How Is Electric Car Battery Disposal Causing Pollution

It is true that electric vehicles will play a vital role in the future. However, technology does not come without any cost.

By car&bike Team


1 mins read


Published on February 11, 2022

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    In recent years the drive to replace polluting diesel and petrol cars with the new electric vehicles has grown quite high. But that leaves an unanswered environmental question in the case of the electric car movement, namely what to do with the half-ton lithium-ion batteries when they wear out and thus become useless?


    Starting from the loss of sea ice and the increase in sea levels, all are consequences of environmental changes. And the IPCC has already pointed out that greenhouse gases are responsible for changing the atmosphere. So the government has been deciding to increase the number of electric vehicles, since these vehicles are cost-friendly and help sustain the environment.

    Although, the reality is human supplies and resources will never last forever. The batteries are bound to run out one day and are likely to leave thousands and tons of e-waste worldwide. So what are we going to do with all these e-wastes? Is there any new strategy to recycle them? Go on to know the answers.


    Electric or fossil fuel-powered cars: Which one is greener?

    When it comes to making a list of sustainable cars, electric cars will be first on the list. Because, unlike traditional cars, electric vehicles tend to produce less pollution, all thanks to lithium-ion-based batteries. So is this a win-win situation for electric cars? Does this mean the batteries are less polluting?

    Not necessarily. Or, to put it better, not always. The energy source of these cars does not come from the solar panels. When the batteries wear out, they release more CO2 than the vehicular emissions.

    How do these batteries work?

    Traditional cars have internal combustion engines powered by gasoline and diesel. At the same time, electric vehicles have large battery packs. These batteries are closer to the batteries of mobile phones or laptops but have longer life spans.

    These electric vehicles use almost 2000 lithium-ion batteries that work together. These are not metallic lithium but only contain ions, either charged atoms or molecules. When you charge an electric vehicle, the chemical batteries replace the electricity and release energy while driving.

    How long do these batteries last?

    Generally, a clean and rechargeable EV battery has the charge and discharge capacity to meet a distance between 10000 and 20000 miles. But the main concern is, what happens to these EV batteries when they no longer power up the cars?

    So once the battery losses its ability to supply power, it still has a service life. When the battery life drops about 75%, its second life begins.

    The battery's pollution effects on the environment

    When the second life ends, the product life of these EV batteries is usually seen as the greenest means. The components of the barriers such as nickel, cobalt, copper and lithium can be reused. But when dumping these EV batteries into a landfill, this causes serious environmental issues. When the lithium-ion batteries get recycled, the damaged lithium batteries can let out toxic fumes, which cause severe problems for human health and the surrounding environment.

    The problem is bigger than it seems

    As the demand for lithium batteries is growing day by day, the companies are providing recycling matter as an escalating challenge. However, the bigger problem of recycling these lithium batteries lies in the cost. The cost of recycling these batteries is often more than the cost of the batteries themselves. Therefore, even if there is a solution for the disposal of these lithium batteries available, the manufacturers are still struggling with the imposing barrier.



    Since the complexities and issues concerning these batteries are problematic, a special eye must be kept on the environment. Electric cars are indeed an important approach to environmental sustainability. However, we must take care of those batteries so that they don't pose any threats.

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