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China launches an electric car battery recycling standard as old batteries are expected to come back in high numbers

Battery recycling is expected to become an increasingly significant part of the electric vehicle supply chain in the near future.

In order to prepare for it, China is launching an electric car battery recycling standard as old batteries are expected to come back in high numbers as EV adoption ramps up in the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has already pushed a standard for tracking the entire life cycle of batteries in electric vehicles, but it is now establishing a new scheme with automakers to recycle the batteries at the end of life.

Reuters reported:

“The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a notice published on its website late on Wednesday the cities and regions would encourage car producers to establish recycling service outlets and cooperate with battery producers, used car dealers and scrap merchants to build regional recycling systems.

It said the entire industrial chain needed to be fully mobilized in order to ensure that EV batteries were recovered. It would strictly control the number of new enterprises involved in battery recycling and make full use of existing recycling bases in China in order to promote sustainable development in sector.”

Electric vehicle adoption in China is growing fast, but it is still fairly new. The number of battery packs at their end of life will remain relatively low in the next few years, but it will change rapidly once vehicles produced today will need new packs.

China produced over 400,000 electric cars during the first half of the year and it plans to ramp up to 2 million EVs per year in the next two years through their ZEV mandate.

Electrek’s Take

I appreciate the initiative from China, but I don’t think we need to worry about people recycling EV batteries.

We are not talking about worthless recyclable products making their way to a landfill even though they shouldn’t or encouraging people to recycle bottles at 10 cents a piece.

Even at the end of their life and with important degradation, an electric vehicle battery pack will still be worth a significant amount of money, especially in a world of continuously increasing EV production.

There will always be companies wanting those battery packs to either refurbish them or mine them for materials to make new batteries.

We have seen tons of examples of automakers reusing battery packs.

Mercedes-Benz recently turned a coal power plant into an energy storage system with electric car batteries.

Renault is also using old Zoe battery packs for a home energy storage product and energy storage systems to power off-the-grid charging stations.

Also, Nissan recently unveiled stunning new streetlights powered by used Leaf battery packs and solar.

They are starting to explore ways to reuse battery modules.

As for Tesla, the company is not a fan of using old battery packs for new projects. Instead, they prefer recycling the batteries to use the materials for new packs. The company already established a pilot recycling plant at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.

Featured Image: Teardown of new 100 kWh Tesla battery pack reveals new cooling system and 102 kWh capacity – Jason Hughes

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