Mobile phone batteries are bad enough with millions of them around globally, but electric car batteries ar much bigger and may prove even harder to deal with.
As the popularity of electric cars increases, so too does the problem of what to do with their used batteries.
Thinking about the problem with mobile phone batteries, there are currently xbn people using/devices in the world. These batteries are small enough to be thrown away and if they are, they can leech the lead, cadmium, manganese, zinc, mercury, nickel, nickel hydride and lithium they contain. These metals can get into the water table, poisoning sources of fresh water. Eventually, the chemicals from batteries end up in our oceans.
Car batteries from electric vehicles can’t just be thrown in the rubbish at the end of their life cycle, but they also can’t be recycled universally, and therefore cost-effectively at the moment. Moves are being made to ensure all batteries going forward are recyclable and one would hope they are left in the hands of responsible people to be recycled at the end of their life.
Today, a lot of cars are recycled almost entirely due to the value of their constituent parts. Take a look at some info on recycling cars. We can expect the same level of recycling with electric car bodies, though the presence of even more electrical components and wires might make things a bit more complicated.
Unfortunately, these electrical vehicles we just don’t have the capacity to deal with the huge numbers of batteries that will come to the end of their life as things stand right now. Magnets are almost all made in China because they have the facilities and available workforce to deal with the production and the same goes for the Lithium battery market.
What’s going to happen when we don’t have capacity to deal with the car batteries as they increase in number? There is a big gap in the market for electric vehicle battery recycling, but there is time to deal with it. If the production of batteries can be standardised, it means cost savings through economies of scale for manufacturers and widespred recycling.
If countries can jump into action as soon as possible, they’ll have the chance to also take back some control over the production of batteries by recycling old ones, reducing the impact of any shortages.
What will happen to dead car batteries? They’ll be recycled, that’s what.