Sales of electric vehicles increased 43 percent globally in 2020 as battery costs have declined, helping to make EV cars more affordable. Decarbonising transportation is a critical step in helping societies and industries meet their ambitious net zero emission targets. Electric vehicles consequently have the potential to significantly contribute to the tackling of the climate crisis.
The quantity of lithium ion batteries used in vehicles and power storage is expected to increase nearly ten-fold in the next decade, from 260Gwh in 2020 to 2,500Gwh in 2030. This will result in an exponential increase in demand for recycling, which is essential to recover critical metals such as lithium, nickel and cobalt, reducing the carbon footprint of battery electric vehicles.
Stena Group recycles over six million tonnes of materials annually including 240,000 end of life vehicles. The company is currently rolling out facilities and processes to recover valuable materials from electric vehicle batteries for further refining.
Johnson Matthey will develop additional process steps to produce fully refined materials suitable for use in the lithium ion battery manufacturing process, increasing the recycled content of new batteries. The closing of the loop from end of life recycling to new battery materials is essential to achieve circularity in the supply chain.