As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S. Department of Energy announced plans to provide $192 million in funding for battery recycling advancements and the launch of a battery research and development consortium. This would bring the grand total of money dedicated to EV and battery technologies close to $3 billion.
According to a DOE press release, “With the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary energy storage projected to increase the lithium battery market by as much as ten-fold by 2030, it is essential to invest in sustainable, reduced-cost recycling of consumer batteries in support of a secure, resilient and circular domestic supply chain for critical materials.”
Projects such as developing education and behavior change campaigns and aid for retailers with collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting consumer electronics batteries will benefit from the donation. However, the press release also noted that each project selected to receive the funding must invest in America’s workforce and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Of the funding, $60 million has been earmarked for the advanced battery R&D consortium, which will support the development of alternative battery chemistries that cost less, use a lower volume of rare materials, and improve recycling. Additionally, the consortium will be made up of universities, National Laboratory partners, major manufacturers of electric vehicles, mineral and material suppliers, and other stakeholders.
Electric vehicles have garnered much attention during the last three years, especially since California announced a plan to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in California by 2035. The plans were made in order to address climate change but sparked concern among many consumers over how EV batteries would be disposed of, especially those made with Lithium-Ion. More EVs means more handling of EV batteries, which could be extremely dangerous if not done properly.
Disposition facilities like HOBI are responsible for the proper disposition of electronic equipment, including EV batteries. Though the batteries are not yet ready to be recycled in large volumes, many in the industry are wondering what the growing demand will result in for the disposition process. According to research analysts, the global EV battery recycling market was valued at $139 million in 2017 but is expected to grow to $2.27 billion by 2025. For this reason, it is important to understand the dangers lithium-ion EV batteries pose and how to avoid accidents. This is accomplished by partnering with trained professionals like HOBI to ensure safe, environmentally-friendly disposition.
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