0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

This article is more than 2 month old.

How India can capitalise on the rich afterlife of EV batteries

Mini

The discarded lithium-ion EV batteries present a great opportunity to recycle and reuse its precious raw materials like lithium, cobalt, zinc and others -- charging up India's electric dreams.

How India can capitalise on the rich afterlife of EV batteries
Electric vehicles are one of the most important green alternatives that can cut down global carbon emissions. Vehicular pollution remains one of the most prolific sources of carbon emissions that can be feasibly reduced within a short timeframe. However, as EV adoption picks up speed, activists and experts are calling for governments to ready the infrastructure to deal with all the electric waste, in particular, the spent EV batteries.
How long do EV batteries last?
Most modern EVs that are in production rely on one particular kind of electric battery, the lithium-ion (li-ion) battery. Over the life of the battery, as ions from the cathode flow to the anode during charging, and back again during the use of the battery, the cathode starts to degrade. Every time you charge your battery, you are just reducing a little bit of its capacity.
For EV batteries, which generally have a range of 200-250 km, the process of degradation reduces their maximum capacity by around 15-20 percent after 8-10 years of constant use. Heat, erratic charging and usage patterns can also change the lifespan of batteries.
What do to with old batteries?
There are three ways to deal with discarded EV batteries. They can be disposed of in landfills like other e-waste. And they can also be reused or recycled. Since the batteries can still function with 80-85 percent of their peak capacity, they can be used for other appliances or purposes.
The other option remains to recycle the materials found inside the li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries can be recycled for its metals like lithium, nickel, zinc, cobalt and more, that can be reutilised for making new EV batteries or even other smaller li-ion batteries. As these metals are non-renewable, and only found in finite quantities on the planet, it is extremely important to recycle many of these rare metals.
Researchers and companies are already working hard to make 100 percent recyclable li-ion batteries that will be economically viable for companies to recycle. But currently, only a very small percentage of batteries are getting recycled. The main cause for this discrepancy is the fact that recycling li-ion can be dangerous and thus requires training, and expensive equipment to do so safely.
What can India gain from EV recycling?
As India, with the rest of the world, thrusts to implement greater EV adoption in order to reduce its carbon emissions, it presents a large opportunity for recycling. Without recycling or reusing, the world can see nine million tonnes of li-ion batteries discarded per year, with the total value of raw materials present in the batteries amounting to $23 billion by 2040.
India’s grand ambition of becoming a global hub for the production of EV batteries, especially for meeting its own domestic demands is largely dependent on countries that have the raw materials. As countries with those large reserves of metals like lithium, cobalt and the like are strategic rivals or geographically far away, procuring raw materials is a hurdle for India.
However, if India starts improving its infrastructure to take on the challenge of recycling li-ion batteries, the country will be able to overcome the logistical hurdle of disposing of li-ion batteries and at the same time reap the economic benefits of recycling the batteries. It will also ensure a self-generated and steady supply of raw materials needed to produce its own EV batteries.
next story