Reports coming out of China have indicated the electric bike market was the biggest driver for the country’s lead-acid battery industry in the past ten years.
The E-bike market proved a key driver in stimulating the growth of China’s lead-acid battery (LAB) industry, according to research from Tsinghua University.
Research published in the ‘life cycle assessment (LCA) for LABs used in e-bikes in China’ showed greater growth in the market than any other mode of transport, reported Beijing firm VerticalNews.
The research aimed to identify the key elements impacting the environment within the life cycle of LABs, from materials extraction and processing, manufacture, transport, use, and end-of-life.
Material extraction and processing, specifically the lead used in batteries, is the most important driver of impacts such as ozone depletion, photochemical smog and carcinogenicity, claims the report.
However, LAB’s excellent recycling credentials were mitigated with the end-of-life stage responsible for 95% of total lead emissions released. This, the report stated, was due to improper management of China’s spent LABs recycling market.
On the other hand, battery manufacturing only accounted for 3% of total lead emissions following the country’s national clean-up action for heavy metal pollution.
“Based on the findings, there are several substantial opportunities to further reduce the overall environmental impacts of LABs, such as prolonging the lifetime of LABs, reducing the consumption of metals in LABs, and improving the technology and management in the recovery of spent LABs,” the research concluded.