Sustainable End-of-Life Management of Electric Vehicle (EV) Batteries

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation participated in a panel discussion on ‘An enabling environment for battery recycling: Practical policy and implementation experience in India’ organised by Asian Development Bank (ADB) on April 3, 2024.

Trupti Deshpande, Senior Programme Manager, Electric Mobility, Shakti, said in the panel discussion that “There is a need for tracking numbers and chemical composition of batteries, developing centralised framework for collection of batteries to reduce transportation cost, more incentives for research and development for new battery chemistries and investment on skill development for recyclers. I would also like to highlight the need to bring the informal sector under organised umbrella and develop standards for recycled material/batteries to take care of the safety and quality of recycled batteries. To develop guidelines for resource/budget allocation for recycling of batteries and eventually standardise the rate of recycled batteries, is another area to focus on.”

The transition to e-mobility is essential to decarbonisation of the transport sector. However, the rapid deployment of Electric Vehicles (EVs) will also lead to dramatic growth in end-of-life batteries, with over 100 million vehicle batteries forecast to be retired in the next decade alone (McKinsey). To maximise e-mobility’s decarbonisation impact and ensure the wider environmental sustainability of EVs, a battery circular economy will be critical. This includes both maximising the EV battery lifecycle, through repurposing and remanufacturing, and recycling of life expired EV batteries to prevent environmental impacts and reduce demand for primary extraction of critical minerals.

Addressing these policy challenges also offers opportunities, including development of new markets and industries, and supply chain resilience to shocks in primary critical material markets. This community meeting will explore the current state of play and key issues in the battery circular economy from both public policy and private sector perspectives. In particular, the case of India – with its booming EV industry and developments in EV battery recycling and production – will provide insights on the challenges and opportunities for other emerging markets in the region.