LONDON, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lithium-ion batteries are undoubtedly the future. As the UK replaces France as Europe's second-largest electric car market, mass consumer adoption is crucial to rolling back carbon output and reducing global warming. This growth is becoming exponential and is welcomed by many people due to the fact electric cars are seen as sustainable and environmentally friendly. About 31,800 battery-electric cars were sold in Britain in the first three months of 2021.
Yet, the drawbacks are not being clearly addressed, setting us up to fail when striving towards sustainability. Here are some of the issues at play:
In the EU market, roughly only 5% of lithium are collected. The rest was either incinerated or dumped in landfills. Bare in mind, they're manufactured using limited resources.
Batteries will also drive cobalt and nickel demand higher than current production, while tellurium demand for solar PV will peak well above current production rates in the late 2020s to mid-2030s.
Much of the substance is reduced during the recycling process to what is known as "black mass" - a mixture of lithium, manganese, cobalt and nickel - which needs further, energy-intensive processing to recover the materials in a reusable form.
A tiered approach to solving these issues would be the key to the safe recycling of lithium-ion batteries. The best way to offset rising demand for key metals is to beef up recycling, something that currently isn't happening on a large scale. It would result in a supply and demand that would go along with current electric vehicle forecasts for the UK.
There are signs of hope though. The UK's first end-to-end lithium-ion battery solution is due to IPO shortly and looks like a promising solution. Technology Minerals announced to existing shareholders that their IPO is coming soon. The development of innovative new British businesses focused on tackling these issues is an exciting prospect for consumers and investors alike is exactly what progress is about.
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