With modern trends to reduce car emissions, and the cost of charging being lower than filling a car with gasoline or diesel, the electrification of cars is almost inevitable. But what about the possibilities of autorecycling, especially in the case of lithium-ion batteries?
Electric vehicles: what do we know?
Plug-in cars use lithium-ion batteries, while hybrid cars use a combination of gasoline and batteries, both of which are electric vehicles. Hybrids were the first step towards the change of the automotive industry, and a much easier way for the people to start using electric vehicles.
Hybrids are also an easier material for the car dismantlers, being able to recycle more, with a drivetrain, or catalytic converters. Autoparts24 is a carparts marketplace for those looking for checked parts, also for electric cars.
However, the batteries may be quite difficult to recycle for those who have no experience and knowledge about it. Electric cars have a heavier structure, to be able to carry its heavy battery.
The power of electric cars for the autorecycling
With traditional cars, the most metal dismantlers can retrieve is steel. The shift in demand for different metals may be difficult to imagine if all cars were EVs today. There would be an increase in lithium demand of over 2,800 percent, a rise in cobalt demand of 2,000 percent, and a rise in demand for rare earth elements of 655 percent. Graphite, manganese, nickel, copper, aluminum, and copper are also included in the list.
Although the metals are hard to separate from each other, they would have to be extracted from electric cars before they were shredded because they’re very valuable and important for the economy.
Lithium-ion batteries: what’s all the fuss about?
With the lithium-ion battery market rising 80 percent between 2000 and 2018, there is no doubt that electric vehicles are taking over. Between 2019 and 2030, the demand for the batteries is estimated to grow 17-fold.
Batteries, according to big car manufacturers, don’t pose the same environmental threat we were all afraid of at the beginning.
First of all, it became clear such batteries will outlast the vehicles, and at the end of the vehicle’s life, which may be considered as 15 or 20 years, the batteries will probably still have 60-70% of usable charge. Then, replacing the battery won’t be the solution – it will be better to recycle the car, and reuse the battery.
Japan is the best example of the battery reuse, placing them at solar farms. In the U.K, such batteries will store energy from solar panels and three wind turbines.