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Tesla announces lithium-ion battery recycling program in Europe

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February 1, 2011

Tesla has announced a battery recycling program for Europe

Tesla has announced a battery recycling program for Europe

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When weighing up the impact of electric-vehicles on the environment two factors come to the fore. EV's produce no emissions locally, but depending on where the energy comes from, they can still be producing greenhouse gases back at the power plant ... the so called "long-tailpipe" argument. That's one. The second is batteries – or more specifically, how much energy goes into making them and what to do with the massive battery packs in these cars once they've passed their lifespan. Auto manufacturers building EV infrastructure are taking this second factor into consideration and now EV pioneer Tesla has announced a battery recycling program throughout Europe that will help reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles.

Tesla, which expects its batteries to last 7-10 years or about 160,000 kilometers, will recycle the packs at Umicore’s UHT facility in Belgium.

The process will see the production of an alloy that will be further refined into cobalt, nickel and other metals – cobalt for example, will be refined into high grade lithium cobalt oxide for use in new batteries, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint on the manufacturing side of the equation.

Tesla says the battery recycling technology saves "a minimum of 70 percent on CO2 emissions at the recovery and refining of these valuable metals."

A slag byproduct containing calcium oxides and lithium will also be used in the production of special grades concretes.

1 Comment

This is good news, of course, and as always oil companies say that electric is just another way of using oil, but they don't tell you that it is between 5 and 10 times more efficient than burning that oil in an internal combustion engine. Power plants are efficient by need, in order to save profits, gas cars are not.

. So now they say it pollutes to make all those batteries. Well let us examine how many pollution steps there are to producing oil and refining it into its usable parts. Research and development spend billions just to find the stuff and that equates to pollution in every step of the mission, from launching satellites to driving around to sending out gas gusseling ships. Then the drilling process, well, it is not solar powered or wind powered is it? Then pumping and storing and shipping all pollute the earth and seas, Exon valdes and the Caribbean BP spill cost billions in dollars but countless more in marine damage and tourist losses. Millions of cars are dripping oil from their undercarriage to equal the Exon spill, then there is the exhaust emissions of the gas and diesel not to mention kerosene and jet fuel. Then after all that, there are millions of oil changes, and the dirty cars have to be recycled or buried in rusting heaps still full of oil and grease. The oil industry pollutes everything it touches. Solar is the future, and the wind is to our backs, and geothermal warms our hearts.

Ronald Wade Cooper
2nd February, 2011 @ 08:47 pm PST
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