The end of life
Eventually, all things must come to an end – including components and parts of your CAKE motorcycle. When all avenues have been exhausted and new owners have hadtheir run, the time has come to replace, recycle and repurpose.
We live in a linear world where the majority of all products are bought, used and disposed, without being reused or recycled. The reality is that the world is running out of virgin resources and we better shape up the recycling game. Navigating the end of life jungle is however complex for both companies and consumers and CAKE has only started our journey to become truly circular.
Starting at the drawing table
Let's start at the very beginning, when the life of a product is in the hands of the designer, with the power to create a bike made for repair and for recycling. By designing a modular bike with components easy to take apart, repair and replace they are taking the first and crucial step for a long product life.
Using recyclable materials
Another crucial step for the ability to recycle is to choose materials that can be recycled. The main material in a CAKE bike is aluminum, which is luckily a highly recyclable material, with an estimated 75% of all aluminum ever produced still being in circulation. Recycling of aluminum saves incredible amounts of energy, compared to refining new material – with a mere 5% of the energy used in the process.
Marking components to enhance recycling
All aluminum isn’t the same however. Depending on the properties sought, different alloys are used. As an example, CAKE uses alloys 6061 and 6082 for welding and 7075 for the most critical machined parts. At the time of recycling it is difficult to separate different alloys from each other, and we are more often than not seeing different qualities smelted together to a lower quality material.
CAKE has initiated a simple, yet effective solution to help make future recycling of high quality aluminum easier. We have started to permanently label our components with material specification, making them identifiable by the respective alloy used. We are aiming to pave the way for premium aluminum to stay premium, perhaps being used to build a new CAKE, rather than a soda can.
What about components, such as batteries?
Our goal is to enable recycling for every CAKE bike component, and we are starting right at the heart. Given the complexity of manufacturing high-performing batteries, it may not come as a surprise that a significant part of each bike’s environmental footprint stems from the battery itself. Unlike the case for aluminum however, the process of recycling the more powerful batteries that drive electrical vehicles is less explored. In fact, as of today, no industry standard exists. With this in mind, CAKE is navigating pristine waters – exploring multiple options for what will happen to your motorcycle battery when its end of life is reached.
We’re currently investigating how existing batteries can be repurposed to other use cases before they are even recycled into new materials, theoretically seeing a battery deemed inefficient to propel a vehicle find a new use in another, less demanding environment. CAKE aims to have a concept for end-of-life battery handling during 2023.
In the meanwhile, used batteries are safely stored at CAKE facilities.
CAKE will continue to explore the best end of life for our bikes - component by component. We all need to contribute to making better use of our common resources.
What to do with the delivery crate? Can I recycle plastic parts? What to do with worn tires? Please read the owners manual, Terms and Conditions and email us for any additional guidance, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org We’re happy support with all questions in regards to second life.