Blogs & Podcasts

September 5, 2017

Li-Cycle featured in a Financial Times article focused on electric vehicle battery recycling

EV Car or Electric vehicle at charging station with the power cable supply plugged in.
Original article published in Financial Times

Porsche’s planned fully electric vehicle, the Mission E   (Source: Clean Technica/Porsche)

“Rise of electric cars poses battery recycling challenge”

Li-Cycle has been quoted in a second article in the Financial Times – this piece is specifically focused on the recycling challenges posed by electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries. Direct quotes from Li-Cycle are bolded in the excerpts provided below.

As electric cars roll towards the motoring mainstream, companies are gearing up to address one big environmental question: what to do with the lithium-ion batteries used to power them once they run out?

The batteries used in electric cars are much bigger, last eight to 10 years, and will account for 90 percent of the lithium-ion battery market by 2025, Roskill forecasts, increasing lithium demand fourfold and more than doubling demand for cobalt — two of their essential elements. The price of cobalt has already risen by more than 80 percent this year.

Canadian recycling start-up Li-Cycle says to make [lithium-ion battery recycling] profitable you need to recycle all of the battery materials. It claims it can recycle all types of lithium-ion batteries recovering [greater than] 90 per cent of materials including lithium, cobalt, copper, and graphite.

“You get the full economic value . . . that’s what will enable it to be profitable,” said Ajay Kochhar, the company’s chief executive and co-founder. “You need to look at it [in terms of] all the other valuable components contained to really understand what is going to enable this market.”

Mr. Kochhar estimates over 11m tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries will be discarded by 2030. The company is looking to process 5,000 tonnes a year to start with and eventually 250,000 tonnes — a similar amount to a processing plant for mined lithium, he said.