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Refurbished Lime Scooter Batteries Helping Save NZ Birds

Lime, the world’s leading provider of shared electric vehicles, has announced a partnership with The Cacophony Project and 2040 Limited that will see its old scooter and bike batteries earn a second life powering tools designed to save New Zealand’s precious birds. The tools include thermal cameras that use machine vision to automatically identify bird predators, and humane traps to catch.

Damaged Lime scooter battery cells - which would otherwise have been recycled - are refurbished in Christchurch and used to fully power the devices. 2040 identified Lime’s batteries in particular due to their high level of waterproofing and charge capacity. The ‘upcycling’ of Lime batteries gives them a second life and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of Lime’s vehicles. The partnership will help Lime further its mission to reach carbon negative by 2025 and net zero by 2030, by upcycling batteries that have reached the end of their usable life powering electric vehicles. Lime has donated 110 batteries to start to support these efforts, and will continue to provide more.

Lime’s batteries will support 2040’s innovative technology aimed at supporting New Zealand’s bird populations currently under threat from predators not native to the islands. The New Zealand Department of Conservation identifies nearly 40 native bird species as endangered or critically endangered. 2040 and the Cacophony Project are dedicated to conserving New Zealand bird populations, specifically focused on predators that target the birds.

“We’re really excited to see how 2040 has managed to give a new, second life to our old batteries,” said Lauren Mentjox, New Zealand Government Relations Director at Lime. “Their technical expertise and innovative product line offers an exciting opportunity to re-use parts that would otherwise have been recycled, and turn them into important technology to conserve New Zealand’s precious bird populations. We believe in this worthy project and hope that in some small way this will help New Zealand achieve its goal of becoming predator free.”

“This is one of those nice matchups: Lime had excess batteries needing to be recycled and we needed high capacity batteries to power our devices to help manage predators endangering NZ’s birds. It’s great for the environment in two ways – through re-use of an existing resource in an application to save the birds and their natural habitat,” said Shaun Ryan, Managing Director of 2040. “Although the batteries are used, our testing has shown they still have plenty of capacity for the needs of our products. The generosity of Lime reduces the cost of this technology, making it more accessible to those who wish to use it for their predator control efforts.”

This partnership builds on Lime’s previous work to upcycle its used batteries. Earlier this year, Lime announced a partnership with the UK-based design company Gomi to power its sustainable portable speakers. Partnerships like this are a critical part of Lime’s ‘Ride Green’ initiative and commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2030, adhering to a science-based target.

Lime has focused the design of its more recent electric scooters and e-bikes to be modular, so parts can be easily reused while extending the life of our vehicles. For parts that have reached the end of their usable lives, they are recycled, but second life uses like Gomi’s speakers are even more sustainable than recycling - and batteries present the biggest opportunity for reuse.

In addition to finding improved second lives for batteries, Lime is also transitioning to fully-electric vans across New Zealand and the world by 2023 through its Ride Green initiative. Additionally, Lime is expanding partnerships with renewable energy providers in cities around the world to charge its bikes, scooters, mopeds and facilities.

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