With Joe Biden’s administration, the US is not focusing on environmental policies and other related changes. They already had a 100-day review which includes Electric vehicles. President Joe Biden’s focus is also on ensuring the battery recycling process.
Fighting climate change
Fighting climate change and competing with China are the topmost priorities for the country’s government. While China is progressing towards battery technology immensely. From the early EV dominance stage itself, often researchers stated their concerns. Including China’s domination in critical minerals and battery-making technology.
With this recycling push in the US, various governments are to submit a report to the White House. Which will be partially released in a week. By 2030, democrats in the country plan to have the majority of electric vehicles. Further, by 2040 they expect all cars to be electric.
It is said that copper needed for EV will be reduced to 44% by 2040 with the recycling process. For lithium, cobalt, and nickel, the values are 25%, 35%, and 35% respectively.
For that to happen, there are many obstacles. While manufacturing EVs is a priority. Mining for various materials needed for EVs violated the other rules. Like the policies set for mining construction, which would harm the environment.
As said by Payal Sampat of Earthworks, “We can power the renewable energy transition without digging new holes in the ground.”
Battery recycling is another better option to avoid the conflicts of attaining raw materials in bulk.
In addition to recycling, more innovative battery models are to be found. As more funds are being approved by congress, researches are to focus on making battery which relies less on mining.
A government official stated, “When you look at the way the U.S. has approached the recycling opportunity, what’s very evident is we need to invest in that capacity, we need to take a more proactive approach.”
He further added, “A big part of the lithium opportunity is really recycling, and being a global leader in recycling the lithium from existing batteries and driving that into these new batteries.”
Also, the ongoing research in Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is going to further expand its research methods and approaches. As more batteries are recycled, there is less need for mining. It needs the recycling of cathode and other battery parts.
On the other hand, if new batteries were to be made each time, the dump will be filled with the old batteries. It is expected that 8 million tons will be battery crap in the US landfills by 2040 if there is no recycling process.