Last week, the European Commission announced it plans to implement sustainability standards for Europe’s growing battery industry. Consultant Circular Energy Storage published a report on lithium-ion battery life cycle and recycling economics this month and its findings ask tough questions of the commission’s proposals.
The recycling market will experience a tenfold expansion between last year and 2030, driven by EV battery usage and portable electronics. Retrieving valuable metals and minerals is becoming a high priority and several dozen companies are already in position for the first big wave of end-of-life batteries.
While it is often stated only 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, a review of research into the second life and recycling of lithium-ion batteries suggests that is a gross understatement. A new study found almost 100,000 tons of waste batteries were recycled last year – about half of what reached end-of-life.