Disposing Electric Car Batteries

Disposing Electric Car Batteries

Despite being quite new as a commercial product, batteries have been in use ever since the Industrial Revolution. Now as the electric car revolution trudges along, battery use would become all the more the center of the transportation world and proper disposal is important to keep the environment safe and secure for future generations.

The following are the proper steps in the correct disposal of electric batteries:

1. Repurposing. Electric batteries over time lose efficiency in the storage and delivery of power. Thus if an electric battery cannot provide the power for the electric car, the battery can still be used for other purposes such as a back up or even a storage battery for solar power. What is important is that the charge must be in the same line to prevent overloading the circuit;

2. Recycling. This would mean depositing the electric car battery at your nearest recycling center since many of the components of the battery can be recycled. Do confirm if these centers accept electric car batteries;

3. Return. Many carmakers offer a battery return program especially for the electric vehicle purchased. Major companies, such as Toyota, Nissan, Tesla and Honda recycle old batteries installed in their vehicles.

This industry is expected to become a major down line for the electric car industry. Salvage companies are now jockeying for position to corner batteries that have been discarded from the major electric carmakers.

There are two schools of though on how to handle discarded electric batteries. The first school is through repurposing of the battery. Here, the battery that once powered the vehicle would be used for some other purpose. The second one is through urban mining, a new term for extraction of valuable metals from electric batteries. This is one of the major environmental issues as extraction would mean the use of other chemicals to purify the once usable electric batteries.

Car companies are also keen on providing a program for the proper disposal of used up batteries. Because the purpose of the electric vehicle is to help the environment, when the company fails to properly dispose of unusable batteries, such as incineration or dumping, they stand to face stiff fines and penalties. Current laws make carmakers responsible for the proper disposal and recycling of car batteries not only in the United States but also most especially in Europe.

Another major problem is that the more the technology of batteries improves, the harder it is to recycle these batteries. In the end, regardless of the business side of disposing electric car batteries, doing so properly and within the purview of the law is what can complete the cycle of a battery of an electric vehicle.

Bobby Castro is the online editor at the EV Forum, where he has published a number of articles about the Electric Car industry