Battery Recycling Crisis: Governments, administrations, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and world leaders have been advocating the idea of using Electric Vehicles (EVs) instead of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. The movement and campaign to promote EVs have been ongoing for several years now. The promotional activities and general education has started to show results and the number of EVs is rapidly growing on roads across the world. In recent data revealed by the authorities in the Indian capital New Delhi, Evs constituted 16% of total vehicles sold in the city in the month of December 2022. The numbers look promising as far as the EV market is concerned, however, there is an aspect to it that is being ignored as of now.
How EVs are contributing to a Battery Recycling Crisis:
Threat to the Environment
The massive rise in the number of EVs across the globe is also pushing the number of batteries and is giving rise to an impending threat of battery recycling. Scientists and researchers have been vocal about the problem that the high sale of EVs is giving rise to. This would be a great threat to the environment if it is not taken into consideration.
Design of EV Batteries
The batteries manufactured for the EVs are specially designed to provide additional security and reliability since the battery is part of the power train. The design of the batteries is more like a doll wrapped in various folds. Besides, the metal quantity in the lithium battery is very low. So, from a recycler’s perspective, it is not economically viable to recycle the metal and invest in labor to unpack the battery and collect the metal. So, such batteries cannot be recycled through the normal process adopted in the case of normal batteries.
Direct Recycling is not Viable
Besides, the above problem, the direct recycling method, in which the used batteries are procured in as-is condition and are vacuumed for reuse. The process involves a lot of scientific and industrial processes and is not economically viable unless it is scaled up. If the process is followed on a large scale, only then such units can be set up to ease the recycling of lithium batteries.
This is really an important issue to ponder over and environmentalists have to consider the impacts. Is the cost of switching to EVs really worth it?