We have high expectations of electric vehicles to turn around the negative impact our current mobility has on the environment. But what about the batteries that “fuel” those EVs ? Batteries gradually lose their charging power so the key to turn around the climate change is to reuse them rather than disposing of them.
Canada based Li-Cycle specializes in giving old lithium-ion batteries a second life by a complex but efficient dismantling and extraction process that allows to recover nearly 100% of the materials that are in turn used to make up new batteries. The extracted metals such as silver, copper and aluminium can be reapplied in various other industries.
Companies like Li-Cycle can drastically reduce the mining needs for new batteries. This contributes not only to the environment but has an even more significant ethical relevance: it can literally make lives better as some countries where mining activities take place have a very dubious interpretation of human rights.
Some automakers already earn green points by implementing in their waste management the reuse of components and materials. GM goes as far as publishing battery recycling information on a dedicated webpage. Other car manufacturers see a future for used EV-batteries as well: Nissan, Stellantis, BMW and Daimler are invested in breathing new life into used batteries.
At the end of the day, environmental sustainability by full electrification can only be successful if the supply chain is up to par.