End-of-life battery solutions require greater OEM control

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that 14 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be sold worldwide in 2023, accounting for 18% of the total passenger car market. This is fast growth for a segment that held only 4% three years earlier, but what happens when the batteries powering this growth can no longer hold enough charge?

Estimates for the life expectancy of a standard lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery range from ten to 20 years. With batteries representing approximately 30% of each EV’s total production expenditure—according to BloombergNEF—simply discarding them when critical mineral supply chains are already strained is not cost efficient. Subsequently, automakers such as Renault, BMW, and Mercedes have announced investments in circular sourcing methods.

Supporters claim that implementing end-of-life (EoL) battery management strategies such as reuse and recycling could bolster OEMs’ global electrification efforts and help them secure vital battery supply chains. But how realistically can present market conditions allow these approaches to close the loop?

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