life of electric battery in a vehicle

life of electric battery in a vehicle

The electricization of the automobile industry is in its infancy however, we must already be thinking about what might happen in the next few years, as the millions of electrical vehicles (EVs) begin to retire.

The year 2021 saw EV market share more than quadrupled to 6.6 million, which equates to 9 percent of the global car market , more than doubling the market’s share from just two years earlier . If the expected life span for the EV batteries is between 10 up to fifteen years old, we’ll soon begin to see the first electric cars being removed from the market.

If you consider that EV batteries – just like all other batteries- decrease in value slowly rather than suddenly failing so it’s reasonable to believe that those who retire in the near future will have batteries that are able to hold some portion of their original capacity for charging. However, a lot of customers aren’t going to want a vehicle that is able to hold 60 percent of its initial capacity. Find a viable solution to this scenario is essential for the successful shift to electric vehicles as well as the long-term viability of electric vehicles.

There are a variety of options even although none of them are simple to put into place. Let’s look at the three most likely possibilities for the future of an electric vehicle battery.

1. Recycle the materials

EV batteries are made up of important minerals such as cobalt and lithium, both of which are accompanied by their own environmental issues and responsibilities, particularly for the local communities in which they are extracted. For instance lithium is extracted mainly out of Australia or South America, but this process requires billions of gallons water each year. This has the potential for a devastating environmental impact. Cobalt reserves throughout Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo are mined by workers who suffer abuse in the workplace .

Recycling old batteries appears at first glance to be the most sensible solution since it could help decrease the dependence of industry on material. However recycling the components of an EV battery is expensive because of its high risk The process begins with shredding the batteries and then breaking them down with chemical or heat until the various materials are separated. A new company, created by an ex- Tesla director, Redwood Materials, is moving in this direction and has already caught the attention of car makers such as Ford and Ford . A Canadian company that recycles batteries, Li-Cycle, is following the footsteps of GM Li-Cycle, which is a GM subsidiary. .

Some companies, such as Ascend Elements are also trying to take a further, by turning old lithium-ion batteries into a superior product that can are more efficient and last for longer. In lieu of using furnaces with high temperatures in order to melt metals and segregate the materials This company has invented the process of shredding batteries repeatedly until they produce the fine powder they refer to as “black mass”; this powder is used to make new battery cathodes with the same life span and 30% longer It’s a 30% increase in life.

Their aim is to establish an economy of circular batteries in which mining for new materials isn’t necessary. In this case, EV battery manufacturers buy all the necessary materials from recycling firms and then market new battery packs to car makers. Then, car makers take the old batteries that were sold for years prior to returning them to recycling centers and the cycle repeats. But, this system requires incentives for economics to ensure that the costs remain below the cost of mining, even while that’s not the norm today there is a lot of hope that economies of scale can fix this.

2. Find a new goal

With the inherent issues of the recycling process as described earlier, a different approach could have a quicker use: recycling the old EV battery packs to create battery storage for electricity. They can be used to support massive power stations, contributing to grid stability and can even assist in the reconstruction of supply after an outage at a power plant.

Mercedes-Benz has begun to do this through a new venture, Mercedes-Benz Energy . And they’re not alone. Startups such as Re Purpose Energy, Smart ville Energy and Re Joule have received funds through the California Energy Commission Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) financing pool .

Storage systems for batteries are a great way to help to balance the intermit entity of solar and wind generation in a global environment that is working towards a transition of the use of fossil fuels to renewable sources. Such a system could be utilized to store energy in times when electricity is less expensive and discharge the stored energy in peak times and reduce the load on power stations that are already in operation.

One of the major challenges when it comes to creating these storage systems is the data. Manufacturer of the battery, cathode material as well as battery condition and the history of usage are all vital information points that could be used in the secondary market. In the Global Battery Alliance has proposed the idea of a Battery Passport, endorsed at the G7 Leaders 2021 Meeting. It is a platform to securely share information and data throughout the value chain of the industry .

3. Store and then sit

It is true that using EV the battery industry is in flux, and an alternative that is less expensive, however disappointing solution to solve this issue is to keep old batteries in warehouses, awaiting for the day when the market will improve.

Spiers New Technologies, recently purchased through Cox Automotive, is a company that aims to accomplish a bit all of it: deconstruct, repair the problem, recycle, and keep old battery packs from electric vehicles. The most recent Wired article detailed the way their warehouse located in Oklahoma City contains towers of battery packs that have been retired from EVs . The article also mentions the interview of Dirk Spiers, CEO & founder of the company the fact that they’re still figuring out the plan for many of the batteries in that warehouse, but he believes that in the end, they’ll be viewed as an opportunity, not waste.

A report of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) starting in July 2021  of lithium-ion batteries that are in their last stages going to the municipality’s solid waste disposal system, that revealed an increasing number of fires occurring in these storage facilities, mainly caused by small devices used by consumers, such as tablet computers, cell phones or laptops.

The risk of fires will only increase as more batteries get stored, waiting for a significant change in the recycling/repurposing space.


EVs are predicted to make up 45 percent in the U.S. market in 2035 in comparison to a projected of just 32 percent in 2030. In its plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next few years it was suggested that the European Union proposed a ban on the sales of new cars with internal combustion engines starting in 2035.

The decision to ditch carbon-based fuels, as well as combustion vehicles to go electric can’t be done in a hurry It’s an exciting and greener future that could be part of an increase in alternative energy sources. My wish is that as regulation around the globe is gradually moving towards an electric future, that the recycling market will explode with the emergence of new technologies in the coming years. It is essential that we come up with feasible options, financially as well as ecologically, to solve the coming EV battery issues.

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