Tesla highlighted its battery recycling efforts in its 2022 Impact Report. According to the electric vehicle maker, Giga Nevada was able to demonstrate an impressive recycling capacity of 100 metric tons per week in 2022.
Companies like Tesla and Redwood Materials, which was founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, have taken it upon themselves to develop battery recycling technologies. Straubel has noted that with battery recycling, it would eventually be possible to create a “closed loop” for battery manufacturing, where the materials used for the production of batteries are used over and over again.
As per Tesla’s 2022 Impact Report, the electric vehicle maker made some key steps in the past year with its battery recycling efforts. The company noted that in 2022, none of its batteries went to landfills. The company also pushed the deployment of equipment to recycle 100% of on-site generated manufacturing scrap.
The company also pushed for the safe stockpiling for future processing of any materials generated that cannot be immediately processed. Apart from this, significant resources were also put towards the development of scalable battery recycling technology for nickel and iron-based cathode chemistries. A reverse logistics system designed to recover batteries from sold products was also developed.
These efforts, among other things, helped Giga Nevada demonstrate 100 metric tons per week recycling capacity.
“Tesla’s recycling program aims to be the gold standard for others to follow as we optimize the safest and most efficient methods to recover materials. This will directly decrease the demand for mining in the long term,” Tesla wrote in its 2022 Impact Report.
The issue of battery recycling addresses one of the most persistent arguments against electric vehicles today. Anti-electric vehicle advocates typically argue that materials used to create batteries, such as lithium and cobalt, have a negative environmental impact. Such groups also argue that batteries usually end up in landfills after their capacity degrades. Considering the efforts of companies like Tesla and Redwood Materials, however, such arguments are ultimately null and void.
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