EV Batteries: What Happens To Them?
A lithium-ion battery (the most common battery form found in electric vehicles) will last up to 10 years before it needs replacing.
But what happens to the battery when it reaches its life expectancy?
A lot of people have raised their concerns about what happens to an electric vehicle battery once it is no good for the car. Will there be a battery waste crisis?
The answer is no because they can be recycled.
Toyota will be providing a full line up of electric vehicles at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the batteries that will be used in the fleet will be the same that are found in your phone or laptop.
Now, what do you do with your old phone/laptop batteries?
Most end up neglected in a drawer or chucked into landfills, which is not the right way to dispose of them.
With electric vehicle batteries, this won’t happen because it’s not an issue that can just be neglected or chucked away.
However, before they are recycled, they can be reused.
Once an EV battery is no longer useful for the vehicle, it doesn’t mean that is the end of its energy supply.
Typically, an EV battery still has around 75%-80% of useful energy left, which can be used to power other things.
In Amsterdam, Ajax’s stadium, the Johan Cruijff Arena, is powered by new and used EV batteries. The energy needed comes partly from their local grid, but the majority is from the 4,200 solar panels on the stadium’s roof.
Not only does it give the stadium a stable back up system, but it also reduces the pressure on the electricity grid from concerts and events.
They can collect and discharge energy for another 10 years after leaving the vehicle, allowing them to power houses and the national grid.
Once the batteries have served their purpose in vehicles and have provided extra energy for the grid, they then go on to be recycled.
80% of an EV battery can be recycled, to harvest the raw materials to reuse them!
As the technology around electric vehicles evolves, so will the process of disposing of EV batteries and managing the number of EV batteries that need to be recycled. There are projects across the globe working on developing recycling technology, to increase how much of the battery can be recycled, which should be put in place next year.