electric car battery disposal

Here is a detailed post about Electric Car Battery Disposal. Suppose you are looking for ev battery recycling companies stock. Then reading this article may help. It also includes lithium ion battery recycling companies.

Once batteries reach recycling facilities they get to be discharged and the materials making them up sorted out. In this way, materials such as nickel, cobalt, manganese or copper are sorted out via heating and shredding processes followed by others such as ferromagnetism or hydrophobicity.

On the other hand, despite also having chemically stored energy, electric cars release it electrochemically without any kind of combustion, thanks to lithium-ion batteries. This means that there is no fuel being burned and therefore no air pollution through CO2 happening while driving.

ev battery recycling companies stock

Electric Car Battery Disposal

EVERY DAY, MILLIONS of lithium-ion batteries roll off the line at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. These cells, produced on site by Panasonic, are destined to be bundled together by the thousands in the battery packs of new Teslas. But not all the batteries are cut out for a life on the road. Panasonic ships truckloads of cells that don’t pass their qualification tests to a facility in Carson City, about a half hour’s drive south. This is the home of Redwood Materials, a small company founded in 2017 with an ambition to become the anti-Gigafactory, a place where batteries are cooked down into raw materials that will serve as the grist for new cells.

Redwood is part of a wave of new startups racing to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist yet: How to recycle the mountains of batteries from electric vehicles that are past their prime. Over the past decade, the world’s lithium-ion production capacity has increased tenfold to meet the growing demand for EVs. Now vehicles from that first production wave are just beginning to reach the end of their lifespan. This marks the beginning of a tsunami of spent batteries, which will only get worse as more electric cars hit the road. The International Energy Agency predicts an 800 percent increase in the number of EVs over the next decade, each car packed with thousands of cells. The dirty secret of the EV revolution is that it created an e-waste timebomb—and cracking lithium-ion recycling is the only way to defuse it.

Redwood’s CEO and founder J. B. Straubel understands the problem better than most. After all, he played a significant role in creating it. Straubel is cofounder and, until last year, was the CTO at Tesla, a company he joined when it was possible to count all of its employees on one hand. During his time there, the company grew from a scrappy startup peddling sports cars to the most valuable auto manufacturer on the planet. Along the way, Tesla also became one of the world’s largest battery producers. But the way Straubel sees it, those batteries aren’t really a problem. “The major opportunity is to think of this material for reuse and recovery,” he says. “With all these batteries in circulation, it just seems super obvious that eventually we’re going to build a remanufacturing ecosystem.”

There are two main ways to deactivate lithium-ion batteries. The most common technique, called pyrometallurgy, involves burning them to remove unwanted organic materials and plastics. This method leaves the recycler with just a fraction of the original material—typically just the copper from current collectors and nickel or cobalt from the cathode. A common pyro method, called smelting, uses a furnace powered with fossil fuels, which isn’t great for the environment, and it loses a lot of aluminum and lithium in the process. But it is simple, and smelting factories that currently exist to process ore from the mining industry are already able to handle batteries. Of the small fraction of lithium-ion batteries that are recycled in the US—just 5 percent of all spent cells—most of them end up in a smelting furnace.

The other approach is called hydrometallurgy. A common form of this technique, called leaching, involves soaking lithium-ion cells in strong acids to dissolve the metals into a solution. More materials, including lithium, can be recovered this way. But leaching comes with its own challenges. Recyclers must preprocess the cells to remove unwanted plastic casings and drain the charge on the battery, which increases cost and complexity. It’s part of the reason why spent lithium-ion batteries have been treated as waste ever since the first commercial cells hit the market in the early 1990s. It was often several times cheaper to mine new material, especially lithium, than recover it with leaching

Redwood uses a combination of pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy to recover these valuable materials. First, technicians wearing reflective silver heat suits cook the batteries in converters to separate the metals. Rather than using fossil fuels to burn the material, like in a conventional smelting process, Redwood’s pyro technique uses residual energy in the batteries, such as the organics in the electrolyte, to drive the conversion process. The stuff that’s left over is a metal alloy that is filtered through a hydrometallurgical process to recover individual compounds.

Straubel declined to go into the specifics of the company’s recovery techniques, but he claims that it can recover between 95 and 98 percent of a battery’s nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminum, and graphite, and more than 80 percent of its lithium. By the time a battery has made it through Redwood’s recycling facility, it has been broken down into its basic ingredients—lithium carbonate, cobalt sulfate, and nickel sulfate—that are ready to be reintegrated into the battery manufacturing process. “We’re going to build a remanufacturing ecosystem for all those batteries,” says Straubel. “Material can get reused almost infinitely. There’s no inherent degradation to the metal atoms.”

Many of the challenges that come with lithium-ion recycling stem from the fact that the facilities that process them weren’t designed specifically for cooking down batteries. But people at the vanguard of battery recycling expect that creating dedicated facilities will improve the industry’s economics. “We’re focused on a bespoke process that is specifically designed for lithium ion batteries because we’re starting to see increased volumes,” says Tim Johnston, the cofounder of Li-Cycle, a Canadian battery recycler. “Historically, batteries were viewed as waste, and we seek to turn that on its head by focusing on them as a resource.”

Li-Cycle bills itself as the largest lithium-ion recycler in North America, and takes a different approach to recovery than Redwood. The company’s process skips smelting entirely and refines the battery with leaching alone. First, they drop the batteries into a vat that simultaneously discharges and shreds them. Next, the cells travel through a staged chemical bath to unlock the metals trapped inside them. The process converts almost everything back into a usable raw material—the plastic from the battery’s separator is turned into flakes, the current collectors are turned into copper and aluminum foils, the graphite from the anode is turned into a carbon concentrate, and the cathode materials like nickel, cobalt, and lithium are individually recovered for new batteries

“We don’t produce any meaningful amounts of waste,” says Johnston. “We don’t produce any meaningful amount of air emissions, we don’t produce any waste water, and everything is done at a low temperature. The footprint is very small.”

Arguably, the most significant innovation at Li-Cycle is not the chemical processes but the design of the recycling facilities themselves. Li-Cycle uses a “hub and spoke” approach, in which batteries are preprocessed at different sites in the US and Canada, each a modular factory that turns the cells into black mass. The spokes feed this inert material back to a central hub, where it is refined into usable battery-grade chemicals. Today, Li-Cycle operates spokes in Ontario and Rochester, and just received state permission to open its first commercial hub in New York in 2022

The processing equipment at each spoke is packaged in shipping containers that can be sited close to battery production facilities or municipal collection sites to minimize the distance a battery has to travel once it’s depleted. This system sidesteps one of the most significant hurdles for lithium-ion recycling, which is simply getting the waste where it needs to go. These batteries are federally designated as a Class 9 hazardous material, which means they’re subjected to rigorous—and expensive—shipping restrictions to reduce the risk of fire or explosions during the journey.

Smelting and bleaching are the quickest ways to address the rapidly growing challenges with lithium-ion waste, but they may not be the best ones. Their end products are battery-grade materials, but these still require a lot of processing before they’re ready to go back into a cell. A battery’s cathode, for example, is nanoengineered to boost performance. So some battery experts are working on a process called direct recovery, which salvages cathode material without destroying its crystalline nanostructure. This would dramatically reduce the cost of reusing the material.

In 2019, the Department of Energy tapped Argonne National Laboratory to lead its ReCell Center, which is focused on improving lithium-ion recycling techniques. A key part of that goal is direct recycling. It’s still early days for ReCell, but scientists at the center have hit on a few direct recycling processes that they hope will demonstrate the potential of this approach. They’ve already successfully recovered battery material with many of these techniques in the lab, but a benchtop demo is only a first step toward a method that will be economical at scale

“The goal of the center is to come up with something that will convince industry to take this on,” says Linda Gaines, the ReCell Center chief scientist and a transportation systems analyst at Argonne National Laboratory. “We need to answer all the questions about what this is going to look like when it’s scaled up.

The challenge with direct recycling is that cells are not designed with material recovery in mind. Instead, they’re manufactured to produce energy for a long time, and as cheaply as possible. Generally speaking, recycling isn’t even an afterthought. And this makes them hard to unpack. Individual cells are complex systems that have several chemically-distinct components mixed—sometimes welded—together in a small volume. These become challenging to extract without the help of strong acids or extreme temperatures.

For now, Gaines and her colleagues are focused on figuring out how to salvage the structure of batteries that already exist. In the future, however, it’s possible that batteries may be made to be recycled—but only if that’s cost effective and doesn’t affect performance. “Designing for recycling is a very important area, but you can’t sacrifice performance at all, or nobody’s going to want to do it,” says Gaines. “The best way to attack that isn’t obvious, and to be honest, there hasn’t been a lot of really good work in that area.”

Still, there are plenty of other changes that can be made to the way battery systems are manufactured to improve recycling efforts, says Carlton Cummins, the CTO of Aceleron. He cofounded the company in 2015 after he started looking into the afterlife of EVs and “realized that you can reuse most of the car except the battery,” he says. “It wasn’t designed for repair, reuse, or upgrade. The key focus at the time was to build it cheaply and quickly.” As a result, the cells used in EV and stationary storage battery packs tend to have multiple welds per battery that connect dozens of batteries so they can be controlled as one unit. Cummins says this is a technique of convenience borrowed from the consumer electronics industry, but it makes automotive battery packs remarkably more difficult to disassemble for upgrades or recycling.

lithium ion battery recycling companies

Aceleron’s solution to the problem is deceptively simple. Cummins and his team designed a battery container that can be used for a variety of different cell types to link them without a welded connection. The company’s battery platform, Circa, compresses the batteries in a hard shell case and uses a removable circuit to connect them. This means that if an individual cell fails, or the pack’s owner wants to upgrade to a better battery, the cells can be swapped out by loosening some nuts and bolts. “The way batteries are designed today, everything is welded and glued together, and the assumption is that at the end of usage it is disposed of,” says Cummins. “We had to reinvent how you assemble batteries with something that is designed for reuse as well as recycling.”

There are still a number of technical, political, and economic challenges that lithium-ion recyclers will have to meet, and success is not guaranteed. Cobalt, for example, is the most expensive material in most EV batteries, but battery manufacturers are chasing new cobalt-free chemistries. It’s uncertain whether recyclers will still find material recovery worthwhile if this valuable mineral isn’t in the mix to sell back to manufacturers. Still, the new generation of battery recyclers are betting that they can find a way to close the loop on the lithium-ion supply chain and make a buck while they do it. If they’re right, they may turn black mass into a green revolution.

If You’re Considering an Electric Car, Be Sure to Do Your Homework

Just a few years ago, many people may have never seen an electric car in person, unless they lived in a place like California where electric vehicles are popular and readily available. Now, several automakers offer compelling electric vehicles (EVs) nationwide. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a Tesla Model 3 regardless of where you live.

As electric cars become less expensive and widely available, more people are interested in buying them. There are many reasons – aside from the environmental benefits – to switch to an EV, such as superb efficiency, cheaper energy costs, less maintenance, and better overall performance. However, making the transition from gas to electric is a big step. Before you take the plunge, be sure to do your homework and ask the right questions.Closeup of electric vehicleWestend61 / Getty Images

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most important considerations for potential EV owners, listed in the form of questions. While some include complete answers, others depend on various factors, including which EV you choose, where you live, and how you plan to use the car. 

Read through the following information to decide if electric car ownership is something you’re really serious about. If you decide to move forward, be sure to get all of your questions answered before completing the transaction.

Read on to learn if picking up an EV is the right choice for you.

1. Does the Car Have Enough Range?

Many of today’s EVs offer over 200 miles of range on a charge, though there are still some that have much less. Tesla is currently the only automaker that offers EVs with over 300 miles of range. The Tesla Model S currently holds the record, with up to an EPA-rated 402 miles per charge.

With 200 miles of range, most people aren’t going to experience range anxiety during their daily commutes. Keep in mind that range varies regardless of the EPA’s estimates. Many factors impact a car’s range, such as your speed, your driving habits, the weather, and the car’s climate control. It’s wise to anticipate having less range than the car’s EPA estimate, just to be safe. If you travel over 200 miles on a daily basis, you may want to steer clear of most EVs. 

2. Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle at Home?

One of the most convenient aspects of EV ownership is charging at home. At the end of the day, you simply plug the car in. When you wake in the morning, it’s ready to go. This means no more smelly hands from pumping gas, no more standing out in the cold, and no more pulling your car out of your garage to warm it up.

With that said, there are several important considerations. You can charge your EV using a standard 110-volt wall outlet (Level 1 charging), but it’s going to take some time. Level 1 charging adds about 4 miles of range per hour. If you don’t use many miles of range each day, this may work for you. However, if you deplete a full 250 miles of range, it will take several days to recharge this way.Family preparing for road trip while charging vehicle in a home drivewayMaskot / Getty Images

Most EV owners hire an electrician to install a 240-volt outlet in their garage. This allows for Level 2 charging, which can add 25 miles of range per charging hour. Make sure to find out how much it will cost to add 240-volt service at your home. 

If you don’t have a garage, you can plug in outside. If you have a 240-volt outlet installed outside, make sure it’s up to code, and that your charging cord or station is designed for outdoor use.

Learn more about charging an EV at home »

3. How Much Does Electricity Cost?

Just like gasoline, the price of electricity varies depending on where you live. The average price of electricity in the U.S. is 13.28 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Louisiana, you’ll pay 9.5 cents, compared to 19.79 cents in California. Regardless of where you live or where you charge your EV, electricity will still cost you much less than gas for a competitor in the same segment. According to the EPA, fuel costs for a BMW 3 Series are over three times more expensive than charging a Tesla Model 3. However, there are details you should know in order to save the most money. 

Charging at home is typically cheaper than public charging, though some public charging units are free. Electricity prices can vary based on the time of day. It’s usually much less expensive to charge overnight or on the weekend than it is to charge at peak times, such as weekday afternoons and evenings. Your local utility company can break it all down for you. Some utility providers even offer special plans to accommodate EV owners.

4. Are There Public Charging Stations Nearby?

While home charging is the most convenient way to juice up your electric car, you’ll probably need to charge on the road at some point. Some public charging stations are Level 2, but many offer DC fast charging, which allows you to charge your car rapidly. Some EVs can be charged to 80% in less than 30 minutes at a fast-charging station. However, there are many factors involved. 

Make sure you find out if the EV you’re planning on picking up is capable of fast-charging, as well as how many miles you can expect to add in a given time. In addition, you should locate the charging stations in your area and on your typical routes, and then determine what type of charging they support. Closeup of public EV charging station signAtiwat Studio / Getty Images

There are many resources available, including PlugShare.com and PlugInAmerica.org. Charging networks, such as EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America also have their own interactive maps. Tesla owners have exclusive access to the Supercharger network, which includes fast-charging stations strategically located nationwide.

5. Can I Take My EV on Road Trips?

Any electric car is capable of road-tripping. Whether it’s convenient or viable comes down to your route and your car’s range. If your EV offers 200 or 300 miles of range, you’ll probably be ready for a bathroom and snack break by the time you’re getting low on battery power. 

There shouldn’t be an issue mapping out your trip and making sure there’s a charging station every three hours or so – especially if you’re traveling on major highways. However, you may have to diverge from the usual route to make sure you can DC fast-charge at each stop. Otherwise, your travel time will be extended significantly.

Many EV owners also own a gas car that they use for family road trips. If you don’t go on long road trips often, you shouldn’t worry too much. You could always rent a car for the annual family road trip and still save money using your EV as your daily driver.

6. What Electric Vehicle Incentives are Available?

The federal U.S. government offers electric car buyers a $7,500 tax credit. The full amount only applies to new, fully electric cars. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are also eligible for the credit, though it reduces based on the size of the car’s battery. Longer range PHEVs like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid qualify for the full tax credit, but the Toyota Prius Prime and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid are only eligible for about $4,500.

Not all EVs qualify for the tax credit. The incentive phases out in increments after an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles. For example, Tesla and GM EVs are no longer eligible. It’s also important to note that not everyone’s tax situation will allow them to take advantage of the credit. Before buying an EV, be sure to talk to a tax professional to make sure you’ll get the credit. You can’t get the credit if you lease an EV, but the dealership can get it and apply it to the lease discounts. However, that’s not always the case. If you plan to lease, find out if the tax credit is applied or if the dealership is planning to pocket the credit.closeup of EV being charged with US currency overlaidStadtratte / Getty Images

States and cities also offer credits and incentives in addition to the federal tax credit. Make sure to do your homework to find out if you can get a local discount, financial assistance for a home charging system, or any other local incentive for purchasing an electric car.

7. Should I Buy a New or Used Electric Car?

Electric cars are expensive, so buying used will save you money. Interestingly, all new EVs are pricier than new gas-powered cars, but many used EVs are much cheaper than most used gas cars. This is because most EVs depreciate more rapidly than traditional cars due to the tax incentives and limited demand. However, this isn’t true of Tesla’s vehicles, which tend to hold their value better than most cars. Many used electric cars also have low mileage due to being relatively new and having range limitations.

Buying new guarantees your car will have a full warranty, the longest electric range currently available, and up-to-date tech and safety features. While batteries don’t degrade quickly, buying new still gives you the peace of mind that your battery is in tip-top condition. Finally, the federal EV tax credit and other electric car incentives aren’t available on the purchase of used EVs. 

Many of the same pros and cons of buying a new or used gas-only vehicle applies to EVs, too. Read our guide on choosing between a new or used model to learn more.

8. Is it Better to Buy or Lease an EV?

If you’re in the market for a new EV, you’ll have to decide whether to buy or lease. EV leasing is much more popular than buying since electric cars are so expensive. While buying a car, especially with a low interest rate, is generally a more sound financial decision, it’s not a good idea if you can barely afford the monthly payment. 

A $40,000 car loan with zero APR over five years will set you back almost $700 per month. You can often lease that same EV with a monthly payment that’s half that. Moreover, new electric cars are coming to market regularly, and current models are getting better every year. Many EVs get new technology and more range with each new model year. Leasing assures that you can take advantage of the newest technology or swap your car for an even better EV every few years. If your tax situation won’t allow you to get the federal electric car tax credit, you may benefit from the dealership applying it to your lease as a discount.EV charging at a car dealership lotMaskot / Getty Images

In the end, you have to ask yourself how long you plan to keep your electric car. Will you eventually pay off the loan? If you plan to sell it, realize that EV resale value may work against you. However, leasing means having a monthly car payment for a long period of time. Also, exceeding the car’s mileage restrictions or damaging the car may end up costing you when it’s time to turn it in.

Choosing to buy or lease an EV is similar to any vehicle. Our article on buying versus leasing can provide you with more information.

9. What Do I Need to Know About EV Maintenance?

Overall, electric cars require less maintenance than gas-powered cars. There are virtually no fluids to change, and the friction brakes last longer since regenerative braking assists with stopping the car. An EV’s battery and motor have the potential to last longer than the life of the car. In the rare event that an EV’s battery needs replacing, it can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $16,000, and that doesn’t include labor. For comparison, replacing the engine in a gas car can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on the size of the engine and the hours of labor.

Fortunately, federal regulations require that automakers cover an electric vehicle’s battery for eight years or 100,000 miles. Keep in mind warranties can be packed with exceptions and exclusions, so make sure you understand exactly what’s covered.

10. How Much Does it Cost to Insure an Electric Car?

Insurance tends to cost more for electric cars than traditional cars. However, it has nothing to do with the vehicle’s safety. Instead, it’s because EVs are more expensive than gas-powered cars. More expensive cars typically cost more to repair. In addition, insurance companies take into account the high cost of EV battery packs. If an accident causes damage to the pack, and it needs to be replaced, it’s one of the most expensive repairs insurance companies will have to cover. 

On average, you’ll pay 23% more to insure an electric car than a gas car. Some insurance companies are more forgiving than others, and rates vary widely depending on many variables. For example, State Farm’s rates don’t seem to increase much for electric cars, but Allstate charges a hefty premium. Regardless of the car you drive, be sure to shop around for the best insurance rate. Our auto insurance guide can help you find the best options to insure your EV.

most reliable electric and hybrid cars

10. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014-present)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Reliability rating 97.8%

Although 14% of Outlander PHEVs suffered a fault, most of these were minor niggles relating to bodywork, interior trim and non-engine electrics. All cars could still be driven and a third were repaired in a day or less, with two-thirds of work done for free under warranty. Some owners were charged up to £750, though.


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8=. BMW i3 (2013-present)

BMW i3 2018 front cornering

Reliability rating 97.9%

Just under 13% of i3s have caused their owners trouble in the past 12 months, with these mostly suffering from problems with their infotainment/sat-nav systems and interior trim. All of the affected cars could still be driven, with a third fixed in less than a day, but another third took up to a week and the rest more than a week to put right. At least all repairs were done under warranty.

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8=. Honda CR-V Hybrid (2018-present)

Honda CR-V Hybrid

Reliability rating 97.9%

Only 8% of CR-V Hybrids went wrong and non-engine electrics were the only problem area. All cars could still be driven and were fixed the same day under warranty. 

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7. Toyota Corolla (2018-present)

Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Reliability rating 98.4%

Just 5% of Corolla owners reported a fault with their car and the only problematic area was the 12-volt battery. Although all cars were off the road for more than a week, all work was done for free. 

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6. Hyundai Kona Electric (2018-present)

Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh

Reliability rating 98.5%

Just 7% of Kona Electrics went wrong, with the ancillary battery being the only area affected. All of those cars could still be driven and the repair work was done under warranty, although this took more than a week in each case.

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5. Lexus RX (2016-present)

Lexus RX L

Reliability rating 99.1%

A mere 4% of the RX Hybrids we were told about had developed a fault in the previous 12 months. Non-engine electrics were the only issue and all work was done for free, in most cases in a day or less. 

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4. Toyota RAV4 (2019-present)

Toyota RAV4

Reliability rating 99.2%

Toyota is renowned for its reliability, and the latest RAV4 shows why; just 7% of cars went wrong, with the battery being the only area that was affected. All of the cars could still be driven and were repaired in a day or less, and all work was carried out for free.

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3. Lexus NX (2014-present)

Used Lexus NX 14-present

Reliability rating 99.3%

Only 6% of NX owners reported a fault on their car, with issues with the infotainment/sat-nav being the most common, followed by the bodywork. All of the cars remained driveable and were put right in a day or less, with the cost covered by the warranty.

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2. Tesla Model 3 (2019-present)

Tesla Model 3 front

Reliability rating 99.4%

Tesla’s newest model is not only the most dependable executive car but also the highest-scoring electric car. Just 5% of cars suffered a fault, according to owners. What’s more, they could all still be driven and were fixed in a day or less at no cost to owners.

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1. Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2011-2020)

New Toyota Yaris Hybrid vs Renault Zoe

Reliability rating 99.5%

As reliable as the Model 3 is, it’s beaten to top spot by the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. This small car is incredibly dependable, with a mere 5% of the cars we were told about having suffered a fault. Again, all of the affected cars could still be driven and were fixed in a day or less for free.

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