The vast majority of materials included in EV batteries can be fully recycled and used in the production of new batteries. Prior to recycling, EV batteries can also be taken out of vehicles after a useful life of around 15 years (or equivalent in terms of total kilometres driven e.g. 180,000-200,000 km), and then repurposed as stationary batteries for potentially another decade, powering homes and/or the grid. In this way, EVs provide an opportunity to move closer to a circular economy where we will become less reliant on mining new minerals over time.
The major challenge facing EV battery recycling today is the low volumes due to most EVs still being relatively new. Over the coming decade, as more EV batteries become available, there are significant economic opportunities for Australia both in second- life applications of these batteries, and recycling these batteries to be used in the manufacturing of new batteries.
Check out the work of one of our members, Envirostream, who offer mixed battery recycling in Australia.