Battery pack recycling

Battery pack recycling

What do you answer to people saying that EVs are not the solution because of the battery packs at the end of the car life expectancy?

I’m not aware of any article specifying what is the cost of recycling the batteries to make a new battery pack or reuse the battery as a power storage source at home.

What do you answer to that argument?

Magic 8 Ball | 24 mars 2019

Battery packs that reach end of life for cars go on to a secondary market and are used as power storage batteries for home and industry and last for many years in that capacity.

SalisburySam | 24 mars 2019

Always answer a question with another question: ICE vehicles are not the solution because of the motors at the end of the car’s life expectancy? I’m guessing most motors sit in salvage yards or scrap piles rusting away. No secondary life, no melting down to recycle metals, just waste. I’d be happy to be wrong on this.

twistedskipper | 24 mars 2019

Well, actually, answering a question with a question is not a valid form of argument - it does nothing to alter the state of the original question, it only offers something to compare it to.

Here's one link to an article describing some of the companies and activities around getting something useful out of end-of-life EV batteries:

In general, there seem to be two approaches: use the battery some more for other purposes where the reduced capacity is not a problem, or (eventually for all batteries?) extract the useful materials from the expended battery.

Assuming we don't just throw them in landfills, it seems the remaining question to be explored is primarily trading off the near-term cost effectiveness vs. the long-term impact to the environment. I assume/hope that trade-off will become more and more favorable to reusing/recycling as time goes by, if it isn't already.

Note that in this particular article, Tesla is identified as being inclined to reclaim materials from their end-of-life EV batteries, rather than repurpose them. Has anyone seen this stance identified in any other articles?

RichardKJ | 24 mars 2019

At the Gigafactory 1 opening Tesla showed robots being developed to disassemble and recycle battery packs. This can be quite effective because the robot can know exactly how the battery pack was put together.

jordanrichard | 24 mars 2019

I just tell people that they use them in wall chargers.

disapr | 25 mars 2019
wiboater4 | 25 mars 2019

Tesla has said they can be used in powerwalls for homes and at the end of their useful life be recycled. I think Elon stated that in the model 3 reaveal. Get used to hearing those kinds of arguments though.

Just_Ted | 25 mars 2019

Go to your nearest "pick-your-own" auto part yard or salvage yard. (In the DC-Baltimore metro area a good example is "Krazy Rays", selling used auto parts at krazy low prices since 1984!)

Try to find a catalytic converter... (you can't). The price for the platinum is SOOO high, Rays pulls them out before even putting the car up on blocks in the lot.

The same is true for battery packs. I recall reading somewhere that up to 98% of Prius batteries end up getting recycled. The batteries are too valuable, first for their residual capacity (think about taking a battery out of a flashlight and still being able to run a remote control with it, the battery is GOOD ENOUGH for that lesser use) and then for the raw materials. (the Cobalt and Lithium are in almost pure form and highly concentrated = a lot of bang for the buck)

gballant4570 | 25 mars 2019

The batteries will have far greater value as batteries than they will have for their constituent parts. Performance as grid storage will still be great when performance as car power sources is no longer optimal. Of course the person receiving this information will most likely ignore it - they are already far too heavily invested in their own personal delusion. But at least you denied them the satisfaction of thinking they stumped you, with an honest, real answer.....

RES IPSA | 25 mars 2019

I will be probably selling my M3 as a used car, but for those that plan on keeping their cars until they on longer function properly, converting your M3 battery to your home's use would be ideal. Hopefully there wuld still be 40-50 kWh left on the battery.

EVolution | 4 avril 2019

I hope there will be powerwall compatibility kits in 10 years

Pepperidge | 4 avril 2019

Tesla will recycle the battery. It is the highest quality ore for cobalt and other metal.

Nexxus | 18 avril 2019

A Canadian company, American Maganese (AMYZF) has just patented a recycling process to get between 92 to 95 percent of the aluminum, cobalt, lithium, and copper extracted from the li-ion batteries, using a process that uses lower temperatures (ie - less energy) to do the extraction. The company has aligned itself with US's DOE and other organizations and have proven their process by an outside testing company called Kennemex.

This is just one company and one example of the future of recycling li-ion batteries.

Look for a lot of these companies to come along in the future to reprocess these batteries. Very little of these batteries will end up in landfills.