When EVs were first produced people were unsure as to the vehicle’s battery-life, but now time has shown that they are lasting much longer than was estimated.
While this may seem like a good thing, there is still concern on the production of batteries for the high-output of EVs and recycling of the batteries when a car finally gives out.
No one thought EV batteries would last as long as they have
Forbesspoke with a Nissan executive regarding the brand’s battery life, given that they are one of the companies that has produced EVs for over a decade.
Many manufacturers currently offer battery warranties for 100,000 miles of driving or for the duration of seven to eight years. Now the automotive industry anticipates that EV batteries will last much longer and may even last longer than the vehicle itself.
Electric vehicles have a battery management system (BMS) that helps preserve the long-term effectiveness and health of the battery.
Initially, the fear with EV batteries was that they would have a short life span, but now there’s consideration that after it’s done serving a car a battery may still have a 60-70% usable charge and can be recycled for other means before it’s completely stripped down.
In fact, because of the batteries being long-lasting concerns of what to do with so many electric batteries has been alleviated and only a small number of vehicles (at least with Nissan) have even had their batteries taken back for recycling.
The current state of EV battery recycling
A small amount of Nissan Leaf batteries has been received (from either crashes or warranty issues) by the company. One way that they
recycled those lithium-ion batteriesis by giving backup power to Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena by using a total of 148 batteries to store solar electricity.
While Nissan has many plans for using these still functional batteries, one primary concern has popped up regarding their recycling. Much of the automotive industry across Europe and the U.S. is working slowly or not at all on recycling the lithium-ion cells in the batteries.
Not only are lithium-ion batteries expensive to manufacture, but resources like lithium, cobalt, and nickel used are also scarce.
While automakers like Tesla are looking to lithium phosphate instead of relying on cobalt, this still isn’t a solution to the problem as that will become scarce as well.
While ethically and environmentally, getting cobalt and other matierals through recycling is better, there’s still concern with the processes involved with retrieving these valuable resources while compensating for the intensive labor it requires.
Forbes states, “Given the often poor economic use for recycling, it’s clear there need to be national and international policies to mandate EV battery recycling.”
The U.K. is working on creating some of these environmentally and ethically conscientious policies, while the U.S. still needs to hop aborad the recycling train.
When it comes to Nissan at least, the company hopes to completely switch its electric fleet to
all-solid-state batteriesby 2028. These batteries have the potential to charge faster, last longer than the current lithium batteries, and will hopefully hold more power.
Again though, eventually those batteries will need to be recycled, but this should give countries globally the time to enact policies to help with EV battery recycling.
Getting insurance for your electric vehicle car
While only time will tell regarding the recycling of EV batteries, companies like Nissan are taking steps in the right direction to help give these batteries a second life.
As you’re learning about EVs and EV batteries, you want to make sure to learn more about your car insurance coverage and ensure that you have the best car insurance available for the best price for your car.
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