French manufacturer Gouach has launched four models of repairable batteries designed for e-bikes, e-scooters and other small EVs that could change the industry business model.
The idea is to democratise the repairability of batteries in the micromobility sector.
Instead of batteries being thrown away or crushed into black mass for recycling, the Bordeaux-based firm has created a solderless modular design that allows each battery cell to be dismantled and replaced if issues arise, thereby extending its lifetime.
“Gouach batteries are eco-designed for repairability and easy recycling within a circular economy,” Gouach CEO and Founder Alexandre Vallette told Zag Daily. “We invented the technology to build batteries without the need to spot-weld the cells.”
As a result, Vallette said the batteries can be effortlessly repaired within five minutes without specialised tools. This reduces the volume of electronic waste, and divides by four the ecological footprint of the battery.
The company’s batteries are warranted to retain 70% of their original capacity over 500 charge cycles or 25 months from the date of manufacture.
After it has lived its first full cycle, the cells are removed from the battery and tested. If they are still in working order, they will be reused for new purposes, such as robots and stationary energy storage. If the batteries no longer work, they will be recycled by Gouach’s partner Screlec.
The company’s off-the-shelf models for the electric bicycle market are divided between BlackPack40 and BlackPack50 categories.
Each comes in two capacities that vary from 420Wh to 560 Wh, and are available for both 36V and 48V systems.
They are designed to meet the needs of bicycle, cargo bike and scooter manufacturers, self-service operators and delivery and electrification companies, among others.
Both categories are available for rental (battery-as-a-service) or purchase (repair-on-demand).
In the first case, the battery is rented and the client has a continuous service. In the event of a failure, the battery is replaced immediately from an overstock held at the client’s location, which is managed by Gouach.
In the repair-on-demand option, a customer purchases the battery to sell it as part of its product. The client will contact Gouach if, for example, repair or regeneration services are needed, and Gouach will then take over the interaction and deal directly with the end-user. This will cost a fraction of the purchase price, according to Vallette, “extending the life of the integrated application at a lower cost to the end-consumer while reducing the after-sales effort required of the manufacturer.”