- Policymakers need to work on identifying second use applications for end of life batteries says the study
- 250,000 tonnes of unprocessed pack waste will be generated by the one million electric cars sold in 2017 when these reach the end of their lives
According to a study by the University of Birmingham, recycling technologies for end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are not keeping pace with the rise of electric vehicles. This can create a huge waste management problem for the future says the report.
The researchers calculated that based on the one million electric cars sold in 2017, 250,000 tonnes of unprocessed pack waste will be generated when these vehicles reach the end of their lives. The research was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Newcastle and Leicester.
The report points out the key challenges that engineers and policymakers need to work on which includes identifying second use applications for end-of-life batteries. The engineers also need to develop rapid repair and recycling methods as large-scale storage of electric batteries is potentially unsafe.
Health of batteries
The report also says that improving diagnostics of batteries, battery packs and battery cells to assess state of health of batteries accurately prior to repurposing should also be a key focus area. Another segment to work on is designing new stabilisation processes that enable end-of-life batteries to be opened and separated and developing techniques to ensure that components are not contaminated during recycling says the report.