Electric cars may be gaining popularity because of fuel savings and a reduced impact on the environment, but the type of battery typically used in these cars could pose a problem if not properly recycled. Not only is having a recycling program for batteries from electric cars good for the environment, but it helps consumers avoid some safety issues associated with battery disposal.
The first consideration regarding an electric car battery is that it typically weighs about 550 pounds. This obviously poses a problem when the average driver is attempting to dispose of such a large item. A recycling program would allow consumers to take their used batteries to a place where the battery would be handled using the appropriate lifting equipment.
Much of the energy contained in the battery remains there even after the battery can no longer be used to power a vehicle. A safety hazard is posed by this storage of unused energy. Electric shock from the leftover charge may injure a person, and there is a significant fire risk.
Established Used Electric Car Battery Programs
There are some car companies that have already partnered with recyclers to allow consumers to recycle an electric car battery.
- Toxco operates a plant in Canada that specializes in using state-of-the-art technology to recycle lithium-ion batteries.
- In Europe, car manufacturer Tesla has established its own program for allowing consumers to recycle a spent battery from an electric vehicle.
- Toyota allows Prius owners to take the battery to the dealership to be recycled.
Consumers can also contact a local recycling plant for a referral to a facility that can handle a large lithium-ion battery.
The bottom line is that electric cars cannot be considered fully green unless the manufacturer has established a way for consumers to recycle the battery.