FACT: EV batteries can be recycled and will be because there are valuable resources contained within. The main material is stainless steel and, by weight, steel is the most recycled metal in the world. Batteries also contain copper, which is in such strong demand by recyclers. Other elements such as lithium, cobalt, and manganese require specialised equipment to recover, but they can be collected by recyclers as mixed metal dust that’s shipped off for further processing. Alternatively, battery packs can be returned to their manufacturer to be directly recycled into new ones.
Lithium has quadrupled from its price in 2020 and is at a record high. This is expected to cause a shortage of at least some brands of home batteries in Australia over the next few months and may affect the supply of EVs. Happily, it will also increase the focus on recycling. The price spike won’t last, but improvements in recycling will.
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