Among the endless flood of “Don’t get me wrong – I love electric cars, but…” articles and publications, we read dire warnings that electric car batteries will wear out in a few years, making cars worthless, unrecyclable. .
Above: Nissan Leaf at a home charging station. picture: dubble / Unsplash
Oddly enough, citizen journalists writing these pieces never cite any sources for their useful battery life information. What do people who work for automakers who were already selling electric vehicles say about this problem?
Well, as Nissan UK Marketing Director Nick Thomas told Forbes recently, “Almost all of the [EV] The batteries we made before are still in cars, and we’ve been selling electric cars for 12 years.”
The much anticipated glut of electric car batteries has not materialized, despite the strong hopes of the anti-EV crowd. As Carlton Reed explains in newly Forbes Article – CommodityUnlike phones or laptops, electric vehicles have advanced battery management systems (BMS) designed to maximize battery life. In the United States, car battery packs are guaranteed against failure for 8 years or 100,000 miles by federal law, and industry experts expect most battery packs to last much longer than that. (battery shame and the battery decay Two different things – all batteries lose their capacity over time, and some drivers may find the gradual decrease in range unsatisfactory.)
“We don’t have a large stockpile of batteries that we can convert into something else,” Thomas said. “It’s the exact opposite of what people feared when we first launched electric vehicles – that the batteries will only last a short time.” Many electric vehicle batteries may last longer than their own, and then have a second life in a stationary storage application before they are finally recycled. “At the end of the car’s life — 15 or 20 years down the road — you take the battery out of the car, and it’s still healthy, probably with 60 or 70 percent of usable charge.”
Take out the battery [of an electric car] And putting in a new battery is not a viable proposition.” “It is more sustainable to take the battery pack out of the car after 20 years, recycle the car, and reuse the battery. The easiest thing to do is to take the entire battery out of the car, put it in a charging container in a rack, and connect it to a solar farm.”
So far, Nissan has collected only a small number of Leaf batteries—from broken cars or warranty issues—and provided some to persistent storage providers. Thomas says that Nissan new factory Currently under construction in Sunderland, England will use EV batteries to store energy from solar panels and wind turbines.
As for recycling, battery manufacturers, automakers, and startups are developing what could one day be Big new industry. The European Union is already regulating the disposal of electric car batteries, and is expected to update its regulations soon to set targets for the recovery of certain metals.
“There is already a very strong battery recycling industry in China,” Thomas said. “I’ve been to a lot of factories in China where they grind the battery into what they call black mass, which then enables them to extract all the precious metals.”
Volkswagen Group recently opened Battery research and development facility in Salzgitter, Germany, which will eventually recycle electric car batteries.
red wood material, a battery recycling company led by Tesla founder JB Straubel, recently raised $700 million from investors to expand its operations in Carson City, Nevada. Straubel recently told Forbes that his company could indeed recover usable amounts of minerals at a lower cost than mining.
The demand for large-scale recycling is likely to lie a few years into the future. “I’m going to be very old and very retired by the time we really need to do a lot of these things,” Nick Thomas told Forbes.
However, building a circular battery supply chain is a project that needs to move forward with every deliberate speed. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the current global recycling capacity of about 180,000 metric tons of batteries per year. Recycling experts told Forbes that electric vehicles sold in 2019 alone will eventually generate 500,000 metric tons of battery waste. The International Energy Agency says that by 2040, there could be 1,300 gigawatt-hours equivalent of spent batteries that need to be recycled.
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