The UK’s transition to zero emission vehicles, whether electrified or through alternatively fuelled powertrains and technologies, can deliver a greener future and, with the right policy framework, drive economic growth and recovery. One consideration ahead of this transition is recycling batteries.
While EV drive technology is well-developed, the path for heavy long-distance vehicles is still unclear. What we do know is one of the solutions will involve batteries, and the big unknown currently is how to recycle them at scale. There is no doubt that they can have a second and maybe non-vehicle life, but the path for this on a mass scale is still being developed.
Under current regulations, which are due to be reviewed later this year, EV batteries cannot be sent to landfill. To ensure they fulfil their role in a second life, government and industry need to work together, to create a closed loop system where end of life batteries are recycled as source materials to feed into UK-based gigafactories. Success here would encourage investment in a whole new industry, and complement and support the growing EV market.