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How to Dispose of Electric Car Batteries

How to Dispose of Electric Car Batteries

If you are a hybrid or electric car owner, you must have figured out in your mind how to dispose of electric car batteries every time you’ll replace them.

It’s true; you enjoy the benefit of less fuel expenditure on your hybrid car. And interestingly, if you are an electric car owner, you are free from visiting the gas station.

All you have in mind is catering for the electricity bills that are cheaper than fuel. Thanks to the modern automakers.

Image: Electric car

However, the only challenging issue is how you would dispose of your electric car battery after its lifespan, considering the dangers it’s said to pose as well as its weight.

An Electric Vehicle Battery (EVB) is used to power the electric motors of a hybrid or an electric car. The battery is rechargeable hence specially designed with a high ampere-hour capacity.

For this reason, it’s characterised by its high power to weight ratio, making it heavier and larger compared to the normal car battery.

To understand further, the battery is manufactured with several modules. These modules are constructed with many small cells.

Inside the cells, there is graphite anode and cathode sheets, and the atoms move through electrolyte between them.

With this explanation, you understand that the electric car battery is different from the normal car battery.

How to Dispose of Electric Car Batteries

Image: Electric car

Dangers Caused if You Dispose of Electric Car Batteries Carelessly

Electric car batteries are volatile and highly flammable if mishandled. They are made with electrolyte, which catches fire easily if exposed to high temperatures.

Unfortunately, any external force caused by rolling or excessive weight exerted by other material at the dumping area may expose chemicals leading to a fire.

On the other hand, it may pose more risks if stored at home because little exposure to high temperatures may cause a fire in the house. Another risky situation is that if children reach this lithium-ion battery, it may endanger their lives.

Additionally, as stated earlier, the EVBs are heavier and larger compared to the past used car batteries. Due to their size, they require a larger disposal area, which may endanger people and wildlife.

Related Post: Signs of a bad car battery voltage

Image: Electric car

Safe Way to Dispose of Your Electric Car Battery

The best and safe method to dispose of electric car batteries is recycling.

A proposal by the European Union pointed to all the EVB manufacturers to ensure their batteries aren’t carelessly dumped after the end of their lifespan.

Luckily, several automakers have taken a step ahead to set electric vehicle battery recycling plants following this proposal.

Great news, all you’ll do is deliver unused EV batteries for recycling to evade the risk it may pose at your home.

However, with the rising demand to protect the environment, the recycling plants managements may have a plan to pick unused EVBs from the car owners. Let’s hope they’ll consider it.

Examples of automakers with EVB recycling plants are;

  • Nissan
  • Volkswagen
  • Renault

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Image: Electric car

Nissan

Nissan, famously known for its fully electric model, Nissan Leaf, has already partnered with Sumitomo Corporation. The dual have established 4R Energy Corporation to refabricate and resell their EVBs to power other things.

Already, Nissan is using these recycled batteries to power their factory automated guided machines that deliver car parts to workers.

When these old batteries reach the factory, they are first graded. According to the 4R energy CEO, some parts are as good as new and are graded ‘A’. These grade-A materials are used to make high-performance batteries for the new cars.

For grade B, they are capable of running industrial machinery like forklifts. Additionally, you can use them to capture solar energy at home for lighting during the night.

The grade-C material can too be used for power back up in grocery stalls in case of power loss. Surprisingly, the engineers say these recycled batteries can last ten to fifteen years.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen has set up EVB recycling plant in Salzgitter, Germany. With the plans to set up several plants worldwide, their key role is to recover raw materials from used electric vehicle batteries.

The Salzgitter plant, according to the management, is recovering 95% of the battery materials for reuse. The engineers aim for metals like cobalt, nickel, manganese, and lithium.

Renault

Renault, the leading electric vehicle manufacturer and seller in the European market has come up with electric vehicle battery renting program for their customers.

With 93% of their customers renting batteries from the company, they are able to optimize the lifecycle and usage of the batteries.

Once the battery’s end life nears, the company monitors its condition. If it can be repaired to power a car once more, it’s relented.

However, if it below 75% charge storage capacity, it can be renewed and used for home solar power storage.

In other cases, if the battery is irreparable, it can be reused by removing cells and recovering metals like lithium, copper, nickel, and cobalt.

Luckily, Renault has an open project not to recycle only Renault batteries but also batteries from other vehicle manufacturers.

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Image: Electric car

FAQs on Dsiposing Car Batteries

What is the Average Cost of an Electric Car battery?

Electric car batteries are the most ranked expensive components of hybrid or electric cars. If you need to replace your battery, be prepared to spend about $ 5500.

How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?

The lifespan of an electric vehicle battery is quite encouraging. If well maintained and serviced, the battery can serve you for ten to fifteen years. On the other hand, in terms of mileage, you may travel about 200,000 miles before replacing.

How Far Can an Electric Car Go on a Single Charge?

Most electric car manufacturers have batteries that power a car for 250 miles on a single charge. However, for models like Tesla, they have more powerful batteries that do about 350 miles on a single charge. Luckily, many vehicle manufacturers are promising to bring batteries with longer mileage per charge and faster charging.

With the rising global warming challenge, the automakers have chosen to lead in the fight against the calamity. As such, electro mobility is the way to restore our environment. Ball on your court, safely dispose of electric car batteries

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