posted on Aug, 1 2021 @ 09:27 AM
a reply to: robsmith
This is an aspect of the "electric power revolution" (i.e. battery bonanza) that IMO is often overlooked, and something I try to raise awareness
One of my daughters recently mentioned that for my imminent search for a new vehicle begins (I'm driving an SUV made in 2004, that has ~160k miles on
it), I really ought to buy an EV, specifically a Tesla, so as to conform with the public standard of the "environmentally conscientious". I responded
by asking 2 questions: how long (how many recharge cycles) do EV batteries hold a useful charge without fading, and how are they disposed of when they
no longer hold a charge? I also added that the chemicals used in batteries are very toxic metals that would be extremely harmful to just dump into the
ground somewhere, which is how much of our old and worn out items are handled.
This thought gave her pause.
If you look into processes and procedures for how EV manufacturers dispose of their batteries, you'll get a
for how environmentally sound the EV car makers
are, and the efforts they go to recycle and re-use components from EV batteries. The problems are, to recycle Lithium batteries, the
best current approach
involves burning down/smelting (!!!) the battery to recover the raw materials, and only about %60 of the material in the EV is suitable for re-use.
It's true that EV manufacturers are constantly pouring more R&D into this area, BUT, even if we assume that they improve the process over time, it is
STILL a net expense to recycle, and unless owners and secondary/tertiary owners are incentivized to recycle, nothing is stopping these batteries
from ending up in our waste streams, which means ending up buried in the ground
It is inevitable, given the pure volume and scale of EV batteries in the wild and coming on-line, that soil and ground water poisoning with toxic
battery compounds will happen. The question is, how effectively can it be mitigated.