The state of the lithium-ion battery recycling market
A conversation with battery analyst Yayoi Sekine of BNEF.
The coming decade is going to see a rapid rise in demand for electric vehicles and the batteries they contain. Currently, the materials that compose those batteries are mined and processed in countries with problematic environmental and labor standards.
One part of crafting a more humane and secure battery supply chain is working to reduce demand for virgin materials by recycling the materials already in use. That means recycling the lithium-ion batteries found in vehicles — lots of them.
Since we are on the very front end of a rapid S-curve rise in demand for EVs, a comparatively small number of such lithium-ion batteries need recycling today. But that will change, soon, as early EVs tax their original batteries.
To get a grasp on the current state of play in the battery-recycling market, I contacted Yayoi Sekine, an analyst who works as head of energy storage at Bloomberg NEF. We talked about current demand for battery recycling, the companies meeting that demand, the technologies used to recycle batteries today, and the coming growth in the industry.
Volts is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.