Is there a second life for electric car batteries?

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The rise of electric cars is fundamentally changing the world market!

The evidence that electric cars are here to stay is abundant. One of them, which directly affects us, is that by 2035 the EU will ban the member states from LPG cars. Market analysts predict that by 2040 every third car will be powered by electricity. Against this background, we can't help but ask ourselves the question, what happens to the "electric hearts" driving electric cars - the batteries? Because they also have an expiration date.

New technologies replace metals such as copper and lead, which are easily recycled, and replace them with lithium, samarium or neodymium. Metals that are not only rare but also difficult to recycle. In fact, when its life is over and it ends up in the landfill, the battery starts releasing heavy metals. According to experts in the industry, recycling a battery can cause a short circuit, burn, release harmful emissions.

Currently, many of the battery components are melted down to reach the so-called "black mass" - a mixture of lithium, manganese, cobalt and nickel. Subsequently, it must be reprocessed so that these metals can be reused in industry. For this purpose, technologies consuming large amounts of energy are used. (See the infographic)

However, the auto industry has rolled up its sleeves and is testing various recycling technologies to minimize the damage. As well as the possibility of introducing automation and robotics.

On the other hand, manufacturers offer an eight-year warranty, which continues to increase every year, as technological advances lead to more durable batteries, with a greater charge and an improved chemical composition that increases their life.

Meanwhile, researchers are adamant that quality battery recycling will require revolutionary development. And the time for it is very short. To deal with the problem, the auto giants are finding alternative ways to deal with the problem.

- Nissan reuses old batteries from its Leaf cars in the automated vehicles that deliver parts to factory workers.

- Volkswagen also opened its first recycling plant in Germany and plans to recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year.

- Renault already recycles all its batteries for electric cars.

The world is seeing that the future of electric cars cannot be sustainable if they do not solve the biggest issue facing them - battery recycling. And in the most environmentally friendly way possible. That is why legislative initiatives are underway in the EU to require car manufacturers to guarantee that their products will be recyclable at the end of their life cycle and will not end up in landfills.