Auto Manifesto

March 12, 2008

Battery Recycling

According to a white paper by Firefly Energy (carbon foam cell battery maker) 90% of all lead acid batteries in the US are recycled. The infrastructure is all there because those batteries are considered to be hazardous waste.

Which begs the question, with the anticipated proliferation of PHEVs and BEVs how much of an issue is battery recycling going to be as we move toward non-lead acid technologies?

I read this article on AutoBlogGreen today, followed by this one on the Tesla Motors blog. Glad to see someone is addressing this.

If the claims are correct it seems like they went about it in a very clever way: Non-hazardous waste, modular, and with post-automotive applications in less critical areas (e.g. peak shaving).

Recycling programs need to be able to accommodate changing battery types and chemistries since technology is going to (hopefully) evolve at a much faster rate going forward.

Further more, hopefully battery life will continue to improve so that we will be able to recycle them less often, and when they are recycled the environmental impacts are also lower. We need to stretch the intervals.

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