Recycling EV components

Modern vehicles are roughly 90 % recyclable. Within EU there are specific targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicle components which amounts to 3.5 million tons of old vehicle waste material per year. The legislation is known as the ELV (End of Life Vehicles) Directive. Most EU countries actually manage to recycle and reuse at least 80 % of the total mass of old vehicles.



Figure 30: Picture from GTA Recycling (UK)


Electric vehicles and their batteries can also be recycled. The Nissan Leaf for example is partly made from recycled material and is actually 99% recyclable.

Most batteries used for electric cars are the lithium type batteries. Lithium from the batteries is 100 % recyclable but the cost of recycling is at the moment greater than the cost of new lithium. Therefore the batteries will not be recycled until they are completely worn out.

An electric car battery is considered to be exhausted when there is less than 70 % capacity left. However this does not mean that the battery is useless. Electric car batteries can have a valuable second life as stationary backup batteries or storage for solar energy. At the moment this is more feasible than recycling.