The heightened demand for electric vehicles also means that there’s a heightened demand for EV batteries. The question of how those will be made is an open one — and will likely involve increased levels of mining for the minerals necessary to build them. But there’s another option on the table as well: recycling existing EV batteries. While this industry is still developing, being able to re-use certain components of old batteries seems like a win-win for the environment.
It also might be a win-win from a financial perspective. As Reuters points out in a new report (via Autoblog), the Inflation Recovery Act has an interesting component that related to subsidies: if an EV battery is recycled in the United States, it counts as domestically produced, regardless of where the battery was originally made.
Mike O’Kronley of the company Ascend Elements was very clear in his description of the IRA’s effect on the industry, telling Reuters that it “[changes] the demand equation for battery materials.” While China still leads in terms of global EV battery recycling efforts, the U.S.’s renewed focus puts the country ahead of the E.U.
This Former Tesla Executive Has a Plan for Recycling EV BatteriesThis addresses one of the big questions for EV adoption
The Reuters article also discusses the growing popularity of facilities where old batteries are turned into new batteries in a constant cycle. It’s not hard to see the appeal of this — nor is it difficult to see the ways in which this industry could grow dramatically in the years to come.
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