panasonic to do just that, supporting a domestic supply chain in North America for EVs.

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Author: Rebecca Bellan, Tech Crunch
Image: Lyft