Recycling power: man uses 80 discarded vape batteries 'marketed as disposable' to power e-scooter

Tobiasz Stanford spent seven months collecting discarded vapes - and used their batteries to power an e-scooter (Tobiasz Stanford/SWNS)
Tobiasz Stanford spent seven months collecting discarded vapes - and used their batteries to power an e-scooter (Tobiasz Stanford/SWNS)

A recent graduate has managed to build an e-scooter powered by batteries salvaged from so-called disposable vapes, in a bid to make a statement about waste.

Wiltshire special effects graduate Tobiasz Stanford, 23, has managed to power up a £30 scooter he bought off eBay with 80 of the lithium ion batteries - to show disposable vapes are not as expendable as their makers claim.

It was now capable of reaching top speeds of 25km an hour, lasting six miles in a single charge, and can even tackle hills and puddles. Mr Stanford said he uses it every day, and it is "very reliable".

His scooter had wowed a lot of people, he said, especially when they learned how he had powered it. "The only downfall is that it's quite noisy, but other than that the performance is crazy."

He told SWNS he had discovered disposable vapes used a lithium-ion battery - which could be recharged - after taking several apart. He began recharging the batteries and found after one cycle they could function "almost like a brand new battery".

Mr Standford then noticed fellow students at his university in Stoke-on-Trent using e-scooters, and decided to use his collection of discarded vape batteries to build his own.

"I got all of the batteries for free and found a cheap offer for a scooter on eBay. The scooter didn't have good range and could only go to 16 kilometers per hour," he continued. "It took me a month or two to get it together and I had to be careful wiring up the batteries, but now the scooter works better with the vape batteries than it did before."

The scooter was a commentary on waste, he said. "The amount of vapes I see on the street is really upsetting. These vape batteries have the potential to power a scooter.

"They're very active still yet they're marketed as disposable. It needs to stop." Mr Stanford said 'e-waste' issue needed to be given greater importance.

"When those chemicals break down lithium will start to spill out. The consequences of that will be ridiculous. It will happen over time," he said. "We need to do what we can to stop this from happening, and that includes banning disposable vapes."

Mr Stanford is not the only voice in a rising chorus calling for the ban of disposable vapes, with the BBC reporting local councils across the UK also want them pulled from the shelves. Up to 1.3 million of the devices are thrown away each week.

Some of the common concerns involve the high amount ending up as litter, the potential for their lithium ion batteries to cause fires, and how much the often fruit and candy-flavoured devices appeal to young people.