Gomi, a UK company that manufactures chargers and other durable devices, has launched a range of portable bluetooth speakers built from retired Lime electric bike batteries. As part of a partnership with Lime, Gomi will use 50,000 battery cells from 1,000 older electric bikes to build the Gomi speaker with 20 hours of battery life. They will launch today on Kickstarter from £ 99 ($ 138).
Available in green, black, blue and a color called “birthday cake,” the speakers are made from 100% recycled plastic waste. “The sound quality and 20-hour battery life make the speakers perfect for indoors or outdoors and they come with a ‘repair-for-life’ return service to make sure they never need to be thrown away unnecessarily, ”the company said.
“Damaged” batteries are cleaned and tested before being installed in the enclosures, according to Lime. Cells are considered dead for electric bike purposes when charge cycles drop below a certain level, but they are still useful for less demanding personal electronics. It is better for the environment to “recycle” lithium-ion batteries as much as possible before recycling them into new batteries.
Although e-bikes and electric scooters are better for the environment than cars, they have been criticized for their relatively short lifespan – so Lime’s project may help reduce their environmental impact. Automakers like Renault and Tesla are taking similar steps on a much larger scale, recycling car batteries for use in homes and power grids.
As mentioned, the Bluetooth speakers will go on sale at Kickstarter from now on. The usual caveats apply to any Kickstarter project (mainly, you could be wasting all your money), but the speakers seem to have strong support from Gomi and Lime.