European Union Puts EV Battery Recycling on Its 'Radar'

Under the EU’s batteries directive, member states are obliged to collect 25% of all portable batteries by 2012; that figure is supposed to rise to 45% by 2016.

Published: 13-Oct-2011

The looming challenge of how to deal with hundreds of thousands of used lithium batteries produced to power electric car is on the Brussels "to do" list, EU sources say.

“It’s on our radar,” an EU official told EurActiv. “But we are just starting this approach and our difficulty and challenge is to prioritise, because it’s impossible to consider all products, all materials and all combinations of waste streams.”

Lithium is more plentiful than the nickel and cobalt used in hybrid and earlier electric car models. But because recycling it is up to five times more expensive than mining it, few car companies are ready for the scale of recycling that will be needed.

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