A friend recently reported to me that nobody was doing anything about recycling lithium batteries. It got me to wondering if owning an electric car and building the ESPcat (Electric Solar Powered Catamaran) are damaging my carbon footprint reputation. You can imagine my concern! So I looked into it.
My friend claimed that nobody was recycling lithium-ion batteries in New Zealand. Not true! New Zealand company Upcycle Ltd. recycles them.(1) Upcycle has a deal with a company in Finland.(2)
As for out BMW i3 electric car, BMW are recycling 96% of their lithium batteries.(3)
And what about Tesla? Is the premier electric car manufacturer doing anything to recycle batteries? Well of course they are. Musk is recycling on a “giga scale” of course.(4)
So the answer is “yes”, folks are indeed recycling lithium-ion batteries. I don’t think any company is stupid enough to think they can build electric cars without thinking about waste products.
The world is safe at least for the moment, or is it. My parents spent their retirement years in the lovely waterside village of Wiscasset, Maine. Somebody decided to build a nuclear power plant, Maine Yankee, just down the road. Mum and Dad just loved the idea because Maine Yankee paid all the taxes for the town. Besides, my parents were jingoists who believed that they could trust the US government in all things. Maine Yankee ran from 1972 to 1996. Every bit of nuclear waste produced by Maine Yankee, including the now radioactive concrete containment vessel, is still stored right where it was created because nobody has figured a way to safely dispose of it. (5) It is just as well they never lived long enough to appreciate the magnitude their folly in supporting nuclear power.