The growth of electric cars in the UK increases the need for battery recycling. Currently one in 12 car cars purchased in the UK are electric. As a result of the changed market many are now calling for changes in car battery recycling.
Most noteworthy of the scrap car recycling companies is CarTake Back.With more than 300 sites the company claims to be the country’s largest scrap car recycling business.
‘CarTakeBack’, is backing moves for expanded domestic facilities for car battery recycling with more action from the government.
High Voltage Lithium Batteries
Most electric cars currently use high voltage lithium-ion batteries for power. The traditional twelve volt lead acid batteries used to operate safety systems are relatively easy to recycle. Certainly Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive to recycle with most in the UK being exported to Europe.
Creating an effective EV battery recycling program in the UK is proving difficult. Most of the problems are due to the delays in executing an acceptable Brexit agreement.
Ken Byng, senior manager at CarTakeBack is concerned that the industry will be held back if there is an ineffective exit deal. Despite tightly controlled regulations more layers of bureaucracy will create unnecessary problems. Almost certainly increased costs and likely delays in processing of batteries will occur.
Unlicensed scrap yards currently account for a third of the vehicles scrapped in the UK. Furthermore these unlicensed operators may well cut corners and dispose of the batteries in a way which could release hazardous chemicals into the ground, air and water supply.
In Australia the Recycal group of companies will launch a new company in 2019, Envirobat. The new company will concentrate on recycling of all types of batteries, but with a focus into the future with lithium batteries. The new facility will be based at Campbellfield in Victoria.