Movement for Responsible Mobility
According to the European Environment Agency, road traffic accounts for about one fifth of EU CO2 emissions European Environment Agency (2022): “Transport and environment report 2021. Decarbonising road transport — the role of vehicles, fuels and transport demand”, p. 5, URL (access on 14th September 2023). If we use the eBike instead of other motorised vehicles, especially for personal use in cities, this value can be reduced. eBikes cause neither noise pollution nor exhaust fumes and require little space Word Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (2022): “Walking and cycling: latest evidence to support policy-making and practice”, p. 26 ff. URL (access on 8th August 2023).
But switching to an eBike is just one of many steps towards more mindful and responsible mobility. For Bosch eBike Systems, the journey begins much earlier: On this page we show you how we are continuously working to improve our product lifecycle - for a more positive impact on our economy, our environment and our society.
CO2 emissions in comparison
According to the World Health Organization cycling is a response to issues and challenges of our time such as resource scarcity, climate change or urbanization Word Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (2022): “Walking and cycling: latest evidence to support policy-making and practice”, p. 1 ff URL (access on 8th August 2023).
Although eBike components, such as the battery or the drive, cause more emissions during production than standard bicycles, people on eBikes ride much more often and for significantly longer distances Castro et. al (2019): “Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists: Insights based on health and transport data from an online survey in seven European cities”, in: Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, V1 2019, URL (access on 8th August 2023). In everyday life, the eBike can be used instead of the car in many situations, such as going shopping with an eCargo bike.
Let's look at the graph: If you only consider the time spent on the road with your eBike, the power consumption results in an average CO2 emissions value of around 2g/km, depending on the power mix. In comparison, according to the Federal Environment Agency, a car emits about 152g CO2/passenger kilometre (pkm), while public transport emits between 50 and 111g CO2/pkm. The graph shows that compared to all other means of transport, eBikes are significantly lower in emissions.
We have compiled some tips and tricks for more considerate eBiking. From more efficient use of the battery for even greater range and a longer service life, to environmentally conscious behaviour on the trail.
The battery is responsible for a large part of your eBike's CO2 footprint. With the right handling and care, you can optimise the service life of your eBike's battery. Find out more about optimal use of our batteries in our Battery Guide.
The good life is at your fingertips: Going on holiday with an eBike is exciting, adventurous and for many of us a new way to discover the world. It combines unique experiences with a mindful approach to nature. Here are a few tips on how to combine mindfulness with unforgettable holiday moments.
Shaping a desirable future is a shared responsibility. As part of the Bosch Group, we have a common goal: We intend our products to contribute to a more desirable future in which people are mobile in a considerate and flexible way with greater riding enjoyment.
The overriding Bosch sustainability strategy ‘New Dimensions – Sustainability 2025’ describes the company's goals based on six fundamental issues: climate action, health, human rights, water, circular economy, and diversity Robert Bosch GmbH: “Comprehensive sustainability strategy and consistent compliance”, URL, (access on 8th August 2023).
At Bosch eBike Systems, we are particularly committed to three strategic pillars of the global sustainability strategy:
- Reducing the CO2 footprint of our products: We evaluate product-specific environmental aspects within the framework of our life cycle analysis.
- Responsibility and transparency in the supply chains: We assess the social and ecological risks along the value chain.
- Development of a functioning circular economy: We regard repairability and ease of maintenance as product development criteria
We evaluate product-specific environmental aspects at every stage of the life cycle and work continuously to improve them.
The CO2 footprint over the entire life cycle is a key metric when comparing the sustainability of products. In a so-called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), we evaluate product-specific environmental aspects in each life cycle phase - from procurement, manufacturing and use to disposal.
Together with TÜV Rheinland TÜV Rheinland is in it´s own words “one of the world’s leading testing service providers” – “as an independent expert”. See more on www.tuv.com/world/en/ (access on 8th August 2023), we have calculated the average CO2 footprint for an eBike and for the Bosch eBike system components (drive unit, battery, display, control unit) in detail and identified the greatest potential savings.
The result: Over its entire life cycle - from production to recycling - an eBike generates a CO2 equivalent of approximately 300kg. Around 75% of CO2 emissions are produced by materials and manufacturing, around 15% during actual use of the eBike, and the remaining 10% or so during transport, packaging and recycling. Approximately 36% (121kg) of the total footprint is produced by the eBike system, in other words: the components that turn a bicycle into an eBike. The lion's share of this is produced by the eBike battery.
Using this data, we are working to identify areas where CO2 emissions can be reduced, which will then influence the design of future products.
We are working on a systematic analysis of the social and ecological risks all along the value chain. Our goal is to further develop and strengthen transparency in our supply chain for all Bosch eBike products.
A key pillar of our sustainability activity is a transparent supply chain that enables comprehensive tracing of critical raw materials. The eBike battery is the focus here. For example, we have developed a mapping in collaboration with battery cell suppliers, to find out important details about the supply chain - right back to the procurement of raw materials at the mine.
We intend to broaden the scope of this to include other eBike system components that contain materials such as aluminum and magnesium - such as the drive system and the control unit. The results will also be verified by appropriate assessments.
Want to learn more about the Bosch Global Supply Chain Standards? Further information is available here.
Cobalt in battery cells
Batteries are becoming more and more powerful in terms of capacity. This innovation has great advantages, not just technical ones: Through further development of the battery cells by our suppliers, the cobalt content in the cathode of the eBike battery cell has been reduced by 65% compared to the technology used previously.
We are working to offer and improve recycling solutions in all our markets, e.g. by jointly establishing or advising industry solutions and by contacting recycling companies directly. The circular economy pillar also includes the development of new packaging and transport concepts.
Remanufacturing of eBike drives
Repairability and easy maintenance are two of our most important criteria in product development and essential cornerstones of a functioning circular economy. We provide independent bicycle retailers with the knowledge and tools to carry out maintenance and minor repairs to the drive unit. Bosch eBike drive units that are replaced free of charge under warranty and goodwill are reconditioned, which means that the drives are technically overhauled and, after a final test, are made available to the customer again with full functionality.
Recycling eBike batteries
Once a battery has reached the end of its lifetime, it must be disposed of appropriately. We would urge the users of our eBike systems to take defective or disused batteries to their local specialist dealer, who will ensure they are disposed of in the appropriate manner. Appropriate recycling practices save resources and valuable raw materials are returned to the materials cycle.
New packaging and transport concepts
Since September 2020, eBike drives from Bosch eBike Systems have been delivered in easy-to-recycle moulded fibre packaging instead of polystyrene. This not only saves material and recycling costs, but also ensures optimised packing density during transport and storage. We also deliver our products on Euro pallets, which are exchanged and reused after unloading.