In 2017 there were over 1 million sales of electric vehicles. These are set to leave 250,000 tonnes of battery waste when they will hit the scrap heap in 2027. It is predicted that there will be between 125 and 220 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030; however, the recycling is still playing catch up.

Large scale facilities exist to recycle elements of the lithium-ion battery, but extracting other materials is complex and expensive. However, in recent years there has been an increase in organisations dedicated to giving the batteries a new lease of life. For example, Nissan is working alongside American firm Eaton to convert end of life Nissan leaf lithium-ion batteries into a home energy storage system called the “xStorage Home System”. This works by connecting 12 past-life batteries to the public power grid, so they can charge up at night when electricity is cheaper. This electricity is stored then used throughout the following day instead of using the more expensive electricity, therefore saving money for the household.

Another example is Powervault, a company from the UK, working with Renault and Nissan to create another energy storage unit. The battery packs called “Powervault 3eco” are being used in hundreds of schools and homes across England.

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STE Waste Management is committed to an electric vehicle car policy which restricts emissions and environmental impact.

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