Electric Car Batteries
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Recycling and Reusing Electric Car Batteries

Recycling and Reusing Electric Car Batteries: It’s Impact on Environment and Production

Surely, everyone who has his or her own car, especially those that are electricity-operated would think of how would they dispose their car batteries when they consider getting a new one.  Although the option of selling it for others to consume and make use of, knowing how to properly dispose them should be the owner’s responsibility. A lot of people perceive that having electric cars instead of the conventional ones is beneficial for the environment.  Of course, this is under the assumption that it is actually an almost emission-free transportation alternative. However, concerning about recycling electric car batteries better and more responsibly should also be taken into account.

The Attempt to Go Green with Electric Cars

There is no doubt about the fact that electric cars per se are specifically designed in order to help conserve the environment. On the other hand, taking a closer and deeper look into the picture would let someone know that batteries of electric cars are actually using a large amount of mined metals, toxic chemicals as well as rare earth elements.

The fact that people are excavating these resources just to create a single battery for an electric car already poses a negative effect to the environment.

The issue now lies on the idea that if electrified cars truly aim to be green and healthy, then there is a ‘need’ to call for more action on their consumption and use of materials that are still detrimental to the surroundings.

And with this comes alternatives on how to make the most out of the existing and produced car battery materials, which include reusing and recycling them.

Recent events related to this matter were held in a conference in San Diego Plug In wherein attendees as well as participants would be able to examine how to maximize and extract the most out of the overall components of existing materials of batteries via reusing and recycling mechanisms.

Extracting and Maximizing Electric Car Batteries

The head of technology innovation and deployment at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE), John Holmes, has addressed concerns regarding this matter by introducing the concept of reusing hybrid batteries.

His study on electric cars and their batteries has manifested the event when a car battery has a remaining 70% of its capacity, which is relatively too low to serve a car, it could still have an about ten years of useful life left serving as a storage device on the grid.

From this findings, car batteries from electric vehicles may still play an important role in the huge energy storage as power plants are seeking to balance out electricity generation by day from wind and solar energy.

Even more, this has consumer demand that may spike in the afternoon and evening.

In addition to this, battery chemistry in some vehicles are more appropriate and conducive for recycling as compared to others. This is claimed by Linda Gaines who is a system analyst at Orgonne National Laboratory.

Gaines has been in constant study of car batteries for years now aiming to identify and uncover the most effective as well as the most profitable means of recycling.

The Future of Hybrid Batteries

The hybrid of batteries having nickel metal that people are using today have found to contain the feature of most conventional hybrids that are so valuable to recycle. This is because of the fact that nickel sells for a much higher price and that any type of nickel can be reused as new car batteries, which ultimately reduce the ‘need’ to mine more and new nickel for new sets of batteries to be produced.

Companies from different areas across the globe have started venturing into this idea by running commercial nickel and metal hydride battery centers for recycling electric car batteries.

Lithium Batteries

On the other hand, since there are bunch of types of car batteries that are out in the market today, tackling Lithium batteries, which are often plugged in to different cars today, would give people a different path when it comes to reusing and recycling them.

According to Australian specialists, this type of car batteries are harder to recycle because of the known fact that automakers are using different chemistry combinations as well as several chemical components that would demand for varying recycling techniques and values.

For example, the Lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries that are now found in a lot of modern plug-in cars like that of the Nissan Leaf are offering higher recycling value due to the fact that its cobalt and nickel ingredients are a bit pricey to produce in reality.

There are cheaper chemistry that are being planned for future models and versions promising to help bring electric car prices down and maintaining its recyclable feature.

With this, Linda Gaines explained that current and on-going developments are being done to give more efficient and effective ways to extract and maximize elements that will eventually make them cost-effective to recycle regardless of the type of chemistry used in producing and manufacturing it.

The United States of America begun to construct their own lithium battery recycling pilot in Ohio. However, there are other more active commercial plants based in Europe.

The Department of Energy has been in constant search and work to expand and promote electric cars in the market for decades now. On the other hand, although this makes a lot of difference in terms of awareness of the public, in order to fully maximize the potential environmental edges and benefits of such technology, increased and more focused attention has to be provided focusing particularly on ‘second-life battery’ use and recycling means as well as advantages. (resource: DoE’s list of Li-Ion battery recycling facilities)

Maintaining recycling electric car batteries practice and even expanding its reach would ultimately pose a huge aid in preserving and protecting the environment from more rigorous and detrimental effects brought about by irresponsible consumption and disposal of technology such as electric vehicle batteries.

With companies joining hands to improve such innovation, there is more to expect from it in the next coming years aiding the strategies and techniques people could make use of when it comes to efficiently reprocessing electric car batteries and extracting its full potentials.

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