At a glance:
- EV battery recycling will be essential to make the green transition a success
- It is definitely possible to reuse these cells, but there’s a long way to go before we can do EV battery recycling at scale
- Learn about the EV battery recycling process, as well as alternative uses for spent cells
- Find out where and how EV batteries can be recycled
- Which materials in an electric car battery can be recycled?
- Where can you have your electric car batteries recycled?
- How are electric car batteries reused?
- How are electric car batteries repurposed?
- What is valuable in an EV battery?
- Can the recycled materials be reused to make new batteries?
One of the biggest drivers in the rise of electric vehicles (EV) has been concern about the impact of carbon emissions from exhaust pipes. However, as EV usage has grown, we have become increasingly aware that battery powered cars are far from benign when it comes to their environmental impact.
Here’s the problem. Most EV cells today contain a complex mix of metals, including fairly rare elements like cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel (as well as more common materials such as graphite, aluminium, copper, steel and iron). Extracting these materials through mining can do a lot of environmental damage, not to mention the poor working conditions found in many source countries. Then, once EV batteries reach the end of their life, it’s dangerous to leave them in landfill. They can cause fires as they degrade, or leach pollution into the soil and groundwaters.
The obvious solution here would be to start recycling old electric car batteries. That would reduce the need to keep extracting lots of raw materials, while avoiding the dangers of leaving the cells to decay. So, can electric car batteries be recycled? And if so, what are the options? Let’s find out.