E-bikes: Doctibike, battery “clinic”

E-bikes: Doctibike, battery "clinic"


By Olivier Razemon

Posted today at 9:16, updated at 12:35.

The variety of batteries placed in transparent plastic containers on a shelf in Doctibike’s workshop in Villeurbanne (Rhône) testifies to the ingenuity of bicycle manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition. They are compact, long, flat, rounded, protected by an aluminum casing or embedded in a colored metal tube, designed to snap into the bike frame or to be placed on a luggage carrier …

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However, in addition to the design, all batteries contain the same base material: cells several centimeters high, similar to batteries placed in a computer mouse. “Electronic cigarette contains one cell, bicycle battery, 30 to 40, and car battery, 4000”explains Anne-Sophie Caistiker, who founded the company in 2014.

As the name suggests, Doctibike is a battery clinic that drives e-bike, scooter and scooter engines. Those waiting on the shelf are destined for repair or renovation before being returned to their owner or put back on the market.

With its 20 employees, twice as many as in 2021, Doctibike is a growing company.

With 20 employees, twice as many as in 2021, Doctibike is a growing company that repaired or refurbished 40,000 batteries in 2021. “It will probably double in 2022”assures M.me Cashier. A total of 60% of its customers are distributors, bicycle manufacturers or electric scooter operators such as Tier or Voi.

Careful diagnosis

Some 40% of individuals come directly to the company’s headquarters in Villeurbanne. On this day at the end of May, a man with thick gray hair arrives directly from Clermont-Ferrand. “My bike’s battery is flat.” Nothing left”, he says, desperate and determined to buy a new one. He does not know that the object can be repaired.

A few days later, the Doctibike employee opens the battery, checks the wiring, motherboard operation and cell status. You will then need to recover the damaged mechanism or recondition the report with new articles.

The repair costs from 50 to 100 euros, the renovation between 250 and 350 euros, compared to 500 euros for a new battery.

The operation lasts a week; the repair costs from 50 to 100 euros, the renovation between 250 and 350 euros, compared to 500 euros for a new battery. “The user can keep the same bike even if the brand no longer produces batteries, which often happens”argues Anne-Sophie Caistiker.

At the entrance to the workshop are stored 500 batteries from the scooter fleet. After a careful diagnosis, Mike Garcia, a Doctibike technician, estimates that only about forty of them will need to be crushed in order to recycle the metal that makes them up. Others can be saved.

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