The US doesn’t have a law mandating EV battery recycling. Should it?

Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 20:13 in Physics & Chemistry

Eventually, a robust circular battery economy could all but eliminate the need to extract rare metals at all. Alyssa Pointer / The Washington Post via Getty Images This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here. The race to electrify the world’s vehicles and store energy will require batteries — so many of them, in fact, that meeting the demand we will see by 2040 will require 30 times the amount of critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel that those industries currently use. That presents an enormous challenge, one exacerbated by the mining industry’s alarming allegations of labor crimes, environmental destruction, and encroachments on Indigenous land. There are ways to mitigate electrification’s extractive impacts, one of which may seem obvious: Recycle every battery we make.  Doing so would...

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