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Tags: Electric Cars

What happens to EV batteries?

If you’re thinking about transitioning to an EV for environmental reasons, you might have some concerns about what happens to EV batteries once they’re no longer fit for purpose, and whether EV batteries are recyclable. In this blog we’ll discuss EV batteries lifespan and the ways that EVs batteries can be reused and recycled. 

How long do EV batteries last?

The first thing to note is that EV batteries last longer than you probably think.

EV batteries are manufactured to last on average around 15 to 20 years, or 100,000 to 200,000 miles. They degrade at a minimal rate of 2.3% of maximum capacity per year, thanks to a battery management system that prevents degradation. This system controls battery charging and discharging so that it’s the least harmful to battery cells. 

Furthermore, most EV warranties cover the battery retaining 70% of its ability for 8 years, or 100,000 miles, whereas the average ICE vehicle warranty only covers 3 years, or 60,000 miles. There are also plenty of ways to help extend EV battery life, including minimising exposure to extreme temperatures and making the most of smart charging cycles. 

Taking all these factors into account, you can be confident that your EV’s battery will keep you on the road for years to come. 

Can EV batteries be reused?

Batteries can be upcycled or reused before they need to be recycled. Many large organisations are exploring using upcycled EV batteries as electricity storage for grid level solar. These reused batteries can then be used to power buildings, homes and businesses. 

There are impressive examples of this in action across the globe, including at Amsterdam’s football stadium. 148 repurposed Nissan LEAF batteries are using the sustainable energy generated by the stadium’s 4,200 solar panels to provide a reliable and efficient energy supply. 

Can EV batteries be recycled? 

When EV batteries aren’t suitable to be reused, they can be recycled. The processes for recycling EV batteries are ever-improving, with some techniques allowing up to 95% of the raw materials to be recovered. Recycling uses less energy than creating a battery from scratch, as these materials can then be used in the manufacture of new batteries. The EU mandates that EV batteries be at least 50% recyclable by weight, which will increase to 65% by 2025. 

There are different recycling processes available. A process called pyrometallurgy uses high temperatures to extract valuable materials by burning away non-metal parts. Although this is a successful technique, the industry is moving towards the hydrometallurgical process, which exposes the mix to chemical solutions instead. This process is less energy intensive and can achieve a 98% plus recovery rate for key metals due to being adjustable for different battery chemistries. 

Get in touch 

EV batteries can be reused or recycled, and the technology is evolving to become increasingly environmentally friendly. When you decide you’re ready to make the switch to electric, get in touch!

Mr Charger are the UK electric vehicle charging specialists, with friendly, local teams located across the UK. We’re approved installers for leading charge point manufacturers and offer helpful advice from start to finish. Find your local team and get your EV journey started today.